With Dean Smith’s Aston Villa side heading into Sunday’s Premier League clash on a run of three consecutive defeats, the 50-year-old would have undoubtedly been hoping for a much better result and performance when West Ham United visited Villa Park this weekend.
However, first-half strikes from Ben Johnson and Declan Rice, in addition to an Ollie Watkins goal for Villa, saw the Hammers take a 2-1 lead into the break, before Ezri Konsa’s 50th-minute red card all but ended Smith’s chances of getting anything out of the game – with goals from Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen completing the 4-1 rout late on.
As is perhaps to be expected after such a result, a number of Villa players did not fare well in terms of match ratings, with Emiliano Buendia and goalscorer Watkins being the only two players to receive a SofaScore match rating of 7.0 or above on the losing side.
Although, it will undoubtedly be Konsa most disappointed with his display on Sunday, as the centre-back cost his side dearly.
While the 24-year-old’s biggest fault on Sunday was quite obviously his sending off for denying Bowen a clear goalscoring opportunity early in the second half – even if this decision has caused some level of controversy in the aftermath of the fixture – the defender’s display during his 50 minutes on the pitch was far from his best performance in a Villa shirt.
Indeed, the £22.5m-rated man failed to make any tackles, any interceptions or any clearances – three of the metrics which generally determine how effective a defender has been during a match.
The former England U21 international also lost four of his eight duels, completed just 17 passes and touched the ball a grand total of 25 times – 14 times less than Aston Villa shot-stopper Emiliano Martinez.
Finally, it would be difficult to comment on the £72k-per-week centre-back’s performance without mentioning the red card properly, as, regardless of whether or not Chris Kavanagh’s call was harsh, Konsa gave the referee and VAR a decision to make – one that ultimately ended up costing his side dearly.
As such, while any Aston Villa fan will know that Konsa is a much better player than his performance against West Ham would have you believe, the fact nevertheless remains that the defender was a major factor in Villa’s breakdown against the Hammers.