After drawing 1-1 in the first game of the season at home to Hull, many Villa fans (including me) have been quick to criticize Leandro Bacuna and ask why he is picked over Conor Hourihane?
Some sections of the Villa faithful cheered ironically when Bacuna got substituted off and this surely can not help his confidence for the coming season. Although I didn’t cheer myself, I can understand why some may have, as his performance was truly one to forget.
The choice to start Bacuna has made many a fan question Bruce’s decision making, as Conor Hourihane is definitely more reliable in this role. In this article, I am going to explain why I feel that the former Barnsley man should be starting ahead of Bacuna.
In the game over the weekend, there is enough evidence for everyone to see why Bacuna shouldn’t be in the starting line-up. He gave the ball away too often in the middle of the park, I specifically remember him trying a back-heel to Neil Taylor and he subsequently gave the ball straight to the Hull defence.
On the other hand, he did make some good attacking runs when he received the ball, however, the majority of these amounted to absolutely nothing. When Bacuna tried to pass the ball at the end of his runs, he gave it away too often and left the Villa fans frustrated because of these wasted opportunities.
Hourihane has a lot more experience in this league, and he was the captain of fellow championship club Barnsley before we signed him last season. I believe he has contributed a lot more to the club than Bacuna during his short spell with the club.
Hourihane also finished as the joint top assist maker in the championship last season, with another Villa player (Albert Adomah). This is enough reason that highlights why I would pick him over the former Groningen midfielder.
Bacuna’s attitude since being at Aston Villa has been questioned on more than one occasion. Do I need you to remind you about his comments regarding Champions League football when we were relegated?
He also mouthed off to the some of the Villa fans after we drew away to Wycombe Wanderers, AND he was banned for head-butting a linesman last season – which was admittedly a bit harsh, but even so, it doesn’t present the right attitude.
To summarise I would like to say that Bacuna is not good enough for the starting line-up, especially not over Hourihane. I accept that Hourihane hasn’t been fantastic since his move from Barnsley but Bruce must try to get the best out of a player who offered a rival club so much last season.
Do you agree with me or do you think Bacuna deserves his place over Hourihane? Let me know in the comments section below.