Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Micah Richards left stunned by strange Danny Ings play

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Micah Richards has been speaking on Match of the Day 2 about how he can’t understand Danny Ings’ lack of presence in the opposition’s penalty box.

Villa’s poor start to the season continued at home yesterday as they fell to defeat and were subsequently booed off by some fans after the full-time whistle, as they watched their side lose again after despite having spent £160m over the last two transfer windows.

Steven Gerrard went for a very attacking lineup against West Ham United as he started Danny Ings, Ollie Watkins and Philippe Coutinho, although the former’s heatmap shows he spent a lot of the time out wide and on the left wing instead of through the middle.

Richards has pointed out that Ings quite often found himself out wide and trying to either create space for full-backs or crossing balls into the box, where he should’ve been.

“You’ve got Danny Ings crossing from the left. He should be in there, but again, he’s trying to be a team player. He’s overlapping his left-back, I just can’t believe what I’m seeing.”

Richards then pointed out a moment in which Ings shrugs his shoulders and puts his arms up in the air to suggest things were just not working out for him and his teammates:

“Coutinho is nowhere to be seen, and you just see here with his frustration. He’s got his arms in the air thinking, what is actually going on here?”

TIF Thoughts on Ings’ role in the Villa side…

When Villa confirmed the signing of Ings for just £25m, it appeared to be a bargain and a great piece of business for someone who’d recently been so prolific at Southampton, however, neither Dean Smith nor Gerrard have been able to find a system that suits Ings and Watkins together.

This was further impacted by the arrival of Coutinho in January and Leon Bailey last summer, as that’s seen a No 10 and a winger having to be accommodated in a system that clearly looks to deploy two strikers – something that is very difficult to do.

Given Watkins is the younger of the two, it would suggest he would be the favoured man, and that’s without mentioning the fact he has a better record in front of goal for Villa between the pair of them.

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