Matchweek 23 facts and figures, for Dinkum Products and beyond….
There have been an intolerable amount of miserable individual demises throughout the club — Darren Bent’s, Stephen Ireland’s, Stephen Warnock’s and so on — with overtones that trace back to players doing little to meet the value of their pricey reputations. Buried beneath them all is the story of Andreas Weimann, a fierce counter-punch to the distress of the mad purchase.
Weimann is among the total 19 forwards and wingers active in the EPL this season whose market value at the beginning was estimated to be within the modest range of £1.3 to £2.2 million by Transfermarkt. Below is how Weimann’s base output compares with the rest of that group’s average.
Shots on Goal
Certainly, Jay Rodriguez deserves a diaper-sized jockstrap hanging in his dressing area at Villa Park whenever he arrives for his next visit. But all the moaning and groaning about the unjust nature of Mark Halsey’s penalty decision last weekend took slack off a few fatal flaws by Villa defending that led to the call.
Two attempts to get the ball out of the box failed. Ultimately, though he only had a split-second to work, Brad Guzan mis-hit the ball back toward harm’s way when open space to his left appeared available to utilize. Perhaps far more grave was the maneuver that put Guzan in danger — Fabian Delph’s undisciplined treatment of a prime clearance opportunity.
Unfortunately for Delph, the error tarnished what otherwise was a strong defensive showing throughout the 90 minutes. Nevertheless, he entered last weekend with only four successful clearances in 15 attempts for this season, then proceeded to go short on three more against relentless Southampton. And because the Bradford debacle was also built on clearance failures, below is an assessment of how effectively (or, in the case of Delph and a few others, ineffectively) the squad’s midfielders have helped clean up in the back with clearance efforts.
Successful Clearance Totals
Effective Clearances/Total Clearances
100.0 Agbonlahor 1/1*
0.75 Bennett 3/4*
62.5 Weimann 5/8*
60.0 Herd 3/5*
50.0 Bannan 14/28
50.0 Ireland 4/8
50.0 Albrighton 2/4
42.3 Westwood 11/26
40.0 El Ahmadi 2/5
22.2 Delph 4/18
16.6 Holman 1/6
*Totals from appearances as midfielders only.
This frothing domestic tournament campaign about to get real heavy has been unique to the point that some historical significance is in reach.
In the the pair of tournament games next week, the team can keep its scoring average above 2.50 per game with four goals (or more). Just two other Villa sides in the post-World War II era have finished with an average over 2.50 during domestic tournament play: the 2002-2003 group, which netted 15 times in five matches, and the 1987-1988 squad that rolled for 20 goals (led by David Platt’s seven) in seven matches. Below is a specific look at both runs (interestingly enough, the two squads were also low in their league tables with finishes of 17th and 16th, respectively).
2nd Round, First Leg: @Birmingham, W 2-0 (Gage, A. Gray); 2-0 Half.
2nd Round, Second Leg: vBirmingham, W 5-0 (Mountfield, Gage 2, Olney, Daley); 4-0 Half.
3rd Round: vMillawall, W 3-1 (McInally 2, Platt); 2-1 Half.
4th Round: vIpswich, W 6-2 (McInally 2, Platt 4); 4-0 Half.
Quarterfinals: @West Ham, L 1-2 (Platt); 0-1 Half.
3rd Round: @Crewe, W 3-2 (Platt, Gage, McInally); 0-2 Half.
4th Round: vWimbledon, L 0-1; 0-0 Half.
2nd Round: vLuton, W 3-0 (De La Cruz, Dublin 2); 2-0 Half.
3rd Round: @Oxford, W 3-0 (Taylor, Barry, Dublin); 0-0 Half.
4th Round: vPreston, W 5-0 (Vassell 2, Dublin, Angel, Hitzlsperger); 1-0 Half.
Quarterfinals: vLiverpool, L 3-4 (Vassell, Hitzlsperger, Dublin); 1-1 Half.
3rd Round: vBlackburn, L 1-4 (Angel); 1-1 Half.
—Patrick Kinmartin (PKtype@Gmail.com …. Facebook.com/TypePK)