‘I’m at a loss for words’ – Philippe Coutinho ‘non-existent’ against Bournemouth with Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard missing plan B after ‘unacceptable’ display


Gabby Agbonlahor says he is “at a loss for words” after Aston Villa’s opening day defeat to Bournemouth.

Steven Gerrard’s side traveled to Vitality Stadium as obvious favorites as they prepared to face newly-promoted Scott Parker’s side but suffered a shock 2-0 defeat.

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Coutinho’s performance left a lot to be desired, says Agbonlahor

Unfortunately, any sense of optimism only lasted two minutes when Jefferson Lerma gave the Cherries a dream start in front of their home fans.

It was compounded 10 minutes from when Kieffer Moore secured the south coast club’s surprise victory.

Villa have named a squad packed with quality in the Premier League, including Philippe Coutinho who has made a name for himself as a star player with Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

However, according to Agbonlahor, the midfielder needs to improve quickly if he is to succeed at Villa.

Speaking on talkSPORT’s Gameday conference call, Agbonlahor said: “The big disappointment was [Philippe] Coutinho.

“He was brought in by Steven Gerrard and he was non-existent and didn’t really grab the ball.


Coutinho has work to do to stay in Gerrard's plans

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Coutinho has work to do to stay in Gerrard’s plans

Questions will already be asked of Gerrard

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Questions will already be asked of Gerrard

“He has to dominate the games. He keeps a new signing from last year in Emi Buendia on the bench, so he has to take games by the scruff of the neck, get on the ball, make things happen.

“He had a shot in the second half and it went horribly wide and you think it’s not Coutinho.

“Steven Gerrard has confidence in him but how long can you keep playing him? He’s not getting the numbers he needs to play in that position.

However, it wasn’t just Coutinho who disappointed Agbonlahor, with the former striker saying he was ‘at a loss for words’.

Gerrard put on a frustrated figure at Vitality Stadium

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Gerrard put on a frustrated figure at Vitality Stadium

He said: “I watch the game today and think, where was plan B?

“We struggled to create chances or get the ball to Leon Bailey, but he wasn’t getting past anyone.

“You think, could they do with another striker in there? You know, to change your style of play.

“Gerrard has to find his best team. He will make some changes next week against Everton at home because today was unacceptable.

“You also think of the Villa fans who have made that long journey to Bournemouth. It’s not an easy place to get to.

“I’m at a loss for words.”

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