Youri Tielemans failing audition for regular Aston Villa starting spot vs AZ Alkmaar
Youri Tielemans has once again failed to make a big enough impression for Aston Villa to claim a regular starting spot under Unai Emery.
The Villans started the game on fire and had a goal disallowed for offside after just two minutes, but struggled to create clear-cut chances after that point despite dominating the game and the ball.
And one of the men handed the responsibility to unlock the Eredivisie side’s defence was Tielemans, with the Belgian keen to impress to earn more regular game time at Villa Park.
But a hot and cold opening 45 minutes for the former Leicester City midfielder showed why Emery prefers to opt for his other options on a more regular basis.
According to stats from Sofascore during the first-half Tielemans lost possession ten times, more than any other Villa player on the pitch, and had a pass completion rate of just 72% from 29 attempts.
Defensively he was hit and miss too with one interception and one clearance, but just one successful ground duel from three attempts and one successful aerial duel from two attempts.
Against lesser opposition he simply needs to do more to earn himself a place in the team for Premier League games, where the standard is higher and the pace of the game is far quicker too.
While commentator Lucy Ward described his passing as “sublime” during the game while live on TNT Sports (9 November), it’s the dirty side of the game he struggles with more often than not and that’s why he isn’t in the side.
The group is still wide open and until qualification is secure, Emery and Aston Villa cannot allow for complacency. Alkmaar showed their quality right at the end of the half with a disallowed goal after some fantastic movement and passing, so everyone must wake up.
If Villa want to win this game, then Emery needs to take Tielemans off and go with his strongest midfield by introducing Douglas Luiz to the fold for the second half to push ourselves closer to three points and the next round.
In other Aston Villa news, stats prove that Villan is his nation’s best as he outshines rivals for national team spot.