Kortney Hause is hitting the right notes with his debut single – but what about on the pitch?
Words: Guy Poxon | @GuyPoxon
Kortney Hause released his debut single in aid of the National Health Service over this weekend, a great feat that both the player and fans should be proud of.
Hause, is just entering the start of his prime years as a central defender – the left-back, now centre-back, turns 25-years-old in three months at the time of writing.
But how has Kortney got on this season, and is he good enough for Aston Villa’s ambitions?
We always remember the worst in people
Football fans will hold their hands up and admit that we can usually recall a player’s worst mistakes far more quickly than the highlights of their career. Villa fans are no different and Hause’s contract extension brought some mixed reactions, with some fans quick to point out his flaws, mistakes and spurned chances.
The disgruntled nature of some fans isn’t whole unjustified, to be fair. Kortney Hause looked tired and a bit lost throughout February – present throughout three consecutive losses against Bournemouth, Spurs and Southampton. Notably his passing averaged an accuracy of 72.6% during those three games and that is simply not good enough for a Premier League centre-back. In games where one mistake can make the difference, you need to be showing composure on a consistent basis.
In those three league games, Hause also won considerably less aerial duels than he has done throughout the season – about 30% less. Could it have been a dip in confidence?
There is a bigger picture
The last three league games and the most recent memories of Hause are his worst performances of the season. But, they were also during the worst string of results that Aston Villa have had all year. Believe it or not, the streak of 4 straight defeats which those fixtures rest in is the joint-worst of the season alongside December’s woeful results.
All this to say, that, no one was consistently performing in the month preceding the Covid-19 outbreak and Kortney’s poor form is likely part of a collective struggle – one which you would expect to turn on it’s head eventually.
A look at Kortney Hause’s development
Coming through at Wolves, Hause burst into the playing squad and earned a respectable record in the championship:
- Wolves 2014/15 – 17 appearances 6.54 rating
- Wolves 2015/16 – 25 appearances 6.95 rating
- Wolves 2016/17 – 24 appearances 7.00 rating
- Wolves 2017/18 – played for seven minutes
In 2015, Hause suffered a hamstring injury at the age of 20 which saw him hiss half of the 2015/16 season. While he recovered and followed up with his best season in the second tier of English football in 2016/17, he then struggled to make an impact under the Nuno routine. Perhaps that is one of the biggest blows to Hause’s development.
Kortney Hause initially started out as a left back, like so many other young, left-footed, players do (Mings, even Gareth Bale). Hause was moved to a central defender role in the 2015/16 season on a regular basis.
Speaking with Wolves fans, it would seem that Hause’s development stalled after a good couple of seasons in his formative years. Wolves fans will admit that Hause recovered from his injury and retained excellent physical stature and athleticism, but the reason he never broke into Nuno’s team was because he wasn’t tactically aware enough due to lapses in concentration. Wolves fans would say that he was guilty of switching off sometimes and losing that split-second advantage against attackers which often proves costly.
His time at Aston Villa
Hause played a crucial role in getting Villa up to the Premier League. While Axel Tuanzebe was out injured, he formed an excellent partnership with Tyrone Mings. Hause also came on and looked incredibly assured during the Play-Off Final, winning everything that came his way and imposing himself as a superior player against Derby’s attackers.
- Aston Villa 2018/19 – 12 appearences 6.86 rating
- Aston Villa 2019/20 – 11 appearences 6.75 rating
Crucially, he hasn’t actually played that much football at Villa. But the stats suggest that Hause has been quite consistent over the course of both seasons. This is also Hause’s first season in the Premier League.
A shocking statistic
Perhaps the most unbelievable statistic in a team with Tyrone Mings playing centre-back, now an England international, is that Kortney Hause is the highest rated centre-back at the club. This might be skewed by his small number of appearances, but nevertheless his contribution can’t be ignored.
His obvious strengths are in his physical attributes. He wins 6.2 headers a game – that is four more headers a game than Mings. He tackles and intercepts the ball a lot more than Tyrone, too; about twice as much per game.
But his flaw is in the lapses of concentration. He doesn’t quite have as much quality as you might wish – his passing accuracy is 10% worse than Mings and Engels which, as a centre-back, is not where you want to be losing the ball. His mistakes can prove costly because of the responsibility that comes with his position.
Hitting the right notes?
Overall, Hause is actually a very accomplished centre-back. He fits well into the mould of “Enforcer” – but at the cost of being less technically proficient. He is different to a Rolls Royce defender, more of a Range Rover Sport – sturdy, powerful, quick, but struggles with reliability and not as rounded as some of his competitors.