Things are very bad at Aston Villa right now. Saturday's loss to Stoke leaves Villa firmly in the relegation zone with a struggling squad of players, a manager under fire and a fan base with little hope.
Another dire display from the home team at Villa Park still must be analyzed, however. So without further adieu, here are the Aston Villa player ratings from the Stoke defeat, based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worse and 10 being something currently unattainable for an Aston Villa player.
GK: Brad Guzan, Rating: 4
Guzan completed three passes and made three saves on Saturday, which about sums up his season. His poor passing continues to overshadow any good work he does in stopping shots. The shot that led to the Stoke goal wasn't exactly one you'd expect the American goalkeeper to get, but you wonder if he could've gave his center backs more of a shout to let them know that Arnautovic was just standing unmarked at the top of the box for several seconds.
RWB: Alan Hutton, Rating: 3
Hutton has some of the characteristics of a good wing back in a 3-5-2 system, but he doesn't seem able to make it work when playing in that role like he did on Saturday. He struggled with his positioning and his crossing was poor again, despite having a few good moments with three tackles and three take-ons.
RCB: Jose Angel Crespo, Rating: 3
On his Aston Villa debut, Crespo had some good and neat passing for a defender, but he didn't do much actual...you know, defending. Got completely lost when he switched to left center back in the second half, allowing the space that created Stoke's goal. And with one interception as his only defensive statistics, Crespo showed himself as a liability.
CB: Micah Richards, Rating: 4
Seven successful take-ons from a center back just shows how more and more Richards feels like he needs to help boost the Villa offense, which too often drags him out of position. Five clearances and two interceptions proves that Richards did some defending, but he probably needs to do more worrying about organizing the leaky Villa defense rather than dribbling up field so much going forward.
LCB: Joleon Lescott, Rating: 2
A mistake-covered 45 minutes for Lescott led him to being subbed off at halftime. There's a good defender still in Lescott's aging body, but Sherwood hasn't been able to get the best out of him, that's for sure.
LWB: Jordan Amavi, Rating: 4
Not necessarily a bad display from Amavi, but hardly inspiring either. He was 0-for-8 on crosses, had just one take-on and committed three fouls. A surprisingly anonymous day for a player who has been either really good or really bad in most matches this season.
CM: Idrissa Gana Gueye, Rating: 4
Another player who was quiet was Gana. The midfielder put in another shift and ran his socks off but just didn't provide any cutting edge or moments of brilliance to the Villa attacking efforts. Surprised Sherwood left him on for 90 minutes.
CM: Ashley Westwood, Rating: 4
Similar story for Westwood. Neat and tidy passing -- and horrible corners and crosses -- that helped get Villa in some good positions but also sometimes killed attacking threats. Was taken off with 15 minutes left, which might have been a little harsh.
CM: Jordan Veretout, Rating: 5
Created two chances and might have been Villa's most competent player on the day. Veretout produced a 90-percent passing display and attempted three shots without really threatening to score. A good player, but not the game-breaker Villa need at the moment to turn matches in their favor.
ST: Scott Sinclair, Rating: 3
Another mediocre display from Sinclair up front. Actually completed all of his pass attempts -- all six of them. But with an 0-for-5 on take-ons as his only another discernible statistic, Sinclair was anonymous and poor in a match where Villa could afford neither from one of its attacking players.
ST: Rudy Gestede, Rating: 4
Gestede put himself about and tried to give the Stoke defenders a hard time but with little success. Won six headers and made his way into some good positions but disappointed with two tame efforts at goal that were easily saved by Butland.
LW: Jack Grealish, Rating: 4
Did everything he could to change the game, he really did. Especially in the last 15 minutes when Villa finally started playing decently. But the final ball or a great goal eluded Grealish for yet another game where his promising play had no end product.
ST: Jordan Ayew, Rating: 4
Ayew certainly got more involved than the man he replaced, Sinclair. But he failed to have a telling impact, despite attempting four shots in just 30 minutes on the pitch. Would like to see Ayew start this type of match soon to really see what he has to offer in the Premier League.
RW: Carles Gil, Rating: 5
Helped finally give Villa something positive in the play during his 15-minute cameo. Created two chances and had three successful take-ons during that time, which led to much deserved questioning about why Gil -- and Grealish -- started such an important match on the bench.