Fabian Delph England Debut Start Verdict

If you were checking Twitter while watching the England game last night, you’d have thought Delph was having a mare on his first England start.

Rocky Start?

People in armchairs all around the world were offering pearls of wisdom like ‘he needs a Lampard or Gerrard to have a word with him’ (they’ve retired) or ‘he’s going to be sent off any minute’.


First of all, it was his international starting debut, adrenaline is heighten and it will take any player a few minutes to settle his nervous energy.  After the opening 15 minutes or so, Delph settled down nicely.

Also, there’s the old football tactic/adage of letting your opponent know they’re in for a game – ala what Roy Keane used to do. It’s something a football geek sitting behind a screen having never played the game won’t know much about. It’s also something that the stats men can’t really legislate for.

The Swiss no doubt fancied their chances against England last night. After all they had made the last 16 of the World Cup and England were a team starting from scratch. They’d have taken one look at the youthful England midfield and thought, ‘we’re going to boss that and dictate the game’.

Delph getting stuck in during the opening exchanges might have changed their minds somewhat.



The Big Yellow Deal

As for all those people panicking Delph was going to get sent off because he got a yellow card on nine minutes; as any Villa fan will know, it’s not exactly the first yellow Delph has had in his career.

In 154 career appearances, the Villa midfielder has picked up 43 yellow cards. He’s almost a 1-in-3 man when it comes to cautions, but there’s a more important stat – Delph has never been given a red card in his career.

MOMS was pretty relaxed he’d see out the game due to Delph’s experience of playing on a yellow, as was Roy Hodgson, who later-on substituted other England midfielders instead.

The England boss went onto praise Delph after the 2-0 victory in Basle, saying: “I thought that game was a really big occasion for him. It was great to see him play so well on his debut here in Switzerland.

“I didn’t quite know if I could get that level of performance. I have seen him play well for Aston Villa, but it’s another thing playing for England.

Delph Stats

Overall Delph put in a respectable 7/10 shift for England and his stats actually back up a competent performance.

Delph had the highest pass completion rate of any England player – 97%

Delph touched the ball more than any other England midfielder (Henderson, Sterling, Wiltshire) – 57 times

Both stats show that Delph was very much in the action and also that his ball retention and use of the ball was very decent. In both of his England appearances this past week, he’s boasted the highest pass completion rate of the team with also 94% against Norway. That was only for a 30 minute cameo, so his outing against the Swiss, considering it was even higher despite his increased involvement is impressive.

There was only one downside to Delph’s performance and that’s the fact it’s going to cost Aston Villa a little bit more in wages when it comes to the offering of a new contract to him.

For now though, the boy Delph has certainly done us all proud after the initial rocky road of injuries in his Villa career and having to prove his doubters wrong along the way.

With  added confidence from his England outings and Villa’s new midfield recruits to support him, this is shaping up to be quite a season for Delph. UTV


  1. We have done and will continue to suppy quaity internationals to the UK’s national sides. Go on Fab UTV

  2. i thought he was very composed and assured

    for a first start in a competative game against a very good side he did very well

    the lad has really progressed in the last 2 years and is worth reminding ourselves of how poor he was

    and how well he has develloped

    credit to him and i felt feet proud watching both him and the team

  3. I would love to see a psychologist comment on this. In all the literature on perception I have read, the point is made that instant perception comes with a cost. Speak without thinking, get a punch on the nose. In the world where people actually meet each other of course. In cyber space, no rules apply – so why not just ignore it?

    trevor fisher.

  4. I thought Fabian fitted in well with the National role reminded me of a nimble Scoles, just hope we can keep him and Grealish for a few seasons. UTV

    • Good comparison. And yes, the powers that be better start tying these players down to long term contracts, to re-affirm both commitment and ambition at the club. Lerner said once he would always do the best for the club, can’t see that losing two players that Villa have invested heavily in just as they peak for nothing is doing the best he can for AVFC. I am already resigned to losing Vlaar, as he deserves 90k a week. Good luck to him getting it and more. Though we let Melberg go too easily IMO and that hurt for years defensively.

      Big test of Lerner and Fox over these contract issues in my eyes.

  5. why would you want to go on twitter during a game? Basic rule of football is no game is over till the final whistle. Anyone who gives an instant verdict has no brain,

    trevor fisher

    • We are now in the age of the ‘second screen’, where people use two screens when watching the game. One to watch it and the other to comment during via social media.

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