In any normal situation, 21-year old Ben Godfrey would not have been playing for Norwich City at the weekend.
Awaiting a hernia operation, delayed because of the injury crisis at Carrow Road, Godfrey went into the contest after a course of painkillers.
But his performance in the 5-1 drubbing by Aston Villa was one to forget, fuelled by bad judgement and lacking the leadership weighted on his shoulders with the captain’s armband.
Godfrey and stand-in central defender Ibrahim Amadou were bullied by Aston Villa’s Wesley and the pairing lost any sense of partnership as the striker opened the scoring.
A clipped pass from Anwar El Ghazi landed perfectly at the feet of Wesley as Godfrey was left flat-footed and Amadou had stepped forward to play offside.
Initially, it looked as if Amadou had made a dreadful error not to cover Godfrey but Norwich’s stand-in skipper waved the back four out...only to stay back himself and play Wesley onside.
The second goal was a combination of poor communication between Amadou, Godfrey and left-back Jamal Lewis.
Four Norwich players, including Amadou, found themselves chasing the ball whilst Godfrey was left concerned about the danger behind him as Lewis laboured back.
Godfrey, with the best picture in the defensive line, should have called Amadou to drop back onto the danger of Wesley behind him. But, when that didn’t happen, Godfrey should have left the threat at the back post to cover the danger of Wesley at the near post. It was all too easy.
And the third
The third Villa goal scored by Jack Grealish was, once again, lazy from Godfrey.
He let his man peel off him, without any quick movement, to put the game out of sight.
Although the next two Villa goals came from Norwich errors further up the pitch, those opening three goals compounded a torrid afternoon for Godfrey.
An afternoon that included zero tackles, zero interceptions and just two aerial duels won.