Steven Gerrard’s comments on ex-Aston Villa captain Tyrone Mings were ‘unnecessary’ according to talkSPORT panelist Alex Crook.
Gerrard stripped the English defender of the captaincy and has suffered huge backlash with beIN SPORTS presenter Richard Keys calling the decision a ‘big mistake’ which has divided the dressing room ‘right down the middle’.
The former Rangers boss then decided to leave the 29-year-old out of the starting line-up in the season opener at Bournemouth which ended in a disappointing 2-0 defeat.
Gerrard has told BCC Radio WM ( via BBC Sport) that “When Tyrone is back at his best and looks me in the eye and shows that he’s ready to play, he’ll get opportunities” and said that was the “challenge” laid out when he took away the armband and it’s fair to say Crook is critical of how the manager has dealt with the issue.
Speaking on the talkSPORT GameDay podcast he said:
(12:51) “I actually wrote a piece about this in one of the papers on Monday, along the lines of Steven Gerrard is only really in charge of Villa for nine months but the cracks are already starting to appear.
“I thought his comments about Tyrone Mings, unprompted really after that defeat of Bournemouth, were unnecessary, highlights what is clearly an issue between him and his former captain and it seems that he’s not the only player that is not necessarily seeing eye to eye with Steven Gerrard.
“We know he was quite a combustible character as a captain and has taken that into his management I think that’s fine when things are going well as they did at Rangers but the Premier League is a completely different beast
“ I do fear for Gerrard and I fear for Aston Villa because they were so poor last week and they looked disjointed. They didn’t look like a team unit. They were carrying players when they couldn’t afford to.
TIF Thoughts on Gerrard and Villa….
Was Gerrard wrong to strip Mings of captaincy?
In only 12 league matches where Mings has been left out of the starting XI since he joined the club in February 2019, the Villans have lost eight times and managed just two victories.
It could be argued that that isn’t necessarily a direct result of the former Bournemouth ace not being in the side however, the manner in which Gerrard has dealt with the issue.
We have seen before the role of a non-playing captain like at Manchester City with Fernandinho last term and Jordan Henderson not always being in the 11 for Liverpool.
Ironically enough Gareth Southgate previously dubbed Mings an “outstanding leader” but if Gerrard did have doubts it perhaps would have been best to just leave him out of the team instead of throwing him ‘under the bus’ as Micah Richards suggested and taking away the captaincy.