Former Hibernian midfielder John McGinn will miss Aston Villa’s next two games with an automatic suspension after picking up ten yellow cards in the Championship campaign of 2018/19.
As head coach Dean Smith prepares for this weekend’s clash with Stoke City and then the visit of Derby County to Villa Park next Saturday, although 24-year-old McGinn is the first to suffer an automatic suspension for reaching ten – with his last picked up against West Bromwich Albion in our last defeat, the gaffer praised him for improving his discipline level as booking number nine came way back on Boxing Day.
Speaking to the Birmingham Mail as build-up to the game continues, Smith praised his improvement, pointing out that he thought he’d have reached number ten weeks ago.
“We have been short of options with the injuries we have had and John getting to 10 cautions hasn’t helped. I thought his caution was a little bit harsh though, to be fair, I didn’t think we would get this long after Swansea when he got his ninth booking.”
“He has actually improved – I think he got 18 at Hibs last season! We should have had an idea of the kind of player we were getting. We can’t let him lose his enthusiasm. I spoke to him about it and his discipline. He got booked for nothing against Swansea and has lasted an awful long time to get to this period, so that is a credit to him.”
It’s one way of looking at it I suppose, but at this stage last year with Hibernian McGinn was on 14 bookings so there has been improvement in reality, but it also shows that he’s one of the players who consistently puts themselves about in the middle of the pitch trying to win the ball back.
I certainly wouldn’t say ten bookings come the second half of February after 31 games was a discipline issue myself, and had he got to March without picking up that last one, the amnesty kicks in.
But we haven’t really had a lot of luck this year have we.