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A Strange Game, Which Aston Villa Players Were Hiding?

A Strange Game, Which Aston Villa Players Were Hiding?

Match ratings for Villa v Preston North End

Johnstone - 6 - fairly comfortable, routine saves when needed. All over the place for their goal though.

Tuanzebe - 6 - stared well, looked accomplished but faded badly as the game wore on. Looks well capable at this level.

Chester - 7 - assured display in the main. Fantastic interception late on, looked after Axel pretty well.

Terry - 7 - dealt with Preston's forwards pretty comfortably, another day at the office really.

Hutton - 7 - nothing much to do, typical committed display and I was absolutely he'd scored when he cut in and unleashed that effort late on. Still can't believe it didn't go in!

Jedinak - 6 - not his best display. Combative and in the action as usual but not as dominant in the air as normal and distribution was average tonight, to say the least.

Hourihane - 5 - anonymous, and not for the first time. The ideal chance to take a game by the scruff of the neck and he was nowhere to be seen.

Bjarnason - 7 - improved as the game wore on but so painfully obvious he needs to be in the middle - all at sea on the left in the first half.

Snodgrass - 5 - injured fairly early on and little more than a passenger for the rest of the half. Not surprised he didn't return.

Onomah - 6 - was a bit more involved in the second half as we changed shape, but just so damn lazy it drives me mad. Dining out on his reputation and goal v Bristol City - needs to work FAR harder. Lucky for him Snodgrass got injured otherwise he'd surely have been hooked at HT.

Hogan - 6 - isolated and spent much of the game trying to deal with the long balls launched to him. It's. Not. His. Game. Steve.

Grabban - 8 - MOTM for me. Tried to make things happen, won a surprising number of aerial battles and was the only real positive from tonight. Benteke-esque penalty - very cool under pressure.

Davis - 7 - worked hard, held the ball up well and showed decent movement. Really should have scored at the death though - unforgivable to miss the target completely.

Elmohamady - 6 - not really on long enough to rate properly.

Bruce - 6 - brownie points for positive changes at half-time when it clearly wasn't working, but that's about as positive as it gets for me. Maybe the players didn't do what he asked, I don't know. Team was too laid back, lifeless even and seemed to lack the desire we've seen of late. Is that Bruce's fault? I don't know.

Preston have only lost once in the past 17 after tonight (I think) but it's hard to see why - they really aren't that good. If we hadn't defended so comically for their goal, I really don't think they would have scored.

Anyway, it's a point and we go again. Sheffield Wednesday are in a mess right now and Saturday will be the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways. Hopefully Snodgrass is not seriously injured and it would be great to see Jack and/or Uncle Albert in contention.

Read more: Villa v Preston North End match thread: Click Here

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Writer:JuanPablo Angel
Date:Wednesday February 21 2018
Time: 9:48AM


There are a few who need a long hard look at themselves. Hourihane and Onomah were pretty woeful (apart from the odd good run or moment) and they should be chomping at the bit to impress with Adomah and Grealish out. I'd drop both until they are ready to impose themselves more.
The Fear
21/02/2018 10:59:00
Quite a few people keep saying the forums how we have the best squad in the division. I'm still not seeing that - how can the loss to injury of two players have such a negative impact on performances? If the squad is so good, replacing them shouldn't cause such problems imho.
21/02/2018 11:05:00
Problem is that SB hasn't given the some of the younger players enough time, if he'd integrated some of them more we would be in a better state now, some of our benches recently have consisted of players who all cover the same positions. We are also suffering from players being played when not contributing as much as they should and then getting picked week in and week out.
21/02/2018 11:34:00
Not sure what we were trying to achieve in the first half. Defend our way to victory; was that the plan? Very few runs from full back; Onomah playing very deep; long high balls that Hogan had no chance of winning. Much more positive in the second half. Both full backs pushed forward; Onomah on the left seemed much happier; Grabban was a breath of fresh air and Davis put himself about enough to win a penalty. We really really need to be more focused on attack for the rest of the season. Otherwise it will be the second division again for us next season.
chocolate teapot
21/02/2018 11:52:00
We were awful first half, Preston were pressing us as soon as we tried to play it out from the back forcing us to hit long balls to no one and our midfield seemed completely lost. Grealish and Adomah are massive losses for us though, they are our 2 best dribblers and will often take 2 defenders to cover them freeing up space for others. Grabban was my MOM too, him and Davis linked up really well and changed the game when they came on. Not sure why their manager feels they outplayed us for 90 minutes, they spent the entire 2nd half trying to waste time and were struggling to cope with our forwards physicality late in the 2nd half. I know it wouldnt be popular on here, but I'd be tempted to drop Hogan and start with Keinan & Grabban on Saturday. Despite everyone saying Hogan works better in a 2, whenever I've seen him play with Davis he stands about 20 yards away from him and never looks to link up or run off him. Would be good to see O'Hare get a run out too, we'll never know if he's good enough if we don't use him.
21/02/2018 12:24:00
442 from the start next time I hope, unless maybe Jack is back
The Fear
21/02/2018 16:23:00
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