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Player Ratings: Shrewsbury Town vs Aston Villa

With a full game under their belts, it's time to start dishing out some ratings

Shrewsbury Town v Aston Villa - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

After coming back from a tour of the US with minutes under everyone’s belt and a win in tow, Aston Villa lined up to play League One side Shrewsbury Town yesterday.

Although the lower league side put up a rather impressive fight, the Claret and Blue stood tall and emerged with a 1-0 victory. Most players only played a single half, aside from Jed Steer, so I’ve felt that a numerical rating would be appropriate as all players have some game time under their belts. The rating system that is being used is the standard 1-10 with 5-6 being about average. With that having been said, lets get started.

First Half Starting XI: GK: Jed Steer, RB: Fredric Guilbert, CB: Ezri Konsa, CB: Tyrone Mings, LB: Neil Taylor, CM: Birkir Bjarnason, CM: Jack Grealish (C), CM: McGinn, RW: Jota, ST: Keinan Davis, LW: Andre Green

Jed Steer

The only player in a Villa shirt to play all 90 minutes, Steer failed to use the time he had been given to stop the discussion of adding another keeper to the mix. Although he had his moments, like an early save from a free kick, and he kept a clean sheet. But, moments under pressure he seemed easily startled during an attempt to rush an attacker he appeared reckless and earned a booking in the process. Rating: 5.5

Fredric Guilbert

Aside from a dispossession early on which led to a bit of pressure, Guilbert was outstanding. The French full back seemed competent at the back and was always ready to come forward with a cross or to link up with Jota. A moment that stuck out to me was an early cross to Keinan Davis in the 33rd minute from 35-40 yards put, it was a good ball in, almost created something out of nothing, and showed he always has his eyes up for a pass. Rating 6.5

Ezri Konsa

The former youth international got the “start” today alongside Tyrone Mings, essentially auditioning for that spot full time. To his credit, the young center half played well given the pressure that Shrewsbury were able to apply. Although he had a few mistakes nothing was costly, and he made some highlights including when he put his body on the line for a crucial block. Rating: 6

Tyrone Mings

Villa’s constant rock at the back was solid today. Mings did make a mistake or two, one of which Konsa took care of with a stellar block, but ultimately handled the pressure well and ensured the clean sheet. Also, he did his fair share offensively by starting breaks with fantastic balls forward toward the wings and keeping calm while passing out of the back. Rating: 6.5

Neil Taylor

Last game, Taylor tried to be something he wasn’t and show off his offensive game in the process, needless to say that did not go well. This week however we got the old Neil Taylor back as he was steady at the back and got a shot deflection for his efforts. One of the odd times he came forward though he did get a shot off which turned into a corner. Rating: 5.5

Birkir Bjarnason

Bjarnason failed to build upon the excellent performance he delivered in the Land of 10,000 lakes. The Icelandic international was inconsistent and sluggish throughout the half with possessions ending at his feet with poor shots or misplaced back passes that thankfully were not pounced upon. The high note of his half came as a defensive clearance on set piece. Rating: 5.5

Jack Grealish

Grealish again came out, did his business, and showed why he is vitally important to the offensive progress of the squad. Although harshly booked for a tackle in the 12th minute, aside from that there were few errors made. He was also pleasing during link up play and took a really good effort from outside the box in the 18th. Rating: 7.5

John McGinn

McGinn was all over the pitch bothering the opposition, making runs forward, and present on set pieces as well. The only negatives that could be taken with the performance is that he was overly aggressive at times for a friendly but that comes with the territory of his style of midfield play. Rating: 7


The Spaniard can certainly do a job going forward. Jota seemed to always be up for creating opportunities and offensive play for all the players around him. Particularly, he linked up well with Keinan Davis and it looked like the pair was connected as they almost connected to score several times. Jota also found himself unlucky to score in the 22nd as the goalkeeper Max O’ Leary was once again stout against the Villa. Rating: 7

Keinan Davis

Davis really impressed today, from holding up play well, to linking up with Jota, and even springing the offside trap early to apply pressure. He was unlucky not to score in the 25th after a combination with Jota but could improve his finishing overall truth be told. Although he was not the Striker that made headlines, he put in a good shift. Rating: 7

Andre Green

Ah, the curious tale of Andre Green, is he an explosive playmaker or where the possession goes to die. To be fair to the young player its difficult to tell where he stands closer too. Yesterday though, it was more of the latter as Green never truly got going and the highlight of his day came in winning a free kick late in the half. Rating: 5.5

2nd Half Starting XI: GK: Jed Steer, RB: James Bree, CB: James Chester (C), CB: Kortney Hause, LB: Matt Targett, CM: Conor Hourihane, CM: Henri Lansbury, CM: Callum O’ Hare, RW: Scott Hogan, ST: Wesley, LW: Rushian Hepburn-Murphy

James Bree

Bree was not the worst Villa full back on the pitch on the day, which is saying something given that they were all competent. The young defender played well in defense and was decent coming forward with a few good balls in the box and overlapping with Hogan well. Rating: 6

James Chester

Chester was not looking himself on the day, he gave up several poor fouls in bad areas and was inconsistent with his ball skill as well. Midway through the half he was literally run around inside the box with little opposition. This may be unfair judgement though as he came off the pitch early with what appeared to be an injury. Rating: 5

Kourtney Hause

Hause played well yesterday as he continues to prove to Dean Smith of his worth to the squad. The English center half came forward well at times, played the ball fantastically, and got a block around the 76th minute which proved vital for keeping the clean sheet. Rating: 6.5

Matt Targett

The former Southampton man continues to look like a prototypical progressive fullback. Targett made several slide tackles that caught my eye. Also, he seemed good coming forward and linked up with Rushian Hepburn-Murphy fairly well. Rating: 6.5

Conor Hourihane

Hourihane needed to put in a much better performance than the one he put out in the Minnesota friendly and he did. Hourihane was much more stuck in, made the team more organized, and played the deep CM role on offense well as he was a main point of distribution to the wide men. Rating: 6.5

Henri Lansbury

Lansbury seems to be giving Dean Smith both a blessing and a curse. A blessing by playing this well and a curse by playing well enough to likely force some headaches in the team selection come August by earning a spot amongst the subs. When Lansbury got going around the 52nd minute he was key as he found Hogan on intricate runs, linked play up between Wesley and the rest of midfield, and looked dangerous himself. Rating: 7

Callum O’ Hare

O’ Hare found himself at the end of the half he had played and had to have wondered how on earth he wasn’t on the scoresheet. The midfielder caused headaches for the opposition and found himself in front of goal twice but could not bang it home. Also, he was unlucky not to earn a penalty after being chopped down in the box. Rating: 6.5

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy

A surprising addition to the team, Villa’s youngest Premier League player was inserted after El Ghazi hurt himself in warmups. Murphy took the opportunity given and impressed though, he caused constant problems for Shrewsbury won several fouls and had a shot early which looked promising but couldn’t get past the keeper. Rating: 7


Wesley can link up the play. If nothing else is to be taken from this performance, then that is all you would need. The big Brazilian bashed a ball out to Hogan to assist the only goal and continued to provide opportunities around him for Hepburn-Murphy and O’Hare. Big Wes also was a nuisance for the defense as the opposition needed 2-3 men at a time to slow him down. Rating: 8, Man of the Match

Scott Hogan

Scott Hogan may be turning a corner; I don’t want to jinx it or anything, but things are much better. He looked almost at home on the wing and having a striker like Wesley clearly is already paying dividends. Hogan has always needed good service to provide goals and this game we saw what it looked like, hopefully his form can continue, and he can make good. Rating: 6.5