The results of our community player ratings poll for Aston Villa's 1-0 win over Stoke City at the Britannia are in, and suffice it to say we were largely a pretty happy bunch. No player rated lower than a 5 (defined as an average performance in this poll) and 9 of the starting 11 rated above a 6. Villa's back line were instrumental in securing the team's first win away from Villa Park in nine games and their ratings reflect that, with all four-even Alan Hutton!-scoring above a 7.
Brad Guzan - 6.08 rating, 1.05 standard deviation
Not an especially eventful day for Villa's #1; thanks to a sterling performance from the Villa defense he had just two saves to make. Some less-than-stellar distribution likely earned him a few dings from the community, but it's difficult to see a clean sheet-even one that doesn't call for many saves-anything other than a solid outing.
Alan Hutton - 7.06 rating, 0.96 standard deviation
After being frozen out-some would say unfairly-of the first team for the better part of two seasons, Hutton rightfully won his starting job back over the summer and made a strong return to competitive first-team action. Marko Arnautovic is anything but an easy assignment, but Hutton kept the tricky winger in check and had a solid showing going forward as well.
Ron Vlaar - 7.74 rating, 0.91 standard deviation
Yet another strong performance for the Villa skipper, who continues to look as indispensable as any player on the team.
Philippe Senderos - 7.74 rating, 0.92 standard deviation
The Senderos signing wasn't exactly celebrated by many Villa fans, but in his first competitive appearance for the Claret and Blue the Switzerland international scored the highest rating on the day, edging out Vlaar's mark by 0.006 percentage points.
Aly Cissohko - 7.68 rating, 0.91 standard deviation
Bojan is likely the highest-profile signing ever made by Stoke City, but he was largely kept quiet by new recruit Cissohko. Villa's new left back didn't do a great deal going forward, but he's a defense-first kind of fullback and in terms of what he was asked to do, it's hard to expect much better.
Charles N'Zogbia - 6.09 rating, 1.07 standard deviation
Another member of the so-called "Bomb Squad" to be handed a place in the starting XI on opening day, N'Zogbia had a quiet but solid showing on the wing. We didn't see much in the way of the trickery or creative ability we know he's capable of putting on display, but he was also far from invisible against a side that's legitimately difficult to break down.
Fabian Delph - 6.61 rating, 0.81 standard deviation
This wasn't the best game Delph's ever played, but it's been quite literally ages since he's had a legitimately poor showing. Just another solid day's work for one of the most dependable box-to-box midfielders in the Premier League.
Ashley Westwood - 5.95 rating, 0.85 standard deviation
Westwood was one of just two Villa starters to score below a 6 on the day, but this wasn't a bad outing in the least. A pass completion percentage of just 71% isn't too stellar, but Westwood had a solid day in the holding role and did an excellent job of shielding Villa's back line, making for a solid showing overall.
Kieran Richardson - 6.69 rating, 0.89 standard deviation
Attacking midfield probably isn't where anyone expected Richardson to show up when he signed with Villa, but he did a solid job playing behind the striker in Villa's 4-2-3-1. He's certainly not your standard #10, but he did the necessary work given the system Villa were running and his flexibility could prove to be a major benefit this season.
Andreas Weimann - 6.96 rating, 0.98 standard deviation
A well taken goal and a typically tireless shift were more than enough to make up for some less than stellar passing completion numbers, and though Andi tries a lot of things that don't quite come off, it's refreshing to see someone attempting to make things happen.
Gabby Agbonlahor - 5.27 rating, 1.14 standard deviation
With the lowest score of any Villa starter it's tempting to see this as a bad showing by Gabby, but that's not really true. Agbonlahor isn't best suited to leading the line alone, but he was more than willing to do the dirty work and run himself to death-as per usual-which isn't especially glamorous, but is absolutely necessary, especially in a game such as this one.
Jack Grealish - 6.22 rating, 0.94 standard deviation
Grealish appears to have the opportunity to pick up some significant first-team minutes this season, and if he keeps putting in shifts such as this one he's likely to seize it. The youngster didn't do anything fancy, but with Villa protecting a slim lead and needing to keep possession, he did all he needed to do.
Leandro Bacuna - 5.26 rating, 0.96 standard deviation
Bacuna received the lowest rating of any Vila player, but in just 8 minutes of action that's likely down to having less time to produce than any other player. Bacuna was clearly a tactical sub, and he did his job.