Aston Villa drew 1-1 with Bristol City at Ashton Gate last night. It now means Steve Bruce has managed to guide his side to one win in 9. The manager is now under a lot of pressure from supporters and media but how are his players performing? Are they getting off too lightly? See how we rated them below.
Orjan Nyland – 5
Again the Norwegian looked suspect, flapping at crosses that Sam Johnstone could pluck out the air with ease. What’s more, being beaten from such a distance despite a deflection raises questions about his positioning. Would Jed Steer or Andre Moreira do better?
Axel Tuanzebe – 6
The longer Bruce remains at the helm, the more times I’ll be criticising Bruce’s decision to shoe-horn him into a position where three right backs are already available. Whilst Axel is a solid fullback, he’s certainly a better centre back than Mile Jedinak.
Mile Jedinak – 6
The Aussie didn’t have his worst game against Bristol, but then again if he did, we would have lost. I attach little blame on him and of course, the brunt of the criticism must lie with Bruce to play him at centre-half. However, we know what Mile brings, again winning every single battle in the air.
James Chester – 6
We all know that Chester’s game has been made a whole lot harder since his goalkeeper and centre back partner was taken away last season. Arguably the replacements have hardly filled the gaps left. Chester will improve with balance around him.
Alan Hutton – 5
Provided very little going forward. In all honesty, if we saw Al being given the license to bomb down the wing, likewise Tuanzebe or Elmo under a Bruce regime, pigs would fly.
Birkir Bjarnason – 7
Birkir looked assured and energetic. Reminding Bruce of his attributes, especially away from home.
We certainly looked more solid compared to previous outings.
John McGinn – 5
Slightly harsh maybe, but I want more from John. He has all the attributes, all the qualities to take a game by the scruff of the neck. It just wasn’t his night against Bristol.
Conor Hourihane – 6
Hourihane seems to effect a game only once in a while, but his goals and assists are irreplaceable in a side that’s lost its identity. Bristol couldn’t deal with his dead ball delivery.
Jack Grealish – 5
Speaking to John Percy of the Telegraph, Jack opened up about the poor start he has made to the season. We need him to get back to the levels he hit at the back end of the last campaign. When Jack doesn’t play to these levels, the sooner Bruce nears the exit.
Jonathan Kodjia – 5
Snatched at a good opportunity to score on his return to Ashton Gate in the early exchanges, but looked illusive after. Bruce moved him onto the left flank to get on the ball and produce more one v one situations – a tactic that may bring the best out of the Ivorian.
Tammy Abraham – 5
Still shows glimpses of the class he brings at the top end of the pitch but through no fault of his own, we don’t see it too often. Chelsea must be watching on wondering why they allowed him to join Villa.