Aston Villa return to Premier League action after the international break with a tasty West Midlands derby against Wolves at Molineux.
Steven Gerrard’s side went into the break with a disappointing home defeat to Arsenal while Bruno Lage’s side were also beaten, losing 3-2 in extraordinary fashion to Leeds United having led 2-0. Villa were disappointingly flat against the Gunners, particularly in the first half as the decision to play both Philippe Coutinho and Emiliano Buendia as ‘number 10s’ didn’t work out.
There is little prospect of Coutinho being dropped given his outstanding form following his loan move from Barcelona, but it is feasible that Buendia could drop out of the side. Former Villa striker Agbonlahor believes the Argentine should come out of the side with Leon Bailey taking his place.
“When I looked at the game, even when Aston Villa got the ball I felt Arsenal dealt with our two number 10s very easily,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider. “They weren’t getting on the ball, they weren’t creating space for each other, they weren’t running in behind to help Watkins.
“The system worked when Gerrard first came in so I think it can work but those two were very poor. Buendia didn’t do anything and Coutinho was very poor. When you play as a number 10 it’s a luxury position where you’ve got to make something happen. If you don’t then it’s the first position where you are going to get subbed. You can roam, make things happen but if you don’t, you’re going to get brought off.
“It was inevitable that Buendia was going to be brought off. Fair play to Gerrard, he brought on Bailey who looked very bright. He said Danny Ings didn’t start because of a slight knock but if he had started he would have made runs in behind.
“It’s not always on to come into feet as two number 10s. Arsenal nullified those two quite well. If I’m Leon Bailey I’m looking to try and prove to the manager next game.”