Aston Villa finished their pre-season campaign with a win over Bundesliga 2 side, Dynamo Dresden thanks to two goals from Andre Green. The game finished 2-1. Below are our ratings. Leave your feedback in the comments below.
Jed Steer – 5
Although he made a horrific error in the first half, Villa’s shot-stopper pulled off a tremendous, one-handed save to deny Dresden’s Duljevic a goal which could’ve put the tie to bed. However, he may have put himself out of Steve Bruce’s plans for a starting place, even if newcomer Andre Moreira will only have a weeks training before the EFL curtain raiser at Hull City.
Alan Hutton – 9 (MOTM)
An outstanding display by a fan favourite. The scot proved to Bruce, why he must be given the license to join attacks and use his athleticism to get beyond opposing fullbacks, which his run and assist epitomised. In my view, a back four consisting of Ritchie De Laet (RB) James Chester, Tommy Elphick (CB’s) and Hutton (LB) himself will make for a solid base.
James Chester – 6
Described by many as a Rolls-Royce centre-half, the Welshman is relaxed and composed on and off the ball, giving instructions to others on the pitch. With new investors Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens keen to pin Chester down with a new contract, I can not wait to see Chezzie with pull up the armband come the 6th August.
Mile Jedinak – 5
Hard as nails, the Aussie is a brute. A brute in the middle of the park, where his physical dominance can be used, not in the defence. Proving his worth in the promotion push and in particular semi-final clashes with Middlesbrough, the former Palace captain is useful, but only in the midfield and with legs around him. Whilst he is a well experienced, Wiley campaigner he does not have the brains of a mature John Terry, where JT could use his nouse to combat the limited pace he has. Whereas, Jedi seems to have struggled to get to grips with being moved around the field in unfamiliar positions at the age of 33. Potentiality a loan move for Robert Huth could solve any worries in defensive depth.
Neil Taylor – 5
Taylor was again too elusive. Without providing an attacking threat, the opposing wingers and wing backs can double up on Albert or Andre without the issue of Taylor galloping past them. Brucey needs to look at this problem position, and to make matters worse Barry Douglas – the best championship LB last year – has made a permanent switch to Elland Road for £3m. What a steal!
Andre Green – 8
Would be MOTM, if it was not for the late impact he made on the game. Whats for sure, the young winger will have an impact next season providing he can stay fit as he suffered two setbacks both relating to hamstring problems last season. His pace and trickery on the flank should prove effective against most championship fullbacks.
Birkir Bjarnason – 5
The Icelandic international had a quiet afternoon, although his industrious nature means that the defensive shackles in a 4-5-1 system are relieved from star man Jack Grealish – a key asset to a promotion push this term. I expect him to make way for Conor Hourihane come the first game fo the new season, although Bjarnason could stake a claim to take Glenn Whelan’s place.
Glenn Whelan – 6
The Irishman, whilst passing wayward on a few occasions settled after the first twenty minutes to help regain the possession of the ball. He developed an effective relationship with Bjarnason as the two got around the park, applying pressure to the Dresden midfield when possible.
Jack Grealish – 8
Technically, you’ll struggle to get a better player on the park, if not ever in the Championship. Jack’s balance and quality on the ball meant the Dresden midfield couldn’t get close to Villa’s star man as they applied illegal means to reduce his impact on the game. With a less lenient referee, the hosts could’ve ended up with fewer men on the park in a competitive game.
Ahmed Elmohamady – 5
Rather inactive, the Egyptian failed to make an impression in the more attacking role he was given, in front of Hutton. His deliveries were inaccurate. If it weren’t for his past connections with manager Bruce, the full-back could be off the books as I’d suspect he’d be one of the higher earners in Villa’s ranks.
Albert Adomah – 5
Struggled up top when isolated against tall, German centre-halves. Possibly Bruce’s fault but the Ghanian failed to come into the game even when on the wing, pinned against a fullback who was ran ragged by the speedy Green for the past hour. We need the former Boro man to step up again this season, to hit that golden 80 goal mark, an effective barometer for promotion.