Robert Snodgrass probably wasn’t the most glamorous signing that Aston Villa could have made in the Summer. The Scottish winger came in from West Ham after a mixed spell in the Premier League, after spending half the season lighting the world up for Hull City, before stifling around for the Hammers. He came to Villa with the expectation that he’d bad a classy free-kick every so often and put in a few assists.
Did anyone actually predict the reality that has unfolded though? Much like Albert Adomah on the left-flank, I’m not sure that even Steve Bruce could have predicted so much production from the pair. To sum it up in numbers, Snodgrass has directly contributed to 17 goals for Villa this season, scoring seven and setting up ten, beating out Adomah’s 16. Robert’s 57 key passes show that he’s not just got an eye for goal, but an eye for a defence splitting pass as well. With a bit more luck, he’d have easily passed 20 goal contributions for Aston Villa a while back. Jack Grealish is by far Villa’s best forward passer of the ball, and he’s only putting in 1.7 key passes a game, dwarfed by Snodgrass’ 2 per game. There’s an argument to be made about Snodgrass being Villa’s most important player - and that the presence of Grealish only bolsters his abilities as it brings a defensive focus into the centre, rather than on the flanks where Adomah and Snodgrass do their hunting.
We’re not here to talk about the impressive tangibles that Snodgrass brings to the side, but the fact that he seems to be the physical embodiment of Aston Villa right now. A lion-hearted dynamic midfielder who is willing to drag his team to victory via glorious goals and street-level shithousery. He’s a wind up merchant, he’ll go for the foul, he’ll gloat, grin and enjoy his play. You’d hate to see him line up against you, especially when he’s bought into the cause like he is at the Villa. Despite accurate complaints about his defensive workrate, Snodgrass of 2018 will run the length of the pitch on a mission. He’s an almost professional shit-head, an all-round loveable character and the perfect pantomime villain.
Simply put, if you’re a fan of the opposition and you’re calling into your local radio show to declare that Snodgrass is a c**t, he’s done his job and bloody hell, he might just drag Villa to promotion by himself.