Monday, 24 January 2011

Villa player ratings

Hart A blip? Yes, probably. Which isn't to say that he is not a very exciting and talented young goalkeeper but Darren Bent's goal came from Hart's failing to deal with Ashley Young's shot as powerfully as he should. His was not the only error that allowed the goal, certainly, but it played a part. Unfortunately, the game being as it was, he had little chance to redeem himself later on. 5

Boateng When we need him most he was quiet, again. There was one good cross to Gareth Barry in the first half, reminsicent of his delivery in the World Cup. But after that he was insufficiently present in the final third, when we needed his width and crossing the very most. He defended well enough but in this 4-3-2-1 his role is primarily to provide attacking width and he didn't do it. 5

Kolo Touré One of the many responsible for the Bent goal. After that he defended well, making 9 from 11 tackles, which allowed us to maintain the pressure on Villa's defence. 6

Kompany Defensively good, although our defending was largely irrelevant after the first 20 minutes. From that point on, he saw an awful lot of the ball, completing 66 from 77 passes, which says a lot about the game. Tried to force the pace, going direct, which he's adept enough to do without it being wholly wasteful. 6

Kolarov Continued in his confident 2011 performances. The only natural wide player in the side, he was our best attacking outlet in the first half at least, bursting forward, stretching the pitch and providing different angles of attack than the usual Yaya/Silva/Tévez options. Put in some of the best corners I've seen in years - one too good even for Tévez. Faded in the second half, unfortunately. 7

de Jong As often in these games, he was a luxury. Against a counter-attacking side, there was very little play for him to break down. As it was, our domination of the ball saw him play more passes than I think he has ever done for City: completing a Xaviesque 81 from 84. Which is all well and good when we're ahead but is not exactly what we want when we're 1-0 down for 72 minutes of the match. It's not his fault, of course, but it was frustrating. 6

Yaya Touré Like de Jong, saw more of the ball than ever before as we passed it around in front of Villa. 80 passes made from 86. But unlike de Jong these tended to come from within the Villa half, which just made their sideways direction and inherent caution all the more disappointing. He is a brutal counter-attacker, and this sort of lock-picking football just isn't his game, but there was barely a pass inside a defender or even into the final third. 6

Barry I am a fan. Let there be no doubt of that. I sleep in a t-shirt with his face on (this is literally true, unfortunately). But he was very poor out there. I don't know if it's to do with facing his former club but he looked overawed out there. He was second to everything, when he did get the ball he was inevitably pushed off it, he had no ability to impose tempo or imagination on proceedings. It was one of his worst ever showings for City, on a par with the 1-1 against Stoke at Eastlands in the Cup last year. Hauled off after 57 minutes but it should have been at half-time, if not sooner. 4

Silva Quiet, which I suppose was a function of Tévez of having stepping on his toes in the space behind Džeko. Saw as much of the bal as anyone but could not unpick the Villa defence. I would not have minded his moving onto the left wing, just to deliver some crosses in. 6

Tévez One of his worst games this season. Nothing that he tried came off, which was a disappointment given that his withdrawn role meant that creativity was his main responsibility. As the game went on, his increasing desperation for impact let to worse decisions and more selfishness, as he tried to turn the game by himself. 4

Džeko Showed off some good things: his strength, his footwork, his aerial ability. Takes a second or two longer on the ball than he might, and bizarrely stationed on the left for part of the second half. Missed one decent goalscoring chance. 5


A. Johnson Came on to introduce some width, but playing on the right he was only a marginal improvement on what we had. Ran at Ciaran Clark a few times, but found himself in positions where he could only roll the ball across with his weaker right foot. There are times when I would like to see him playing on the left. 6

1 comment:

Chap said...

Anyone else think that we should have tried Johnson on the left (sooner)? Clark on a yellow made his initial placement on the right an obvious choice so AJ could get at Clark, but I felt that as the game progressed his tendency to cut back on his left further slowed down our attacks. I also agree that Silva seemed a little off with Tevez in the withdrawn role. They occupied the same space a lot in the attacking third.