Went to the Villa U-23 vs Celtic U-23 game last night, which ended 3-0 to the visitors. I hate to say it, but Celtic were well worth their win and there was a noticeable gulf in class in the play of the two teams. From the handful of games I've seen in the past year, this unfortunately isn't a vintage crop at the moment.
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy was missing, but the inclusion of four senior Villa players - Agbonlahor, Tshibola, Elphick & Cissokho - did very little for the Villa cause. You couldn't actually tell they were first team squad players.
Meanwhile, Celtic's more senior fringe first team players - Logan Bailly, Dedryck Boyata and Gary Mackay-Steven - enjoyed a better night.
People may say, well, it's about fitness, but class is permanent and none of the four stood out. Agbonlahor on top of poor penalty miss was often schooled by Celtic's youth defenders, whom he should have been bossing and tormenting.
It's hard to see this Agbonlahor comeback panning out in the way the more optimistic fan of his is hoping for. More of a concern though, was the performances of Elphick & Tshibola, who seemed out of sorts, and not quite the players that RDM had brought to be part of Villa's new spine.
On another note, credit to the travelling Celtic support who made it down for the U-23 clash. There were around 200, who were in good voice. UTV
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