Aston Villa booked themselves a place in the next round of the League Cup following an unconvincing 1-0 win over League 2 side, Yeovil Town. Manager Steve Bruce wasn’t too impressed by his side’s performance but see how we rated the performance of the starting eleven.
Andre Moreira – 7
As far as debuts go, a penalty save and a clean sheet for a keeper isn’t bad at all. The Portuguese will keep Orjan Nyland on his toes, pushing him all the way for the number one spot.
Ritchie De Laet – 6
Possibly the most impressive player in pre-season, Ritchie will look to force his way into contention now a two-game ban is behind him. Capable of beating his opposing fullback, he lacked the opportunity to do so with the standard of football at Huish Park, which was slated by Bruce in his post-match comments. Hopefully, De Laet will have opportunities to make the marauding runs we saw in pre-season in more competitive action soon.
Tommy Elphick – 6
Question marks still remain over the centre-back pairing, which will consist of club captain James Chester. Since Bruce has scrapped his original plans for a wing back formation, Chester needs a partner which will propel Villa into the promotion mix.
Axel Tuanzebe – 6
Elphick’s partner looked shaky against Norwich loanee and Yeovil forward Diallaing Jaiyesimi, struggling to keep a lid on his physical attributes. Yet, Axel also saved Villa on two occasions both through expert judgement, clearing off the line also.
Neil Taylor – 5
If Neil fails to showcase any sort of attacking threat or defensive awareness against a League 2 outfit, I cannot see him being in Bruce’s plans in the near future. Perhaps a left-back is one of the “things bubbling over”, as Bruce keeps suggesting.
Glenn Whelan – 6
Glenn contained Yeovil’s attacking threat, Yoann Arquin relatively well. He moved the ball quickly allowing Hourihane to make attacking runs and made space for Doyle-Hayes. The young Irishman can learn well from his experienced compatriot.
Jake Doyle-Hayes – 6
The young man himself looked comfortable with the ball, at least after the early stages, which he needed to find his feet. A few combinations with fellow youngsters Andre Green and Russian Hepburn Murphy allowed Villa to move through the attacking third with purpose.
Conor Hourihane – 6
The eventual match-winner failed to make the impact new signing John McGinn made at the weekend. However, we all know the assets and quality Conor has. Certainly, if Bruce sees McGinn as a replacement rather than a partner, we’ll struggle to replace the eleven goals Conor scored during the last term.
Andre Green – 6
Andre, like Albert, struggled to make a profound impact on the game. Though the young winger does find joy peeling off his marker and using his stronger right side to test the goalkeeper, as we’ve seen at the weekend and at Huish Park. Whats more, the three goals Andre netted in pre-season all came from the centre-forward position, demonstrating his ability in front of goal and the danger he posses cutting inside.
Albert Adomah – 5
The Ghanian was caught offside on more than one occasion, reducing the impact he had on the game. In all fairness, he had little to aim towards when at the by-line, and one key component of Albert’s game is to cross the ball, which he couldn’t. His playing time may be reduced from here as Bruce prefers both Elmo and Green in wide areas, whilst he is also actively looking in the loan market for another wide man.
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy – 6
A learning curve for the young forward. There is no doubt he has the quality to make it at the highest level, but his petite nature will make it hard for the youngster to make the impact that fellow strike partner Keinan Davis did. Yet, Rushian uses his body very well, shielding the ball off two centre-halves both exceeding six foot – a good experience for the lad.
Do you agree with our ratings? If not, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.