Presenter Richard Keys has claimed that he has been told that Aston Villa is not a very enjoyable place to be at the moment.
Villa have had a torrid start to the Premier League season as they have lost three out of their four opening fixtures of the campaign, with their next two fixtures coming against the table’s current top two.
Steven Gerrard’s side had a busy start to the transfer window, but they have had a quiet latter stage, with them making five new signings in total, and their most expensive addition, Diego Carlos, picked up an injury which will see him out for the foreseeable.
Meanwhile, there were changes behind the scenes as Tyrone Mings was dropped as the club captain and succeeded by John McGinn.
With Villa having such a disappointing start to the season, Keys wrote on his personal blog, claiming that the situation surrounding the captaincy was badly handled and is still an issue at the club.
He said: “Smile a bit, Steven. Lighten up. Get the guys on your side. I’m told working at Villa right now isn’t enjoyable. If players don’t enjoy going to work, that’s a huge problem. And what did I say about Mings-gate? All that was so unnecessary. It was badly handled and it’s still an issue. I’m afraid it might just be Gerrard’s undoing.”
TIF Thoughts on Keys’ comments…
Mings being stripped of captaincy might have been down to the new signing of Carlos and Mings potentially not being in the starting XI every week, but this has seemingly gone against Gerrard with Carlos being injured, and Mings might now feature more regularly than expected.
The English defender has now started twice for Villa this season, and Gerrard might be regretting his decision as they currently sit 16th in the table after four games played, so it could certainly be argued that removing Mings as skipper was a needless move – albeit mainly in hindsight.
However, if Mings was considered to be an example for others to follow, him being out of the starting XI need not have been a reason to demote him, as players such as Mikel Arteta have captained their clubs during their careers without being regular starters.