Aston Villa suffered a 1-0 defeat to West Ham on Saturday as our poor start to the Premier League season continued and the pressure builds on Steven Gerrard.
Despite controlling possession and limiting West Ham’s threat in the first half, we lacked any real cutting edge or quality in the final third to make it count.
After the visitors tweaked things at half-time with their formation and personnel, we had no answer as they gradually took charge and started to find their rhythm, which in turn saw us eventually concede the only goal of the game.
It was certainly fortuitous, as Pablo Fornals saw his effort take a big deflection off Ezri Konsa before the ball looped over Emiliano Martinez to seal all three points for David Moyes’ side, but ultimately once again Villa were left to blame themselves as we simply didn’t do enough to test West Ham and still lack the identity, style of play and direction that Gerrard continues to talk about.
Aston Villa player ratings vs West Ham:
Emiliano Martinez, 7 – Dealt with the threat that West Ham posed to him well, claiming deliveries into the box and organising his defenders. Couldn’t do anything about the goal as the unfortunate deflection beat him.
Matty Cash, 6 – Always an energetic presence down that right flank, but with the emphasis that Gerrard puts on his full-backs providing width and quality in possession, he didn’t provide enough this time round. Defended well and produced a crucial tackle to help deny Bowen, but needed more from him in our attacking play.
Calum Chambers, 6 – A decent shift as we kept West Ham’s attacking threat controlled for the most part, but he did make a couple of mistakes along the way as he looks to settle into the starting XI.
Ezri Konsa, 7 – The misfortune surrounding the only goal of the game aside, Konsa returned to form in this one as he produced a solid performance in largely dealing with Scamacca. Aggressive and proactive with his defensive work, he was key in keeping things tight at the back.
Lucas Digne, 6 – Was wasteful in possession on a number of occasions, but he continued to stick to his task and battled hard defensively. Tried to push forward whenever possible to give us an outlet down our left side, but couldn’t find the quality on his delivery to make a decisive contribution.
Douglas Luiz, 6 – Given an opportunity in the starting XI for this one and while he did bring more composure and technical quality to the midfield, he was too safe with his work in general as most of his passes were to help tick possession over rather than probe and test West Ham’s defence.
Boubacar Kamara, 7 – Still has work to do to fully adapt and adjust to the Premier League as he looked to be struggling with the pace at times, but his defensive protection in front of the backline is priceless as he disrupted their attacking play throughout with his ability to read the game well and intervene.
John McGinn, 5 – Another poor showing as he didn’t really offer us much in either phase of the game. His passing and play going forward is often below par, while he doesn’t have the same tenacity and energy about his defensive work that helps give us a foothold in games. Questions remain over whether or not he should still be in the starting XI.
Philippe Coutinho, 5.5 – Drifted in and out of the game and while he did show signs of quality, as our creative hub and main spark to unlock defences, he continues to fall well short of troubling the opposition. To his credit he looks to find space and offers an option, but his final ball is still missing and that is hurting us.
Danny Ings, 6 – Worked hard out of possession and in his defence, he was hardly given much to work off as we struggled to provide him with any real service. Given his characteristics and strengths, if we don’t play to those, his involvement in games can become limited.
Ollie Watkins, 6.5 – Had some success when drifting out to the left side in the first half and his movement gave us an option up top to work off. However, his influence faded as the game went on and similarly to Ings, he didn’t receive the service needed for him to be more of a goalscoring threat.
Emiliano Buendia, 6 – As always, brings fresh impetus to our attacking play when introduced and was immediately playing more probing passes through the West Ham defence looking for openings. Couldn’t quite find the decisive touch on this occasion though.
Jacob Ramsey, 6 – Added penetration and a more direct threat with his running from midfield, and when he shows more confidence and bravery like that, he brings a crucial attribute to our midfield.
Leon Bailey, N/A