There had been a trend amongst some sections of the Aston Villa fan base this season to question where summer signing Anwar El Ghazi had gone – last night maybe they got an answer but it wasn’t the one some wanted.
Having overly built the 23-year-old based on his limited appearances so far and those moments where he showed flashes of what he might be capable of when he adjusts to the league properly and completely settles in, a number of fans were left disappointed with his showing against Norwich City and he’s gone from being our wing saviour to being written off in the darker depths of social media.
Having come on for Albert Adomah, who was also absolutely panned (I’m actually looking for comments on a player who wasn’t hammered as I don’t want to depress myself), the Dutchman couldn’t do right for wrong in the eyes of some.
El ghazi should be sent back. ????
— glenn pinson (@spunkyvillan) October 23, 2018
Well that was painful to watch. El Ghazi was awful, Hogan is still back at Villa Park and Nyland is inconsistent. A very long road ahead. The only positive was Tunzabe.
— Darren Duds Holland (@Dudley1uk) October 23, 2018
And that’s why El Ghazi needs to stay sitting in the stands. #avfc
— Gary Swain (@gazswain) October 23, 2018
Smith will know from that game. Whelan is to slow and kills the game. El Ghazi is shocking, no pace to beat a man. On the bright side even though we lost we still tried to play football and didn’t resort to booting it into the corners. #avfc
— Quote of the Brain (@shamelessShawn) October 23, 2018
El Ghazi very poor, Hogan did not get even 1 pass in to his feet, not his fault #avfc
— John Bradish (@VillaBradJ) October 23, 2018
Worrying this is two of our wingers have been exposed, Bolasie and El Ghazi. Ain't good
— ¹⁸ (@tomvlaa) October 23, 2018
Hogan’s hold up play and El Ghazi’s work rate has cost us here. Poor substitutions tonight. #AVFC
— James Felipe (@Jfelipe1) October 23, 2018
The final balls have been woeful in the second half. El Ghazi has offered nothing. #avfc
— Richard Skidmore (@richskidmore32) October 23, 2018
What’s happened to El Ghazi, looked decent first couple of games. See him tonight he’s got no fire in his belly at all
— Will (@will_avfc) October 23, 2018
With a sea change in playing approach regardless of how slowly new head coach Dean Smith says he’s trying to introduce changes, I’m not sure what some expect anymore. He’s searching for sticking plasters at the moment and it’s obvious, or it should be, it’s not a very confident camp in the main owing to our results – you can’t flick a switch and expect perfection.
I’d hope some feel differently when the red mist drifts away but social media doesn’t offer much of a chance for reflection does it – and I’ve purposely left the vitriolic comments out.
The comments above I think most can agree with and I’d imagine Smith saw it for himself, it’s down to him to get more from El Ghazi and others because we know they are capable of more, they’ve shown it…but it’s still not going to happen overnight.