Another poor defensive performance by Aston Villa on Saturday emphasised the dire need for manager Dean Smith to make a centre-back signing before the end of the month as the Villans were kept to a 2-2 draw by Hull City.
But, the result should also have acted as a massive reality check for captain James Chester after a less than convincing showing as the main figure in Villa’s back-four defence.
Poor man-marking and poor tracking by the 29-year-old ultimately led to Hull City silencing Villa Park with two quick goals before half-time.
And, despite Chester pulling one back from a set-piece on the stroke of the interval, the two goals by the Tigers were enough to see them leave Birmingham with a valuable point and now eighth in the Championship.
The disappointing part is that it could’ve been Villa who climbed up the league table should they have secured a win as eighth and 14th spot are only separated by a single point.
Still, the poor defensive showing by Chester and the rest of the team again put the spotlight on Smith and his leadership after a run of embarrassing results due to similar issues at the back.
Chester looked confused and completely out of sorts in a team that has been brilliant in attack this season.
He appears unable to keep the defensive unit together, ever since Axel Tuanzebe was ruled out with injury almost two months ago.
Given the situation, the club finds itself in currently, a senior player like Chester was expected to lead by example against a Hull team they should be able to beat on any given day.
But, the Welsh international failed to take that responsibility on himself and was at fault for the two goals conceded.
Villa’s dream of finishing in a playoff spot is by no means over yet, but a player like Chester should use these poor showings to his advantage going forward, in order to learn from his mistakes and form the backbone of the team’s defence again.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!