Danger man: Smith could have changed AVFC’s fortunes by making simple call on Saturday – opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Off the Bench series, which places in-game managerial decisions and squad selections under FFC’s microscope.

Aston Villa slumped to another Premier League game without a victory as Burnley twice hit back to earn a point at Villa Park.

The game had its controversial moments, not for the first time this season, as VAR toyed with the heartstrings of the home faithful.

It was Anwar El Ghazi who opened the scoring for Villa, meeting Frederic Guilbert’s cross just after half an hour before former West Brom man Jay Rodriguez levelled things up with a powerful header in the second half.

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John McGinn edged Villa in front after having a previous effort chalked off, but that lead lasted a matter of two minutes as Chris Wood equalised with another headed attempt.


With the game tied at 1-1 in the 70th minute and the home team lacking in attacking flair, recording just two shots on target, manager Dean Smith brought on summer signing Trezeguet to spark a change, and it paid off inside ten minutes.

The winger did well to create some space to put in a cross for McGinn to fire home as Villa took the lead on the 79th minute.

Off the Bench

During Trezeguet’s 20 minutes, he assisted a goal, put in three crosses and had a further six passes in the final third of the pitch, per WhoScored.

In addition to that, he was fouled three times, thus giving a chance to stick the ball into the box onto the head of either of their towering centre-backs, who are both above 6 foot 4.

It also suggests that the Egyptian was a significant threat in the final third and had Smith introduced him earlier, the game might have gone differently.

He recorded the same number of crosses that El Ghazi managed in double the time and two more than captain Jack Grealish on the other wing, via WhoScored.

If Trezeguet was on the pitch before the 70th-minute mark, he could have had a greater impact on the match as he would have been given more time to show his creative exploits.

It’s something that clearly had some sort of influence as he assisted the goal that regained his side the lead, albeit not for long.

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