Despite the squad rotation, 3 Villa players have played every minute of every game so far this season. Unsurprisingly goalkeeper Brad Friedel is one of them and is joined by former Blackburn team-mate Stephen Warnock, who has not played well all season, and Stewart Downing who has played pretty well netting 6 goals in the process.
In Warnock’s 17 league appearances he has incurred 7 yellow cards, the joint second most in the league behind the frankly incomprehensible ‘talents’ of Lee Cattermole. However perhaps the most, shall we say ‘impressive’ disciplinary record goes to Ciaran Clark, who in 750 minutes of football including 7 starts, has picked up 5 yellows and suffered a one game ban in the process. On a more positive note Villa are one of only 5 teams not to have had a man sent off in the Premier League although player of the season, Marc Albrighton was red carded in the League Cup.
Villa’s away record is one of the worst in the league and the sole reason why the club is languishing above the drop zone. Having picked up just one win on the road, and the considerably short road at that, against Wolves. Houllier’s side have scored the joint least number of goals on their travels (5) and conceded the third most (18) giving them an away goal difference of -13 from just 8 games.
From the individual performances in each players last 5 outings, the player ratings show that ex-Blackburn stars and this seasons ever-presents, Brad Friedel and Stephen Warnock have ranked as the sides worst performers with a rating at 5.60. Without a doubt this seasons revelation and best player Marc Albrighton is the player whose last 5 games have reaped the best ratings despite a lay off with appendicitis. Albrighton has an average rating of 7.20 over his last 5 games while Carlos Cuellar’s impressive return against WBA means that his average for the same period is 6.80. Ashley Young, Stewart Downing and Emile Heskey all rate at 6.60 over their last 5 appearances.
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