Peril during last weekend’s 2-0 loss never dammed Agbonlahor, who attempted to either dribble past a defender or cross the ball into the penalty area 14 times. And his total of defensive challenges from all 12 league appearances is up to 37 (23 fouls, 14 tackles), the second-highest among forwards in the Premier League. Below is the full list of leaders (includes designated forwards who occasionally shift to wing positions like Agbonlahor does).
Matchday 16 facts and figures, for Greswolde Park and beyond….
Conceivable: Enda Stevens will be the starting left back again before season’s end.
Antonio Luna’s health and aptitude seem to waver constantly, Joe Bennett has a hard time staying on the radar altogether and Nathan Baker often gets overlooked by squad mates when plunging into attack as if he was a regular at the position.
Stevens was only forced out from his starting post last season by injury and is now finally back playing at his highest level since — as a regular starter on-loan in the Championship. A separate perk is developing for him down there also. Doncaster’s back line is often under the level of pressure that Villa’s deals with regularly due to a lack of consistent ball possession, plus Stevens is playing alongside a similarly young group of defenders.
Below are a few comparisons between Villa averages and Doncaster’s since Stevens arrived last month.
Starting Defenders’ Age
Oath to this season by Gabriel Agbonlahor continues to come strong.
44 Chamakh, Crystal Palace
37 Agbonlahor, ASTON VILLA
37 Giroud, Arsenal
34 Altidore, Sunderland
31 Campbell, Cardiff
30 Berbatov, Fulham
30 Long, West Brom
30 Suarez, Liverpool
29 Rodriguez, Southampton
28 Van Wolfsinkel, Norwich
28 Walters, Stoke City
Before the Fulham setback, Christian Benteke was averaging 17 possessions per match on the left half of the attack field (left goalpost to sideline) — almost triple the amount of his right-side possessions per match (6.8). Then the trend shook up last weekend when Benteke had 14 on the right and seven on the left, possibly a little significant given his determination to regain momentum as a prolific scorer through any means.
Below are Benteke’s left/right possession numbers for every start this season.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This section of Villa Views will not appear during the holiday fixture crunch due to the complexities of the match schedule.
—Patrick Kinmartin (PKtype@Gmail.com ….. http://goo.gl/kLJDB)
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