Lichaj on the Bench for Foreseeable Future

Aug. 19, 2010 - 06348145 date 19 08 2010 Copyright imago GEPA Pictures Football UEFA El Play Off Rapid vs Aston Villa Vienna Austria 19 Aug 10 Football UEFA Europe League Play Off SK Rapid Vienna White vs Aston Villa FC Red Picture shows Veli Kavlak Rapid Eric Lichaj Aston Villa and ADTH Nuhiu Rapid Keywords Vienna Energy PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxAUTxITA Football men UEFA Europe League o0 Qualif 0o Europe League EC 3 2010 2011 Vienna Action shot Vdig 2010 horizontal premiumd.

On December 26th, Eric Lichaj must have felt his career was taking off. He had just started his second straight Premier League match, filling in for injured right back Luke Young, and in one of those games Lichaj passed a major litmus test. Against Tottenham Hotspur Lichaj helped contain in-form winger Gareth Bale. With the extent of Young’s injury still unknown, Lichaj appeared to have an ideal opportunity to garner extended playing time.

Then came a disastrous performance against Manchester City. In the 4-0 loss, Lichaj was culpable for two of City’s four goals.

Little more than a week later Aston Villa signed right back Kyle Walker. Manager Gerard Houllier, apparently having lost faith in Lichaj, immediately inserted Walker into the starting lineup. In Walker’s debut – today’s 3-1 FA Cup victory – he even managed to score, further decreasing Lichaj’s chances of seeing the pitch.

What’s fascinating about Lichaj’s swing in fortunes is that, aside from the two mistakes, his performances against Tottenham and Manchester City were broadly the same. In fact, his passing chalkboards were almost identical.

by Guardian Chalkboards

His defensive statistics were just as similar. Against Tottenham he won a single free kick, conceding two. Against City, he also won a single free kick and conceded two. In the first match he won two tackles and lost four. In the second game he won one tackle and lost three

Of course, one of the conceded free kicks against City was a penalty. And his other error, losing track of an opponent in the box, won’t show up on the stat sheet.

Still, it’s interesting how two very similar performances can result in two very different outcomes.

Gringos, do you think Lichaj should be given some slack?

One Comments Post a Comment
  1. Bradley's Receding Hairline says:

    That’s really unfortunate. From the Fanhouse article it sounds like the manager was picking on someone to hide his own problems.

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