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Freezing out Tyrone Mings may come back to bite Villa boss Steven Gerrard


Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard. Photo: David Klein/Reuters

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard. Photo: David Klein/Reuters

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard. Photo: David Klein/Reuters

In less than three months, Tyrone Mings has lost his place in the England squad, been relieved of the Aston Villa captaincy and now been dropped from the team’s starting XI.

They were decisions that might individually have been understandable but, taken together, would test the confidence of even the most resilient character.

It was curious, and questionable, then to hear Steven Gerrard put the onus so firmly back on Mings after a limp 2-0 opening-day defeat at Bournemouth in which his team hardly oozed character and leadership.

“I think the easy thing to do after defeat is to look at the people who weren’t on the pitch,” said Gerrard, upon being asked about his decision to leave out Mings and pair new signing Diego Carlos in central defence with Ezri Konsa.

Then came the passage that provoked considerable debate among Aston Villa fans after it was posted by the BBC West Midlands reporter Steve Hermon.

“I’m confident and have full belief [that] when Tyrone is back at his best and looks me in the eye and shows me he’s ready to play, he’ll get opportunities,” said Gerrard.

“He’s missed some training time with an injury and there’s a niggle in the background.

“That’s the challenge I set him when I made the decision over the captaincy. We said to Tyrone, ‘You get back to your consistent best and you’ll get back in the team’. We haven’t lost the game because Tyrone Mings wasn’t playing.”

How the situation now unfolds will be fascinating.

Football moves quickly and, while Gerrard’s words seem designed to get a reaction, the immediate aftermath of a disappointing defeat is not always the ideal moment to express exactly what you mean. 

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