After a September in which Aston Villa had a great run of form that saw Steve Bruce’s men push up to seventh in the Championship table, supporters everywhere were full of optimism heading into yesterday’s six-pointer against Wolverhampton.
Unfortunately, yesterday evening saw Wolves and their conglomerate of Iberian talent shred Aston Villa apart to take all three points in a 2-0 victory. The reality was, it could have been much worse of a final scoreline.
In what is one of the most historic fixtures in the English Football League, a bit of satire from The Bugle nearly perfectly sums up Villa’s poor performance yesterday evening: 5:52 - 6:34.
Here are the full player ratings -- based on a scale of 1 to 10, with five being an average performance -- for Saturday's 2-0 loss at the Molineux:
GK: Sam Johnstone, Rating: 4.75
Given the slack defending and the quality of the strike, Villa’s keeper did not have much of a chance saving Diogo Jota’s opening salvo.
On Léo Bonatini’s second goal in the 71st minute, Johnstone was definitely guilty of some rather suspect keeping at his near post. However, just six minutes later, Johnstone managed to prevent Wolves from making it three when had a great double-save off of his line. He then went on to manage another save in the 93rd minute on Ben Marshall’s strike from distance.
It could have been much worse if it weren’t for Johnstone, so he’ll get close to an average rating.
LB: Alan Hutton, Rating: 6 (MotM)
Oh great Alan Hutton is starting at LB. Excuse me while I make a quick pre-match beer run. #AVFC— Phil Vogel (@PBVogel) October 14, 2017
That was the reaction of many, including yours truly, prior to the start of the match. However, after the final whistle blew, the Scot could have asked:
“How is it that ye have no faith?
Hutton was the best player on the pitch for Villa yesterday at the Molineux. When he was absolutely the last line of defence in the 11th minute, he made a top-class goal saving challenge. That wasn’t his only impressive tackle yesterday evening. Hutton also made a barnstorming run into Wolves’ box in the 63rd and had a key block on Ivan Cavaleiro’s attempt six minutes later.
On a day in which Aston Villa looked rather poor, Hutton actually put in a quality shift. He was our ‘Man of the Match.’
CB: James Chester, Rating: 4
The Welsh international perhaps had his worst performance of the season yesterday. When it comes to statistics, he had just one successful clearance and tackle. He and Elmo were both caught out multiple times as Wolves attacked down the right flank. Past performances suggest he is capable of far better.
CB: John Terry, Rating: 4.25
Terry co-led the back line with four clearances and three interceptions on the day. The problem was, the vast majority of those came in the first half. In the second half, Wolves tore through him and the rest Villa’s back four.
Unlike the captain’s play on the pitch, the supporters were once again brilliant:
RB: Ahmed Elmohamady, Rating: 5
Week in and week out the Egyptian – who will be at the World Cup with his country for the first time since 1990 – performs well statistically. Elmo does a lot of the little things well. For instance, he once again led Steve Bruce’s side with 82 total touches. He also led the team with three total blocks. To add to that, Elmohamady tallied the same number of clearances and interceptions as John Terry.
Yes he too, particularly on Jota’s opening goal, was caught out often. However, the numbers show Elmo had an average day.
LM: Albert Adomah, Rating: 4.25 (Substituted off, 73rd minute)
After having a September in which he was seemingly far and away Villa’s standout performer, Adomah really did not produce anything of note in yesterday’s match. Like the rest of the squad, hopefully the winger can regroup before Fulham next Saturday.
CM/LCM: Conor Hourihane, Rating: 4.5
The Irishman had the third highest amount touches of any player wearing the claret and blue yesterday. The problem was, the majority of those were in Villa’s defensive half. Hourihane picked up a yellow in the 41st minute in a rather ineffective showing.
CM: Glenn Whelan, Rating: 4
We named Whelan as a player that needed to perform better this month. He was poor yesterday against Nuno Espírito Santo’s side. Scouring our social media feed, we found many calling for the former Stoke man to be dropped. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.
RM/RCM: Robert Snodgrass, Rating: 4.75
The Scottish winger’s free kick that hit the crossbar in the 82nd was the only clear-cut chance on John Ruddy’s goal. Snodgrass’ play was probably the best towards the end of the match. The old idiom “…too little, too late…” applies.
ST: Jonathan Kodjia, Rating: 4.25 (Substituted off, 79th minute)
Sure his header off of Conor Hourihane’s cross in the 46th minute was “...on target.” The only thing about that was, it was never going to trouble Wolves’ keeper. There were plenty of supporters who, probably rightfully so, questioned whether ‘Jimmy Danger’ wanted to threaten the opposition yesterday. Definitely needs to be much better from the Ivorian striker.
ST: Keinan Davis, Rating: 4.5 (Substituted off, 64th minute)
The youngster’s strength and hold-up play are truly a sight to behold. In the 23rd minute he yet again demonstrated some fancy footwork around the goal. A bit later on in the 39th minute, Davis solely created a half-chance for himself. Though outside of that, he too did not have enough of an impact on the proceedings.
ST: Scott Hogan, Rating: 3.75 (Substitute, 64th minute)
The once prolific Brentford man has never quite kicked off at Villa Park. Hogan managed only four touches in 29 minutes yesterday. Those touches were nowhere near the 18-yard box. Mind you, Villa never did much in attack, but still…Hogan had nothing to write home about.
CAM: Josh Onomah, Rating: 4 (Substitute, 73rd minute)
Onomah had a nice flick-on after ‘Snoddy’s’ corner in the 92nd minute. After Glenn Whelan’s play against Wolves, many were calling for him to be in the starting XI until Mile Jedinak is fully fit.
Roaming playmaker: Callum O’Hare, Rating: 5.75 (Substitute, 79th minute)
While on the pitch, O’Hare had a touch every 52 seconds. He was running into space all over Wolves’ defensive half, hence the position of ‘roaming playmaker.’
After his play earlier this season against Colchester United, Steve Bruce suggested that the young lad is capable of breathing life into a side. One can only hope Villa’s boss remembers his own words going forward.