clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Player Ratings: Aston Villa not worthy of actual ratings in embarrassing Everton loss

Aston Villa had its worse loss in recent memory on Saturday afternoon as Everton destroyed Villa 4-0. See why things aren't working.

Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Aston Villa don't deserve player ratings after Saturday's 4-0 embarrassment at Everton.

Villa were never in the game as new manager Remi Garde's tactics to sit back and try to defend lasted 17 minutes before Everton scored and essentially ended the match as a contest. With such little possession and meaningful action coming from the Villa players, rating such a lackluster performance would be near impossible.

That's why, rather than rate the performances of the players in this match, I'm going to analyze exactly why they failed on Saturday and have been failing all season long for the Premier League's worst club right now.

So after months of closely watching these players play in the Premier League while rating them each week, here are my thoughts on why Villa's players are all letting down this club that has never been relegated from the Premier League:

Brad Guzan, GK

It's no secret that I've placed huge blame on Guzan for much of this season. And while Saturday was actually one of his best games with several saves, Guzan continues to be the wrong goalkeeper on the wrong team at the moment. A fine player at his peak, the American goalkeeper has always been lacking with his ability to kick the ball and distribute to teammates. Throughout this season, it's become apparent that the Villa outfield players no longer trust Guzan with the ball at his feet. And this puts everyone in a tough position because the pass back never seems like a good, safe option with Guzan back there, which allows an attitude of distrust and frustration to unfortunately emanate throughout the team starting with the man wearing No. 1.

Alan Hutton, RB

Hutton might actually be one of the few players who hasn't let Villa down at all this year. Playing arguably his best football for the club, the Scottish right back bombs forward when possible and does well enough defensively. Villa need his consistency to continue.

Micah Richards, CB

On initial look, the captain's performances seem solid enough. But I still have legitimate concerns about Richards' continuing insistence to wander forward out of position. I get it -- he's athletic and fast and likes to get involved. But right now, Villa's captain central defender is playing with the mindset of a right back, and it's throwing the entire rhythm of the defense out of sorts. I truly like Richards and believe he should be playing every week, but if Garde can't instill a more composed attitude into Richards, perhaps he needs to try him in different roles -- either at right back or as a right central defender in a back three or back five.

Ciaran Clark, CB

Another player who has the ability to be a fine Premier League player, Clark just needs to get to grips with his surroundings. Clark has obviously struggled with his lack of playing time and with being played out of position at times. And he and Richards had absolutely no connection on Saturday. Playing Clark at left back might be worth a try when Jores Okore returns.

Kieran Richardson, LB

Just a dreadful Premier League left back. Could be a decent squad utility player, but Richardson has no business playing left back every week after he was again exposed on Saturday by Everton. Villa can't allow him to play every week. Whether it's Joe Bennett or Clark or a bolder idea -- like playing Hutton or Bacuna at left back -- Richardson's role can't be allowed to continue in its current form.

Idrissa Gana, CM

Another decent player, Gana was pretty poor on Saturday. But on the whole, I still believe he can succeed in the Premier League. He's better with the ball when Villa are actually trying to win a game than when they just sit back and defend. It's especially tough because, as Fabian Delph's replacement, he definitely isn't Delph. But if he stops trying to be that player and can forge his own path in this Villa side, Gana could still be a big player this season.

Ashley Westwood, CM

Westwood is a tough one. He has proven in the past that he get the job done in the Premier League efficiently and consistently. But he hasn't gelled at all with the new signings. His keep-the-ball-moving style seems to throw off his teammates regularly. It's very strange. And he's another player who is better in a team playing good football with the ball rather than defending without it, which was proven on Saturday.

Jordan Veretout, CM

Another central midfield starter on Saturday, Veretout had his worst game of the season after showing some promise against Manchester City two weeks ago. I still don't really know what Veretout's deal is. He was a goal and assist machine at Nantes in Ligue 1 last season. But Villa haven't seen anything resembling an attacking midfield technician. He certainly deserves more chances; I just don't know what it will take to make Veretout successful. Hopefully Remi Garde does.

Carlos Sanchez, CM

A constant source of frustration for Villa fans, Sanchez may actually be the best footballer on this team. He's proven his worth time and again with Colombia, shutting down South America's best stars and anchoring the Colombian midfield with composure, strength and confidence. But in a Villa shirt, he has still failed to adapt to the Premier League. Even after coming on Saturday, Sanchez played at his typical pace -- a slow, tactical approach that does fine and dandy in other leagues and South America but just doesn't work in England. His style of play just adds to the confusion as Villa are unable to develop a clear comprehensive playing style with Sanchez on the pitch. And at this point, I don't know if they ever will.

Carles Gil, RW

Gil needs the ball. There's no use for him in a side set out to defend. He can be a special attacking talent with a brilliant first touch, tantalizing dribbling and great vision and passing. For his own sake though, his role needs to be defined. Either make him a permanent right winger or make him a No. 10. The constant switching of his position isn't doing him any good at all.

Jack Grealish, LW

Completely anonymous on Saturday both offensively and defensively, Grealish is another player much more suited for a fluid, attacking team rather than one that sits back and defends. But most importantly, it's now clear he isn't and maybe never will be ready to lead a team in the Premier League. When he had Benteke and Delph by his side, Grealish flourished. But without any stars around him, he can't deal with the attention given to him while also accounting for his defensive duties.

Charles N'Zogbia, RW

What can you say about N'Zogbia that hasn't already been said? A talented player with a poor attitude, Villa have signed far too many N'Zogbia types in recent years, which is exactly why the club is in its current position. Maybe he can help Villa this season under Garde, but I'm not counting on it.

Jordan Ayew, ST

He continues to improve and adapt to the Premier League. His final product remains inconsistent, but there's no denying that Ayew is working his way into better positions over the past month. He needs support though. Playing a 4-5-1 with Ayew at the top is NEVER going to work, so let's not do that again, Mr. Garde. Jordan needs teammates running around him to excel with his own pace and dribbling ability. Asking him to hold up play and have his back to goal is just setting him up to fail.

Rudy Gestede, ST

On the other hand, Gestede can succeed in that role. Or maybe ever better, playing Gestede WITH AYEW -- regardless of the opponents -- warrants an extended try. These are the attacking players Villa recruited to replace Benteke this summer, so the club needs to live with that decision and do everything possible to help them out. That means playing with a style that suits their games. Cross the ball to Rudy. Go long when the time is right. STOP leaving the strikers isolated.

In conclusion, there might not be a manager in the world who could save this group of Aston Villa players from relegation this season. But it's obvious when you examine each player that most of them have something in common: they are used to playing for national teams or previous teams that play aggressive, attacking football that suit their strengths. And Villa haven't done that at all this season.