Following their first defeat of pre-season, we take a look at how the players performed in the defeat to West Ham. Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Jed Steer – 5
The obvious candidate for the number 1 position had little opportunity to express his quality in the sticks, although he did make a few questionable clearances, one of which ended in a goal. With rumours that we could be close to signing another goalkeeper on loan, Steer will have to be on his toes.
James Chester – 6
It was announced this week that Villa’s captain would stay at Villa Park despite Stoke City manager Gary Rowett saying the deal was up in the air, the in-demand centre-half had a testing evening up against the likes of Felipe Anderson and Marco Arnautovic, which to his credit he dealt with.
Tommy Elphick – 5
Out from the cold, former captain Elphick struggled to get near the dynamism of the West Ham front line, especially with the raw pace of Antonio and the brute Arnautoivc had the better of the centre back on most occasions.
Alan Hutton – 5
Losing a key battle which he was favourite for, cost Villa the first of three goals. The Scot never seemed to recover and maybe moving him up to the left wing back role may suit his attributes better.
James Bree – 4
A poor display from the young defender cost Villa a goal and opportunities to score. Even if he couldn’t get close to the quality Felipe Anderson, Bree did not manage to cross accurately or provide an outlet on the right flank. He will want to put this West Ham performance behind him.
Conor Hourihane – 5
Somewhat elusive in the hour the Irishman had to regain the form he showed in the two friendlies prior to the Burton Albion trip. He struggled to get near the class that Jack Wilshere showed on and off the ball. Whilst Villa won’t be matched against another opponent who has the ability of West Ham, this shouldn’t be a worry for Bruce as Conor will be key come August 6th.
Glenn Whelan – 7
One of the better performers. Two excellent passes to forward Kodjia meant Villa had opportunities to break from their defensive shackles. The combative midfielder never shone from receiving the ball in tight spaces.
Jake Doyle-Hayes – 6
After being given a cameo role in the last outing, the youngster again showed glimpses of a natural ability. Although safe at times, he kept the ball very well and looks confident in turning on the ball.
Albert Adomah – 5
Found it hard to match an impressive Antonio performance. Even though the Ghanaian provided width and space, the final product wasn’t ever satisfactory, denying Villa the chance to create chances to threaten Adrian in the West Ham goal.
Jack Grealish – 6
Villa’s key man, like others, struggled to make an impression on the game. With Bruce opting to trial the talented maestro with striker Kodjia, his presence become unknown to the West Ham backline. In the future, Bruce must use Grealish in a deeper role to get the best out of his game. If for whatever reason we can keep Grealish, Bruce must stop shoehorning players into an ineffective formation and build a team around one of, if not the best player in the championship.
Jonathan Kodjia – 5
Illusive. He struggled to keep the ball and bring others into play. Whilst he can murder a defender in a one on one situation, his indecisiveness meant Villa couldn’t reap the rewards of getting the Ivorian into the correct positions in the final third.