Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has defended his decision to start Danny Drinkwater against Manchester City on Sunday.
The midfielder has just joined the club for the remainder of the season on loan from Chelsea in a bid to play regular football again.
He spent the first part of 2019/20 on loan at Burnley but played just twice for the Clarets.
Drinkwater was riskily thrown into Villa’s midfield and it became obvious very quickly how little football he has played in recent times.
Ruthless City ran rings around him, with the 28-year-old arguably at fault for the visitor’s first three goals.
Speaking about Drinkwater, Smith said (official website): “Danny Drinkwater will make us a better team. I thought he started the game well, got on the ball and played some decent passes.
“He’s made a mistake for their second goal, but I think there was a mistake in trying to run the ball out before that as well.
“He got 75 minutes of match time today, which he needed. He’s come in and looked good in training and he certainly wasn’t the reason we’ve been beaten 6-1 today.”
Drinkwater’s debut was branded ‘disastrous’ by The Independent, and the former Leicester City man must now respond.
TBR’s view – Oversight by Smith?
Maybe ‘Danny needed it’, but was he what the team needed on Sunday?
To throw Drinkwater in against a relentless and tenacious side such as Manchester City was a massive risk from Smith that arguably should have been better considered.
Hopefully, the player will be able to bounce back from his horror show and be able to remind people of the abilities he showed for Leicester in the 2015/16 title-winning season.