The dust had settled and the slightly less dreaded international break was over. The claret and blue were back at Villa Park against Brentford on a sunny 14-degree afternoon in the B6.
A point and a 0-0 draw was the statistical outcome. But in reality nearly any supporter that saw the match (addressed down below) was probably Dr. Tony:
☹️— Dr. Tony Xia (@Dr_TonyXia) September 9, 2017
As per usual, a bit cryptic, but that did seem to sum the 90-minutes up in emoji form.
Here are the full player ratings -- based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 5 being average -- for Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Brentford:
GK: Sam Johnstone, Rating: 7 (MotM)
Brentford had a total of five shots on target in comparison to Aston Villa’s paltry one. The majority of those attempts could have likely been goals if it weren’t for the Manchester United loanee. Yes that’s right, Johnstone’s not guaranteed to be in the side this time next season. His performance yesterday was by far the best of any Villa player on the pitch. Credit has to go the 24-year-old keeper. Though when your keeper is the Man of the Match at home, that is …
Outside of Johnstone’s play, it was difficult to rate individuals through an objective lens. This is in fact a blog dedicated to the great club that is Aston Villa. That said, it was hard not to look back at the match and want to slap a very subjective below average rating to the entire side. Sure, if you get into analytics and statistics, there were probably some whose performance against Brentford was above average. However, after the dross that left Villa Park as close to silent as it has ever been when the whistle blew, Steve Bruce and his many of his men get a collective, if not generous 4.5. As stated, possibly harsh on some, but unlike the millionaire we were into brevity when it came to actually providing a numerical rating.
LB: Neil Taylor, Rating: 4.5
Provided he keeps fit, the Welshman is going to consistently steward the left-back position for Aston Villa. Taylor is a decently solid option. Though he did get done by Neal Maupay and yours truly has signed Birmingham native, Rico Henry, on a few different occasions in the gaming world…just saying.
CB: John Terry, Rating: 4.5
Yesterday was the first clean sheet for the captain. To be frank, he was a player who performed well according to analytics. That data might be the “ball” when NBA players espouse, “the ball don’t lie,” but again, the match was tough to digest.
CB: James Chester, Rating: 4.75
Chester, or ‘Chesty’ as he should be known, had the only shot on goal for Villa. That and the clean sheet that Sam Johnstone was largely responsible for has to count for a bit extra.
RB: James Bree, Rating: 4.5
Over time, if he continues to feature in the manager’s starting XI, Bree will likely prove that Villa got a bargain when they signed the highly rated youngster for just £3million from Barnsley. He certainly should contend to start or play in every match. Though when Alan Hutton gets fit, it will be interesting to see if Bruce generates more ire amongst supporters.
LCM: Conor Hourihane, Rating: 5
This is undoubtedly a bit biased. But again, putting on the object lens would have severely-restricted vision after the 0-0 draw. Hourihane is Villa’s best midfielder and in the 4-3-3 that was utilized for the majority of the match, he linked well on the left flank with Andre Green. If promotion is in fact the outcome of this campaign, the Irishman is going to be vital.
CM: Glenn Whelan, Rating: 4.5
When Whelan debuted in the preseason after his transfer from Stoke, he looked great. Unfortunately that was a friendly and in the matches where points are on the line, he has been mostly average. That’s not entirely a bad thing. However, if Villa have a midfield with a clean bill of health (i.e. including Mile Jedinak), he might be utilized as a substitute going forward.
RCM: Josh Onomah, Rating: 4.5 (subbed off, 71st minute)
The young boy is going to be a top player. Hopefully the knock he picked up is nothing serious (ditto for Andre Green). Onomah’s potential as well as prior performances were dwarfed by a poor team performance yesterday.
Sorry to those at Cartilage Free Captain, we may have:
YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BREAK JOSHY.— Dustin Menno-Peters (@dustingm) September 9, 2017
Though anymore, one can’t help but wonder if that is what Villa does these days (e.g. see Jordan Ayew for the Swans last week).
LW: Andre Green, Rating: 4.5 (subbed off, 60th minute)
Some of Villa’s best attacking moments, and those were limited, went through the 19-year-old on the left side. Green’s game is still developing and he has to learn to make better use of the ball at times. Whatever the future holds in terms of the club, it would be a good thing if Andre Green is a part of it.
RW/LM: Ahmed Elmohamady, Rating: 4.5
He possibly won a penalty that was not given, enough said.
ST: Keinan Davis, Rating: 5 (subbed off, 60th minute)
The young striker hit the side netting in the 26th minute. He once again demonstrated his ability to hold up play with physical strength that is beyond his age (i.e. at least in one older and weaker person’s opinion). One thing that does earn Steve Bruce plaudits after yesterday’s awful play, is his continued faith in Davis.
ST: Scott Hogan, Rating: 4.5 (substitute, 60th minute)
Would have been nice if Hogan were able to notch the winner against his former club. In the box with the ball at his feet, he’s always going to be a goal scoring threat. Hopefully he can bag some goals outside of the Carabao Cup rather soon.
CF: Gabby Agbonhalor, Rating: 4.5 (substitute, 71st minute)
“He runs and…” doesn’t “...score,” at least not yesterday or in nearly any appearance these days. He did win a free kick in the 75th minute, so he’ll get the 4.5 that was Villa’s performance against Dean Smith’s side.
RM: Robert Snodgrass, Rating: 5.5 (substitute, 60th minute)
89th minute: Snodgrass trying to get the Holte into the match might be the highlight of the day.— 7500 To Holte (@7500toHolte) September 9, 2017
It was great to see that. An argument could also be made that his undoing of a defender and subsequent cross that led the only shot on goal was the highlight of the match. The Scot should make the start on Tuesday against Boro.
Admittedly we aren’t the most technologically savvy lot. However, we do know a thing or two.
One thing we’re aware of, is that if the club wishes to avoid supporters sharing the service on various platforms, they might also want to have those willing to spend their hard earned money not get this when trying to purchase AVTV on matchday:
We literally found a top class supporter who was aiding those that experienced this issue while in Florida, you know the place with a major hurricane approaching!
Both the play on the pitch and AVTV must get better as the season progresses.