Whilst Billy Beane’s attempt to bring analytics to a football club might have gone by the wayside, a bit of a critical breakdown for a great club like Aston Villa is important.
Here are the full player ratings -- based on a scale of 1 to 10 -- for yesterday’s 2-1 victory over the Black Cats of Sunderland.
GK: Sam Johnstone, Rating: 5.25
For the better part of the match, Villa’s keeper could have had a stroll down Witton Lane and done some holiday shopping at the TESCO. Even though the Black Cats controlled the majority of possession, Johnstone wasn’t at all troubled in the first half.
Johnstone finally saw action in the 47th minute and continued to be a bit more tasked in the second stanza. In the end, a goal was conceded.
The fact that he saw limited action is a good thing. At this point, Villans should be wishing that the Manchester United loanee becomes a permanent.
LB: Neil Taylor, Rating: 5.5
[Insert saviour here] on a four-man bobsled. A quick search of the Internet yields a result that shows the Welshman is actually younger than one might think.
Taylor has seemingly been playing left back for ages. With another respectable outing last night, he demonstrated why he has solidified himself in football.
CB: James Chester, Rating: 5.75
Even if the analytics don’t point to a great outing, it is clear that ‘Chesty’ is a damn rock in defence. The four-year deal he signed last summer looks a splendid piece of business.
CB: Christopher Samba, Rating: 6
Within the first twenty minutes of last night’s match, Samba was a presence. He either cut out, or blocked, Sunderland’s attacking efforts on at least three occasions.
The French-born defender was at times the target of vitriol from some of the 27,000 plus within Villa Park. However, that criticism was beyond the pale.
Sure, Samba’s pace and passing out of defence might not be the best, but the man is 33 (i.e. hopefully you’re all fit at that age). He lead the claret and blue with seven total clearances last night. The majority of those were from the 18-yard box.
All supporters should couple his recent play of late with the fact that he remains a record signing for QPR. With Terry out, he has proved to be a sufficient Championship defender.
RB: Alan Hutton, Rating: 5.75
Whilst we don’t agree with that, it must be said that the Scot had another steady performance. Steve Bruce has recently shown loyalty to Hutton. Given that he has been with the club since 2011, it might be high time that we all fully embrace the ‘Scottish Cafu.’
LM/ST: Albert Adomah, Rating: 8.25 (MotM) (substituted off, 87th minute)
Could Alex Carson be some sort of a prophet?
Idea, though: Play Adomah on the left wing. He’s done it 15 times in his career, scored four goals and added two assists.— alex carson (@_alexcarson) August 12, 2017
Continued excellence…enough said.
CM: Conor Hourihane, Rating: 6.25
The Irish midfielder led the Villa in both touches (i.e. 76) and tackles attempted. Whilst we’d all enjoy Hourihane banging in goals, he has more than proved he can be effective without scoring.
CM: Glenn Whelan, Rating: 5.25 (substituted off, 64th minute)
He has been derided at times. Recently, Whelan has put in some hard labour that might not be flashy. If Steve Bruce continues to start the Irishman, hopefully he keeps being the equivalent of Buster Bluth.
RM: Robert Snodgrass, Rating: 7
The Scot’s play yesterday evening was impressive. It was his footwork and crossing skill that led to Albert Adomah’s opener. From then on, he showed industry as well as creativity in attack. Such play leads to many questions regarding West Ham and Snodgrass’ future (e.g. Who will be in the Championship next year?).
CAM: Josh Onomah, Rating: 7.5
The young lad is not afraid to shoot his shot. Sure it might get deflected, but three important goals in the Championship is an inspirational result.
ST: Keinan Davis, Rating: 5.5 (substituted off, 77th minute)
With the news regarding Jonathan Kodjia, it looks as if Davis will likely continue to feature in the starting XI. That is decidedly not a bad thing as the 19-year-old has shown flashes of sheer brilliance.
CM: Mile Jedinak, Rating: 6 (substitute, 64th minute)
The man with the envious beard came on in the 64th minute and made his presence felt. Jedinak’s command of midfield led to a quality spell of attack. The Australian also cleared a Sunderland free kick in stoppage time.
If Glenn Whelan’s knock remains a bit sore come Saturday, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to see Jedinak in Steve Bruce’s starting lineup.
LM: Jack Grealish, Rating: 5 (substitute, 77th minute)
The Solihull native and Villa no. 10 wears his socks low because of George Best. The 22-year-old has shown immense skill and potential on the pitch. Unfortunately, he has also mirrored ‘Besty’ off the pitch.
At his age, Grealish is stupidly young and could be a steward of the club. Nonetheless, it was great to see him troubling defenders again.
ST (?): Ahmed Elmohamady, Rating: N/A (substitute, 87th minute)
Unexpectedly, he slotted into the top of Villa’s attack. Whether starting or not, Elmo adds depth to Villa’s defence.