It's not a great surprise that the community's ratings for this game were down a bit compared to those from the season-opening win over Stoke, but by and large 7,500 to Holte's readers still seemed rather pleased with the team's effort on Saturday. The defense once again scored very well, while Villa's midfield put up solid marks as well. It was really the attacking players whose ratings took a hit, and given the near-total lack of a threat they posed to Newcastle's goal, that probably doesn't come as much of a surprise.
Brad Guzan - 7.14 rating, 1 standard deviation
Newcastle's attack didn't pose much more of a threat than Villa's, but Brad Guzan did come up with a couple of big saves to keep things level. There were also fewer distribution head-scratchers from the newly-crowned United States number one, and on the whole he had above-average marks across the board.
Alan Hutton - 7.79 rating, 1.04 standard deviation
If you'd have claimed even three months ago that Alan Hutton would be voted by our readers as the player of any game in which Villa were involved, you'd have been laughed off of the face of the Earth. But even as one of Hutton's most harsh critics these past few years, it's difficult to say he didn't earn the distinction; Hutton's flank was locked down all afternoon, and he was one of Villa's more consistent attacking threats as well. If this is anything approaching what we can expect from Hutton the rest of the way, a lot of crow is going to need to be eaten.
Ron Vlaar - 7.25 rating, 0.81 standard deviation
It's looking increasingly likely that Ron Vlaar won't be going anywhere in this transfer window, and thank goodness for that; Vlaar was his usual self, steady as a rock in defense and calm and effective in helping to build things from the back. It's rare that Vlaar does something that really stands out, and that's a big part of the reason he's so good; he's in the right place at the right time pretty much all the time, and it's always going to take something special to get by him.
Philippe Senderos - 6.82 rating, 1 standard deviation
Senderos didn't have quite the standout performance as the one turned in against Newcastle, but he was still quite good on the day. To say that it's still early would be an hilarious understatement, but so far Villa's centerback pairing is looking like a revelation.
Aly Cissokho - 7.62 rating, 0.91 standard deviation
Yet another excellent showing from Cissokho, and it's beginning to look like Villa's long search for a quality left back may be over. Cissokho looks rock-solid in defense, and against Newcastle he looked better than expected going forward as well. A great first two games for the new recruit.
Charles N'Zogbia - 6.06 rating, 1.09 standard deviation
A weird game for Charles, with a few brilliant moments - including Villa's best chance, a free kick that whizzed just outside of the post - largely overshadowed by some reckless challenges and periods of invisibility. N'Zogbia's always been a streaky player, so this isn't necessarily cause for concern, just par for the course. And if par for the course is an above-average showing, that's far from a bad thing.
Fabian Delph - 6.62 rating, 0.98 standard deviation
Not much that stood out about Fabian Delph's performance; just a ho-hum day at the office acting as Villa's heartbeat and bringing the grit to the midfield. Roy Hodgson was in attendance, reportedly to have a look at Jack Colback, but eventually he's going to have to pay some attention to one of the most steadily productive midfielders in England.
Ashley Westwood - 6.15 rating, 1.01 standard deviation
Ashley Westwood has been showing flashes of being a special player since arriving at Villa, and while his first two games of this season haven't blown the doors off of anyone his had a calm steadiness that was lacking down the stretch last season. His vision is still quite clearly pretty special but the execution isn't always there; against Newcastle Westwood did a very good job of picking his spots, and though things didn't always come off as planned the balance of risk/reward has been significantly more positive.
Kieran Richardson - 5.92 rating, 0.96 standard deviation
The Kieran Richardson as attacking midfielder experiment is an interesting one, but it seems destined for the shelf at some point. Richardson worked very hard and brought quite a bit to the midfield's bite, but he's not a creator and it showed; whether or not Richardson's deployment in that position was a positive on the balance, there's an expectation of a player in that role to which Kieran didn't quite live up. Still, his positive contributions weren't overlooked, and there are certainly going to be situations in which the midfield calls for more steel.
Andreas Weimann - 5.02 rating, 1.04 standard deviation
Much like Charles N'Zogbia, Andi Weimann is somewhat prone to counting on special moments to bring value to the team. Unfortunately, those moments didn't come off too often for Andi on Saturday, and though he worked his tail off as always and found his way into some good positions, his impact on the game wasn't especially significant. Not a bad day by any stretch, but not good enough to make his case as an unquestioned starter.
Gabriel Agbonlahor - 4.41 rating, 1.24 standard deviation
Not a great performance from Gabby, and the ratings reflect that. The endeavor and desire can't be questioned, but Gabby was once again played in a role that wasn't especially well suited to his skillset and it showed. It will be interesting to see whether or not Agbonlahor gets the nod the next time out, because Villa clearly need a forward that can act as a target and Gabby doesn't appear to be that player.
Carlos Sanchez - 6.11 rating, 1.04 standard deviation
It's tough to think of a better first touch than Carlos Sanchez collecting a ball in midfield and hitting Alan Hutton with an inch-perfect ball on the edge of the area. That was his most visible moment, but aside from a fairly silly yellow card - and there are going to be more of those - it's hard to find much fault with what is likely to be the new recruit's shortest outing of the year.
Darren Bent - 4.99 rating, 1.12 standard deviation
Darren Bent had one pretty decent look, but that was about it. Hard to find him culpable for that given the lack of service in such a limited time, but it wasn't the most memorable showing.
Nathan Baker - 4.88 rating, 1.22 standard deviation
I'll be honest, this one is a bit perplexing; Baker was only on the field for about 10 minutes and had very little to do, and didn't have any real poor moments that stood out. Nathan's never going to be the best choice at left back, but he didn't really do anything of note one way or another after being pressed into emergency service.