Alan Hutton is a big fan favourite at Villa Park. It’s no secret. The Scottish full-back offers more passion than you’re an average player. As he showed in the recent derby victory over Birmingham City.
The 34-year-old has even chipped in with a couple of goals this season. His solo runs against Hull and Birmingham showcased how good he can be going forward. The problem is he is also prone to one or two horrendous errors every so often.
This has led to many fans question whether Hutton is good enough to be playing on a regular basis. Should we look to our Egyptian international Ahmed Elmohamady instead?
How they compare
We have already touched on Hutton’s passion and how he always gives his all every single week. He plays like he has supported the club his whole life. All football supporters love that kind of attitude and that is no different at Villa. The problem is I would give my all every week but it doesn’t make me good enough, does it?
His performances are very hit and miss and teams tend to target him as our main weakness. Take the West Brom game for example. They pinpointed him quite early on as our weakness and then he lost out to Harvey Barnes for their first goal. There are many others in this division, equally as good or better than Barnes who will cause him problems. Hutton does tend to love a crunching challenge and isn’t afraid to put his foot in when required.
Elmohamady, on the other hand, lacks that ability of a crunching tackle. I would even argue that he isn’t as good as defending. Against Stoke, at the weekend he foolishly bought James McLean down to give away a penalty.
Elmo’s crossing ability gives him the edge attacking wise over Hutton. He has the ability to pick a man out in the box but statistically how do they compare?
Defensively the statistics back up my thoughts. Hutton averages 1 tackle per game compared to Elmo’s 0.9. His interceptions (0.6 to Elmo’s 0.5) and clearances (3.9 to 2) are also better. The statistics don’t tell you how much either player is caught out of position though!
On the attacking front, they both have 2 goals apiece. Elmo, however, has 4 assists while Hutton has none. Elmo’s key passing (1.2 to Hutton’s 0.7) and crossing (1 to 0.5) are also better.
There is no doubt that these two have their positives and negatives. Most sides in this division would probably like either of them. Dean Smith could look to alternate between the two depending on who the opposition was.
Personally, I would stick with Hutton. I just feel his performances are consistent and he deserves his starting spot.
Who would you start out of Hutton or Elmo? Have your say in the comments section.