Aston Villa were subject to their fourth consecutive Premier League defeat on Saturday evening as Tottenham beat the Villans 4-0 at Villa Park as a hat-trick from Heung-Min Son as well as a Dejan Kulusevski strike saw the Lilywhites cruise to victory.
In fairness to Steven Gerrard’s side, the scoreline isn’t a fair reflection of the game with the West Midlands outfit having 19 shots, eight of which were on target. However, it’s another poor result for the 41-year-old’s side.
Moreover, it was another tricky outing for striker Danny Ings who was gifted a start, an opportunity that wasn’t taken.
As a striker, the Englishman will be judged based on his goals tally which right now stands at just five.
Having swapped the south coast for the Midlands last summer when joining Aston Villa from Southampton for £25m, the 29-year-old has struggled to find the back of the net on a consistent basis in claret and blue.
For the Saints, Ings scored an impressive 46 goals in 100 matches at a tally of a goal every 2.17 games. At Villa, the forward’s tally stands at one every five matches.
Against Tottenham, the Englishman was lively in the area, but it was clinical edge that he was lacking, seeing three shots blocked, two go off target and one saved.
However, throughout his 70-minute spell, the striker was limited to just 29 touches, according to SofaScore, losing possession on eight occasions, an average of every 3.6 touches.
The 29-year-old also recorded a disappointing 69% passing accuracy and failed to make a block or interception.
It’s still a puzzle that Gerrard is trying to solve with Ollie Watkins also enduring a quiet campaign for his standards this term.
Finding a system that incorporates both players and allows them to fulfil their maximum ability has been a struggle all season for both Gerrard and his predecessor Dean Smith and will certainly be a priority for the Villa boss over the summer.
If not, it may mean that after just one year at Villa Park Ings’ tenure in claret and blue could come to a conclusion. Saturday was certainly a test for the Englishman to see if he could enjoy a change in fortunes, one that he ultimately failed.