After tasting defeat to ten-man Sheffield United in mid-week, Aston Villa would no doubt have been keen to get back to winning ways when Wolves came to town on Saturday night.
Dean Smith’s side have seen their momentum stall somewhat in the Premier League over these past few weeks, with the 0-0 draw against Wolves meaning they have picked up just one win in their past five top-flight games.
And, one man who really let his manager down was Bertrand Traore.
The Burkina Faso international, like Villa, has been in a bit of a rut in recent weeks, and should have been dropped based on his real lack of form – he’d managed just one goal and one assist in his past eight games before the clash against Wolves.
His display against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side just added another piece of evidence of why Smith might be wise to take him out of the firing line as he delivered a completely anonymous display.
As per Sofascore, he had fewer touches than goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, which really told the story of just how ineffective he was over the course of the game, with Wolves’ back-five finding it easy to just squeeze him out.
He failed to complete a single dribble, a far cry from his season average in the Premier League of 1.2 per game. He also made the second-lowest amount of passes of any Villa starter, which would surely have frustrated his manager, who desperately needed the winger to try and provide some service for the likes of Ollie Watkins up top.
And, writing in his post-match player ratings for The Birmingham Mail, Ashley Preece said: “Showed some trickery and linked up with Elmohamady on occasion with the two working well against Saiss, Jonny and Traore.
“The winger wasn’t in the game enough here and was all too casual to allow Neto to cross as Coady struck the post. His knee jarred in the turf which forced his substitution in the second half. Villa’s forward play wasn’t there in the second half and Traore was, in truth, non-existent.”
If Villa are serious about finishing in a European place this season, 0-0 draws at home just aren’t going to cut it. And performances like the one delivered by Traore are nowhere near good enough.