Dodgy keeper, dodgy keeper

Harry Burgoyne: There’s been a fair amount of talk lately that with Carl Ikeme in one of his regular runs of giving up terrible goals, we might look to bring young Harry back into the first team after a short spell on loan at Barnet. He really, really isn’t ready. Villa didn’t threaten a huge amount last night but when it mattered, Burgoyne was found wanting. Beaten at his near post for the opener with a shot which burst through his hands and then no attempt to claim a fairly routine cross which led to the penalty for the winner. A couple of Andy Lonergan-style sliced kicks to add to that. He’s a long way at present from being a serious option at Championship level.

Aaron Simpson: Defensively very solid, sadly missed a glorious chance late on to grab an equaliser, fluffing his lines from six yards out, centre of goal. Not been getting a look in during his loan spell at Portsmouth but there seems to be enough there to work with going forward.

Anthony Breslin: I’ve heard it said by more seasoned viewers of the Academy teams than me that Breslin isn’t likely to make it at any kind of serious level. Seems strange to me as the two times I’ve seen him this season, he’s looked very good. It’s a real novelty to see a Wolves left back who is actually left sided and can actually stay in position. Gets forward pretty well too. Given that we’ve resorted to playing George Saville there in the first team after Paul Lambert has hopefully worked out that playing a tubby right back with a stinking attitude isn’t helping us out, we could do worse than give Breslin a go. Not like anyone else is really sticking their hand up.

Regan Upton: Definitely tends towards the “cumbersome” side of centre halves but did well enough last night. Had a reasonable effort saved in the first half and wasn’t really troubled by anything Villa had to offer.

Connor Johnson: Another impressive outing, his short passing is better than you might expect from a big centre half (maybe we’re just too accustomed to Captain Danny’s shortcomings in that area). Can’t be too far away from making a first team breakthrough.

Aaron Collins: Unequivocally not a winger. Looked lost for the majority of the game and conceded the penalty with a rash challenge. Didn’t really take his man on, didn’t deliver the ball well, didn’t link up with the forwards; if we can’t find a spot for him up front in this team then he probably needs to move on, be it temporarily or for good.

Morgan Gibbs-White: His quality on the ball is undoubted, so calm in possession and produced a marvellous pass for our goal – the kind we haven’t seen in the first team since Kevin McDonald decided that he didn’t fancy trying any more. It will be interesting to see what position he finally nails down, it is hard to see how he wouldn’t be a better bench option than some of the midfielders we currently put on there.

Christian Herc: Perhaps a little subdued in an attacking sense but always on for a pass, used the ball well and generally looked a cut above his Villa counterparts. Another one who should make the step up sooner rather than later.

Joe Delacoe: Replaced after 45 anonymous minutes, did nothing of note at all.

Bright Enobakhare: Has comprehensively outgrown this level, there is nothing left for him to do in U23 football. Easily the best player on the park in the hour he played, full of invention, tight skills and unlike his recent first team appearances, picked the right option more often than not. At a time when we’re badly lacking creativity and goals it is odd how he’s drifted a little from the picture. Especially when we’re playing Dave Edwards in the number 10 role, with stunning results.

Donovan Wilson: Very much an off the shoulder type striker which means the first team would have little use for him at present as we never supply any of our forwards with that service. When Gibbs-White did feed him, he took his goal very nicely with a calm finish. In the right setup with the right players behind him he could have a role to play.

Nicu Carnat: Didn’t do a great deal more than Delacoe, no impact on the game.

Connor Levingston: Replaced Enobakhare at which point we lost control of the game. Not to dig the lad out because clearly Bright is several levels above the rest of this team at present, but that’s where we lost it.

Niall Ennis: A welcome return but as he came on after Bright had already left the field, service to him was lacking. Has had a bit of a growth spurt it seems, certainly looked more gangly than the last time I saw him. If he can get a bit more football this month in these games then I expect him to be making the first team bench at least during the run-in.



  1. Living where I do, I never get the chance to see our youngsters do their thing, but, like you, I’m a big admirer of Bright and was certainly impressed by Gibbs-White and Ronan when they made they first team appearances.
    Am I right in thinking that most of these players are much younger that the 23 limit. How does that compare with their opponents?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Evening Mr D…I think Villa only had the one overage player in Chris Samba (yes, that one)…and he was about 17 stone and as mobile as a skip. Where we probably differ generally is that our lads are 17/18 rather than the 21/22 end of things.

      Liked by 1 person

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