By Coral Barry
Gabriel Agbonlahor earned an unwanted Premier League season record by touching the ball just eight times in the first half of Aston Villa’s clash against Tottenham.
The Villa striker was recorded to have touched the ball on only six occasions during play, with two of his touches from kick-offs as the visitors went 2-0 down to Spurs at the break.
Goals from Mousa Dembele and Delle Alli gave Mauricio Pochettino’s team their reward for a convincing first-half display in the White Hart Lane fixture.
On the day that Villa appointed Remi Garde as their new manager, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville highlighted the failings of the visitors.
“They have got to start touching the ball,” Neville said. “I looked at Gabriel Agbonlahor, who’s a centre-forward and I had to check because I thought, ‘that’s not right, that’.
“He had just eight touches in the first half, the lowest touches of any player in the Premier League this season. And two of them were kick-offs.
“He’s not got a touch anywhere near the 18-yard box. They’ve got to get the ball into the centre-forward. Without that, they’ve got no chance. Eight touches, and two of them being from the kick-off, is worrying.”