Jarrod Bowen shows Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey the way forward in 1-1 draw v West Ham
As Leon Bailey huffed and puffed his way through another disappointing performance for Aston Villa on Sunday (12 March), his West Ham equivalent, Jarrod Bowen, showed him the way forward.
The two wingers had vastly contrasting games in the 1-1 draw at the London Stadium, with Bowen stringing together what could be seen as a man-of-the-match performance, while Bailey was hooked off the pitch by Unai Emery after 64 minutes.
To many in attendance at the Hammers’ home, it would have looked like Bowen was the winger that Villa’s mercurial talent so desperately wants to become in a claret and blue shirt.
Over the course of the 90 minutes, Bailey struggled to impose his pace and dribbling ability on the game, making a total of just 13 passes and gaining an overall WhoScored rating of 5.83.
In attack, the Jamaican was also dispossessed three times and failed to complete a single dribble throughout the game. Too often, the 25-year-old remained glued to his right flank and refused to get involved in any kind of build-up play that Villa tried to conjure up.
This has become a common theme with Bailey in recent weeks, who has now gone seven appearances without a goal or an assist, and has failed to make over 16 passes in any of his last five outings (7, 4, 1, 6, 8, 13).
Meanwhile, Bowen had possibly his most influential performance of the season to date.
The England international was a constant thorn in the side of Villa left-back Alex Moreno, with his piercing, attacking runs in behind the back-four. During his 90-minute appearance, the 26-year-old completed seven dribbles and was fouled three times on top of this as he caused havoc down the right wing. [WhoScored]
The England attacker also managed to contribute two key passes and two crosses as David Moyes’ side grew into the encounter as the afternoon wore on. The only thing missing from Bowen’s performance was the goal he likely deserved.
If Bailey wishes to reach his fluent best at Villa Park, he won’t go far wrong by looking at how Bowen utilised his pace during Sunday’s clash.
In other Aston Villa news, the future of this loanee hangs in the balance as contract talks await.