Ryan Yates was one of many players who underperformed for Nottingham Forest against Aston Villa on Wednesday evening, incurring the wrath of some supporters on social media as a result. The 21-year-old had been in fine form ahead of the midweek clash, but he failed to make an impact at the City Ground and was brought off after 75 minutes by Martin O’Neill.
Not got anything bad to say about MON, but it was obvious we lacked width on the right side. Why not give Appiah a go? Yates was uncomfortable all game in that position. Also has Yacob been abducted by aliens? #nffc
— Sunny Gill (@nffctalk3) March 14, 2019
About last night – Yates worst game since coming into the team & the midfield didn’t cope with Villa’s movement off the ball – can’t play Ansarifard & play long ball needs to be to feet – Villa took their chances Forest didn’t BUT it’s still better than for a long time #nffc
— Ian ????⚪️ (@ismith1968) March 14, 2019
Yes Yates has been fantastic in all the games I've seen him play. Last night I barely noticed him. #nffc
— YouAreMyForest (@YouAreMyForest) March 14, 2019
Reflections on last night: Pele set himself such high standards against Hull that he came across as poor last night. He got given the run around but don’t think he did much too wrong. Also Ryan Yates is not a right winger, doesn’t suit his game at all. On to Ipswich though! #nffc
— Matt Ball (@matt290994) March 14, 2019
If playing Yates on the wing to compensate for another DM and him starting. MON needs to either drop Yates or that DM and moves Yates back. Useless as a winger, cause he isn’t a winger. Might aswell played with10. #nffc
— ian fisher (@ianfisher85) March 14, 2019
Completely behind O’Neill but he simply lost us that game before a ball was kicked, putting Ryan Yates at right wing is the worst decision I’ve seen a manager do, the poor lads a centre mid and has never played on the wing before #nffc
— luke.knowlesss (@lukeknowlesss) March 13, 2019
Lost the midfield battle today. Yates is wasted out wide, Darikwa pretty much played the whole right side on his own. Villa deserved the win tonight, we’ve just got to write it off as a bad night and move on to Saturday #nffc
— Jamie Stone (@JamieStone1986) March 13, 2019
Against Villa, Yates made 26 touches, 14 passes with 71% accuracy, one tackle and two interceptions. He drew four fouls on the night and won one aerial duel. The Englishman lined up in midfield with Jack Colback and Pele, but the trio struggled to get a foothold in the game and came out second-best. O’Neill might consider a change ahead of Saturday’s trip to Ipswich as Forest have now lost two of their last three league games.
As for Yates, the midfielder has made eight Championship appearances this season, scoring one goal. He was overlooked by Aitor Karanka earlier in the campaign, spending the first four months out of the matchday squad, but he’s been an important player under O’Neill. Wednesday’s game was Yates’ seventh consecutive league start but not his best performance.