By Danny Wright

5th Nov, 2023 | 2:45pm

BBC Sport pundit slams Boubacar Kamara as Aston Villa star causes 'massive problems' v Nottingham Forest

Aston Villa had a shocker of a first half against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Sunday.

Ola Aina’s unexpected fifth-minute goal seemed to rattle the in-form Villans, who didn’t look themselves at the City Ground despite a spot in third place up for grabs in the league table.

Unai Emery’s men are usually strong in possession. Stats by FBRef show ahead of kick-off in the East Midlands, Villa ranked seventh in the Premier League pass completion stats this term (83.8%) while their possession stat of 52.1 per cent is only bettered by big-six clubs, Newcastle and Brighton.

But against Nottingham Forest, Villa’s passing was all over the place – especially in their defensive third.

Lucas Digne, Douglas Luiz and Boubacar Kamara were all at sea in the opening 45 minutes against Forest, regularly conceding possession in dangerous areas of the pitch.

Speaking on BBC Radio WM on Sunday (5 November, 02:13pm), ex-Villa striker Garry Thompson was critical of the way Kamara almost allowed Forest a chance to go 2-0 up before the referee – somewhat bizarrely – adjudged him to have been fouled.

“The ball is played into Kamara and he’s turned back into trouble,” said Thompson after an under-pressure Luiz passed the ball to Kamara, who then failed to clear any kind of danger and was dispossessed himself.

“You’ve got to clear the ball or turn away or something but as he’s gone to turn, he causes massive problems.

“The ball comes to him, it has to be played quickly and he’s got away with it. That should be 2-0.”

It’s hard to see Kamara lasting the entire 90 minutes unless he improves in the opening stages of the second half.

According to stats by Sofascore, Kamara lost possession three times in that first half and while he completed all but two of the 45 passes he attempted, he got his team into trouble with each of those misplaced passes.

Leander Dendoncker and Youri Tielemans are both on the bench and can step in to replace Kamara if Emery decides that a change is needed in the middle of the park but in truth, the Frenchman isn’t the only Villa player not pulling his weight at the City Ground.

In other Aston Villa news, as exit verdict has emerged about Emery at Villa Park after a “100 per cent” Manchester United claim was made.