Aston Villa suffered a shocking start to the new Premier League season, going down 3-2 to Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon.
Dean Smith’s side have had a rollercoaster few weeks in the summer transfer window, waving goodbye to talisman Jack Grealish and welcoming a number of new signings, a few of whom started against the Hornets.
While the new boys didn’t impress, it was one longer-serving player who had a particularly awful game – Matt Targett.
The left-back certainly wasn’t helped by Ashley Young seemingly allergic to doing his defensive duties and tracking back, but Watford’s Ismaila Sarr took him to the cleaners with his combination of pace and trickery.
As per Sofascore, the English ace lost all five duels in which he was involved and made no tackles or interceptions whatsoever. He also lost the ball on eight separate occasions and couldn’t find his passing radar either, completing just 79% of his passes.
Such were his struggles that Smith actually decided to take him off at half-time and spare his blushes, but some journalists didn’t spare the 25-year-old in their assessments of the match.
The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece claimed that Targett was “all over the shop” as Emmanuel Dennis opened the scoring for the home side, with the left-back’s nemesis on the day Sarr playing a big part for the goal.
Writing on Twitter, The Athletic’s Gregg Evans said: “Feeling a little bit for Matt Targett here. 14 mins in and Sarr is causing him all sorts of problems. Hard to watch. #WatfordFC #AVFC.”
All in all, it was a difficult afternoon for the left-back, who looked completely off the pace like the rest of his teammates and was left embarrassed by a winger in Sarr who is at the top of his game.
From being considered Villa’s most improved player last season by some fans, to putting in a shocking performance like the one on Saturday afternoon, Targett’s season couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start.
The Villa defender badly let his manager down today with a woeful display at Vicarage Road.
Meanwhile, this Villa star could leave the club…