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Tactics Talk: Aston Villa 0-4 Chelsea - Who should we keep?

The first-half went in familiar fashion, with intermittent good Villa attacking play let down by basic defending errors which left them 2-0 down at half-time. Then the second-half was the normal shambles, seeing Villa go 0-4 down and Alan Hutton sent off for two bookings.

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Villa lined up in a 4-3-3 with Jordan Ayew on the left, Carles Gil on the right, flanking Rudy Gestede and Carlos Sanchez returned to anchor the midfield trio.  Chelsea opted for a 4-2-3-1 with Matt Miazga debuting in defence, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Pedro in the attacking band of midfield.

Villa v Chelsea 2016 vs Away team - Football tactics and formations

The Good

To highlight some good before ripping apart the bad, Villa put together a number of attacking moves down the left via quick passing movement. Idrissa Gana made a series of good runs down that wing and found Gil and Ayew inside him. Ayew's quick feet often let him get a shot away though he couldn't quite find the goal and on one occasion really should have laid the ball sideways to Gestede but shot wide.

The Bad

Now that´s out of the way, to look at the bad, namely the entire Villa defence.

First up is the back four and the goalkeeper, who simply could not organise themselves to keep a hold of their men.

0-1 The first goal saw both Aly Cissokho and Joleon Lescott stuck in no-man´s land as the ball came in from the right for Ruben Loftus-Cheek to score his first Premier League goal. In trying to keep a tight line they managed to entirely lose the men they were supposed to mark. Ayew didn't help by letting his man go free in order to lunge in the midfield, which sparked the attack down the right.

0-2 Micah Richards almost allowed Chelsea their second when he let his player go on a free-kick and Brad Guzan had to dive out and smother the ball. Then Aly Cissokho bundled over Alexandre Pato  having somehow allowed the permanently knackered Brazilian to sneak past him, gifting him his first Premier League goal as well.

0-3 At least Villa forced Chelsea into some nice play for this one. Alan Hutton did his normal trick of failing to close down when a quick Chelsea break saw the ball go down his side, and then he let him Oscar play a one-two and run in behind him. The cutback came to Pedro who finished well as Richards was sucked towards the ball and Lescott was nowhere near the danger.

0-4 Up until this point Guzan had been comparatively blameless so he decided to get in on the act. Richards' weak tackle allowed Chelsea to get the ball to Pato who curled a weak shot that Guzan should've caught or at least punched well clear. Instead he cushioned it for Pedro who slotted it home. Cissokho trailed in his wake, having let the man run straight past him.

It was awful from the back five but it wouldn't be fair to let the midfield get away without blame, as they were outmuscled in the middle of the park, primarily by Loftus-Cheek. Again and again Gil cheaply lost the ball, while Sanchez misplaced a series of simple passes. Ashley Westwood was ineffective. Gana was the best of them but still erratic and hindered by picking up a silly yellow in an early spat with Fabregas.

Who is fit to wear the shirt?

"You're not fit to wear the shirt" was the chant at Villa Park and it was well-deserved for the majority. But there are a few  players who Villa should try and keep from this starting line-up and add to Jack Grealish, Jordan Lyden and the other youngsters who will hopefully be a core to work with.

I'm going to split these into players who Villa should keep on the basis they will be good in the Championship  but then dumped in case of promotion and those who are Premier League quality.

Premier League quality - Idrissa Gana and Jordan Ayew

Both have been uneven and have temperament problems but in a side that has been absolutely dreadful they have shown some real quality. The sheer number of Gana's tackles and interceptions is probably inflated by Villa's and his own lack of ball control, but his workrate is amazing and he can drive the attack by breaking forward. Ayew has a great touch and good movement, especially down the left and if supplied properly will get goals.

Useful in the Championship - Ashley Westwood, Rudy Gestede

It's become clear Westwood is not the technical, classy midfielder that we hoped he would be but he is still a player who allows the team to maintain control of the ball and that's a rare enough trait to want to keep. Gestede is clearly outmatched against Premier League defences but he's still Villa's top league scorer this season and scored 22 goals in a Championship season for Blackburn. If, as expected, Villa get a traditional British manager and aim it at his head from the wings he'll score.

The rest

The rest of this starting line-up can frankly bugger off. It hurts me to say that about Carles Gil but despite his undoubted quality in a lot of areas he just doesn't seem able to toughen up and the Championship is unlikely to suit him.

The entire back five have been terrible and Lescott and Richards, who were brought in to be leaders, appear to have played a large part in sabotaging Remi Garde. Elsewhere Hutton, Cissokho and Guzan are just poor quality while Sanchez is too much of a liability in his passing and gives away fouls easily.