Villa: Watkins went missing vs Leeds
Aston Villa had to settle for a point as Steven Gerrard’s side struggled to find a way past ten-man Leeds United at Elland Road on Sunday night.
The Midlands outfit ended their rut away from home in the Premier League but should’ve done better when the fortunes fell their way after Luis Sinisterra received a second yellow card early in the second half.
Gerrard’s men did have their chances as Philippe Coutinho hit the woodwork soon after and Ollie Watkins failed to convert the rebound, and it’s the England striker that the manager will feel most disappointed by.
The 26-year-old was wasteful and ineffective as a lone striker, though even the introduction of Danny Ings couldn’t get the forward on track.
Should Watkins be dropped after that display?
As per SofaScore, Watkins managed a total of six shots, of which four were on target – the most in the game and three more than what the home side could muster up.
These included one big chance missed, whilst the former Brentford star – who cost Villa a whopping £33m – also lost possession 11 times from his 33 touches, some ten fewer than even goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, further proving just how much of a liability he was for his team.
Ings came on far too late with Villa in dire need of a proven and experienced goalscorer to see them over the line.
According to The Athletic’s Gregg Evans, Gerrard was left “raging with frustration” at the full-time whistle and surely a lot of that pent-up anger would’ve been at his misfiring striker, who he trusted to start this encounter.
Meanwhile, LeedsLive reporter Ashley Preece was less than impressed by Watkins either, handing the £75k-per-week star the lowest rating of any starter in his post-game column, where he wrote:
‘Missed another one-vs-one – albeit from a narrow angle – late on as Meslier won this battle this afternoon between striker and goalkeeper. Hesitant in front of goal today.’
On the above evidence, it’ll be a night to quickly forget for Watkins and Gerrard will need to demand more if he’s to turn around Villa’s struggles anytime soon – failing to beat a team that’s a man down isn’t any sort of progress whatsoever.
AND in other news, Dean Jones drops Mauricio Pochettino claim…