Aston Villa lost their second defeat in a week. This time it was a 1-0 defeat to QPR at Loftus Road. In a game that sore Villa dominate, they just couldn’t find the back of the net.
We rate the performances of the starting XI:
Orjan Nyland – 6
Nyland is slowly becoming a confident and reliable stopper. Claiming crosses instead of flapping at them. The Norwegian needs to remain constant, especially with the impressive form of reserve keeper Matija Sarkic.
Alan Hutton – 4
Poor on the ball once again. The Scot needlessly gave the ball away on numerous occasions against QPR. His limited ability on the ball may see him struggle for game time as Smith gets to know his best 11.
James Chester – 4
Unusual for Chester, but his mistake allowed QPR to take all important lead as he failed to spot the run of Pawel Wszolek.
Axel Tuanzebe – 6
Becoming a solid centre-half pairing with Chester, even if results don’t show it yet. He will benefit from a run in the side, as mistakes from the youngster are still appearing in his game.
Neil Taylor – 5
Very limited when attacking, the quicker January comes around the better. Taylor does a job. But the wing back roles are vitally important for the style of football Smith is trying to implement.
Birkir Bjarnason – 6
Only got a half before he was forced off for Glenn Whelan but the Iceman impressed in the first half. Winning the ball back and distributing confidently. Bjarnason looks to have caught the eye of Smith.
John McGinn – 6
Could have made a few assists – if Tammy and Kodjia took their chances. The Scot, as per, showed why he’s an important figure in the side. He releases the pressure off Jack to create and produce magic in the final third.
Jack Grealish – 7
Jack showed real glimpses of the quality he produced consistently last term. Picking the ball up in advanced areas, his threat will surely harbour more goals and assists after Smith has time to implement his philosophy on the training ground.
Ahmed Elmohmady – 5
If i was to have one criticism of Smith over his first three games was that he failed to use both Bolasie and El Ghazi when rotating his side. But then sticks with a full-back on the wing. For the fluid and expansive brand of football Smith wants got play, surely dangerous quick wingers is the way to go?
Jonathan Kodjia – 6
Kodja failed to cement his place in the team, struggling to make an impression. On the odd occasion, he’d get the better of 35-year-old Angel Rangel, but his end product wasn’t good enough to make a goal scoring opportunities.
Tammy Abraham – 5
Failed to convert chances that he would take on another day. His movement and link play convinces me that he will be an integral player for any sort of promotion bid.