It’s halftime at #avfc
Thankfully. We survived an exhibition in non football.
Highlight Adama Traore getting a chorus from the Holte End pic.twitter.com/4qTrhtbduH
— Villa Underground (@avfc_vilr) September 12, 2017
Aston Villa 0-0 Middlesbrough
A disjointed and dispiriting performance set against a backdrop of wind and rain at Villa Park.
After an early bonkers challenge from Adama Traore saw him receive an early bath [on 3 minutes], the stage was set for Villa to capitalise.
However, It wasn’t to be. Those in attendance endured long stagnant periods of play, punctuated by glaring misses and some bad luck for good measure.
It was at times a desperate display, with the forlorn silhouette of Bruce looking on haplessly as another ineffective performance played out.
Johnstone (7) (MOTM)
The loan goalkeeper once again impressed when called upon. A handy save in the first half, was topped by a superb stop when Assombalonga burst through the Villa defence in the second. Arguably Man Of The Match for the second block and for overall consistency over the 90.
Elmo drifted in and out of the match and his effectiveness was limited as a result. Showed quality in the second half, breaking beyond the Middlesbrough fullback to square perfectly for Scott Hogan. The striker could only manage to miss-hit. Elmohamady, like so many in the Villa ranks, doesn’t seem to have a clear role in the 11 as yet.
A hard-working performance in difficult conditions & partnered well with Terry. Only real scare was when Assombalonga burst through, but largely untroubled across the 90.
The skipper tried hard throughout but must be puzzled by what’s going on in front of him. Terry may need to grow into his Captaincy role at Villa quickly, with many in the ranks in need of someone in their ear. The former Chelsea captain had a couple of narrow escapes, one in each half, but recovered well on both occasions. Became more advanced as the game wore or, competing for headers in and around the opposition box, unfortunately to little effect.
Struggled, particularly in the first half, conceding possession on more than once occasion. Grew into the game, but offered next to nothing going forward as Villa laboured.
Lansbury (2.5) (SENT OFF)
Ineffective and largely peripheral to proceedings. A circle must be drawn around performances such as these from Lansbury, where his contribution must be regarded as minimal at best. For a player touted for his creativity and ingenuity in the middle of the part, alarm bells are starting to sound. Saw a straight red for a cynical challenge on the hour mark, which saw both sides down to ten men.
Jedinak (4) (Sub Off HT)
A laboured and ineffective display from the big Aussie who was withdrawn at halftime.
Hogan (5) (Sub On HT)
Guilty of a big miss when squared the ball by Elmohamady, but showed plenty of running and willingness to find space. His performance will be remembered for “wrong place, wrong time”, stopping Conor Hourihane’s certain goal from hitting the back of the net. Definitely under-utilised by Bruce and his team-mates and not for the first time.
Tireless, persistent and unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. Whilst a number of attempted passes didn’t always come off, Hourihane at least tried to put Villa on the front foot. Incredibly unlucky to see his goalbound effort kept out by Hogan’s body & was unlucky to see a rebound off the bar strike a Boro defender. Industrious over the 90.
Whilst certainly in and out of the game at times, Snodgrass looks to carry a threat. A tricky proposition for the opposition defence, he will rue striking the bar with a fierce finish when a touch of composure was required. Another who might be suffering from mixed messages on his role in the Villa side, but there was enough on display to suggest that something promising lies within him.
Davis (5) (Off 70 mins)
Presumably still feeling the effects of a hip injury, with a visible limit on his movement and effectiveness over previous outings. Despite the creativity sitting in the Villa midfield, little found it’s way to Davis directly or otherwise.
Kodjia (5) (On 70 Mins)
Showed some trickery and close control, but noted he had to go deep to find the ball on more than one occasion. Obviously lacking in match fitness, which showed. Had a point blank header saved at the far post & put a free header over the bar after the referee missed a push on the defender. Booked for simulation in the penalty area.
Bjarnason (2) (Sub Off HT)
Lots of running can’t hide a stinker from the Icelandic international. Guilty of some poor possession and headed a glorious change wide when seemingly easier to score. Definitely a man who has suffered for repeated change of position, but it cannot always be used as an excuse. Rightly hooked off at half-time.
Adomah (6) (Sub On HT)
A typical Adomah performance, with recurring ventures down the flank, culminating in either dangerous or disappointing crosses. Tried time and time again to deliver the ball in to dangerous areas and cannot for faulted for effort. What let’s him down is a tendency to overplay, when a quick release to a better placed Villa player might revitalise an attack.
Pretty much sums up the nights entertainment:
— Villa Underground (@avfc_vilr) September 12, 2017