Sometimes the magnitude of the occasion can do funny things to a football player.
The simple passes and movements which are unconsciously performed by muscle memory are suddenly overthought, forcing top players to fail in their endeavour to summon their best form on the big stage.
John McGinn, Aston Villa’s most outstanding player this season, fell into that trap on Saturday afternoon.
The 24-year-old midfielder was not completely out of sorts but the standard of his performance was a far cry from what supporters have become accustomed to this season, and his shortcomings provoked plenty of criticism on social media.
Indeed, Villa fans turned out in their numbers to express their disappointment at his showing, with some fans even suggesting it was his worst performance since arriving at Villa Park.
The composed, creative and reliable player who loves to orchestrate from the centre of the field came unstuck on the big stage, and he will need to step up a level on Tuesday night to ensure the Villans have the best possible chance of reaching Wembley.
Here’s what the fans had to say about McGinn yesterday…
McGinn was pretty poor today by his standards and it really showed
— . (@sam_avfc1) May 11, 2019
I’d have his kids at the minute pal ??? By the way, McGinn was very poor too. Just to show I’m not biased
— David Summers (@davidsummers64) May 11, 2019
Another plus today is that McGinn had a bad day at the office #AVFC
— Rich (@Bisqwit) May 11, 2019
— DrifterNick (@NickVagus) May 11, 2019
Something definitely isn't right with McGinn #avfc
— Matt? (@MattB88) May 11, 2019
Worst performance mcginn has had in a Villa shirt, might as well have not played #avfc
— Luke (@_Manwithnoname_) May 11, 2019
Look way off here, McGinn done nothing #avfc
— Ricky Austin (@Rickyrude87) May 11, 2019
McGinn has been so so poor
— Aston Villa View (@MyVillaView) May 11, 2019