Welcome to the first ever 7500 To Holte x Aston Villa weekly power rankings! Each week we’ll be looking at the top five Villa players of said week, as chosen by you and us. I asked the team to give me, in order, their top five players of the past week (the Hull City and Wigan Athletic games) with a small caveat - that the top five didn’t necessarily have to be based on game action. For instace, Jack Grealish might rank highly for staying at Aston Villa in the transfer window & Birkir Bjarnason might rank highly not for his match performances, but for scoring a memorable last-minute match winner at Villa Park. That’s how it rolls.
I asked Twitter as well, and you kindly got back to me. You gave me your top five players, and I sorted this ‘data’ out. Your top player got five points and your 5th placed player got one point. Using this, with a fresh slate each week, we can see who you’re rating at any given week. Each month, we can also crown a player of the month, and at the end of the season we can award the Ballon d’Holte, for Villa’s best player.
These rankings have already been discussed on the Holtecast, but to connect our podcast with the site, I’ve decided to post them here.
Week One: Hull & Wigan
Let’s firstly take a look at the two players who come in at position five..
5: Conor Hourihane & Ahmed Elmohamady
Conor and Ahmed came in with a tied vote, so why not place both in our first edition of power rankings?
Elmohamady earned his spot with a fairly classy display against Hull. Villa’s right-side, for once, looked concrete as Alan Hutton and Elmo worked together. The Egyptian has already shown off an articulate delivery of the ball on the cross and the Irishman mirrored him in the Wigan came, by dinking a perfect ball towards the far post to setup Birkir Bjarnason and give Villa a last-minute victory. It’s fair to say these two got a nice bit of love.
4: Alan Hutton
Everyone really wanted Alan Hutton at number 4. He got a single vote as a ‘1st place’ player with every single other vote as a ‘4th place’ player. Basically, we all knew he did well against Hull.
And boy, was that goal meaningful. Alan Hutton’s goal to seal the deal against The Tigers meant something far beyond victory. It was the whitewashing of what could have been a cataclysmic summer for the club. It was ecstasy unchained.
You noticed that, in droves. Hutton has never been Villa’s best player - but he may be one of the most emotive players on the team and it is easy to connect with him as he continues his rebirth at Villa. Hutton didn’t grab a goal against Wigan, but his newfound confidence in his abilities led to him pulling out some moves and tricks. We’re falling in love with him. Again.
3: James Chester
Villa have came back from behind in two games in a row, scoring six goals and earning six points. All the while, James Chester has captained Aston Villa while slowly entering legendary status in the fanbase with each passing game.
It was a solid yet unassuming signing when Roberto Di Matteo brought James Chester over from West Bromwich Albion in 2016 and Chester has come a long way in his time. The Welshman has a claim to be one of the best defenders in the league.
It’s not just his leadership though, it’s his feelgood ability to score a really good goal with his head. He did just that against Wigan and it all just feels right.
I’m so glad he stayed with us, and so are you!
2: John McGinn
It’s not at all a surprise that Villa’s new signing heads straight into the top spot. Despite a nervy five minutes, it was John McGinn who stood firm as a catalyst for Villa to take a lead, and then bounce back. His delivery was perfect, his tackles had clout, and his work rate was admirable. John came in from Hibernian, a set of fans who loved him. Now he’s infatuated with the Villa and we are all in adoration of what he can do, and what he can become.
1: Jack Grealish
Again, no surprise. We’ve ruined this one for you in the headline. While Grealish has started the season quietly (well, if an assist and a bagful of key passes is quiet) his refusal to quit on Villa when the chips were down is admirable. What’s more, when a real buyer of quality came in for him and Villa turned down the offer, he didn’t kick off and demand a move that should have been his choice to make. Instead, he got back to work. In reality, who else could be number one this week?
That’s week one sorted. We’ve banked the votes and wiped the slate clean for week two which will take into account the Yeovil Town match and the upcoming Ipswich game on the weekend. Look out for our call on the twitter after the second game to collect your votes again!