STEVEN GERRARD may be feeling the pressure at Aston Villa after a poor start to the season under his management.
It’s not all results either – there has been controversy surrounding the withdrawal of captain Tyrone Mings and the appointment of John McGinn in his place.
Liverpool legend Gerrard has also lost Michael Beale, his trusted right hand from his time at Rangers, to QPR.
Villa lost to newly-promoted Bournemouth on the first weekend of the season before beating Everton last week.
But yesterday they fell to 13th with a 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace – despite holding a 1-0 lead after just five minutes.
After the disappointing opening run of games to start the season, as well as a disappointing end to last campaign, there is a growing feeling among Villa fans that they want Gerrard sacked.
For many Villa supporters, the anger around Gerrard centers on the fact that he is simply seen as out of reach in the Premier League.
One fan said: “Gerrard is still not good enough… before the game against Palace I could have said the same thing and I will say the same thing until he is inevitably sacked.”
Another commented: “I really don’t know what to think of Gerrard. I can’t know if he lost the dressing room, the formation is bad, if the players are not good enough to implement what he said, or if he’s just out of his depth. One thing’s for sure, I’m now dreading this season.
And another fan said: “The tactics are flawed. We have real talent and Gerrard is far from making the best of it.”
A particularly scathing assessment from a fan read: “We have no tactical idea what we’re doing, ‘The results on me’, it’s like on the one hand he’s trying to defend the players and take the blame to protect them but on the other hand he is happy to ostracize and anger players for his favourites. The club have backtracked since Gerrard #Gerrardout”
It has not been overlooked by the Villa faithful that Gerrard’s record in charge is deteriorating to the point where his stats are no better than those of his predecessor and the man he was sacked for, Dean Smith.
When Smith was sacked, his points per game through 2021 was 1.11. So far, Gerrard through 2022 is 1.13.
One fan noted: “(Dean) Smith was sacked for this form over a 9 month period and Gerrard has a better team. He also completely lost the culture and connection with the fans that Smith had built. I didn’t want to not from him and I’m firing him today.”
For some fans, Villa CEO Christian Purslow is also to blame, as he was one of the driving forces behind Gerrard’s appointment.
And a wave of support for Brighton boss Graham Potter to be the man to succeed Gerrard is forming, summed up in this tweet: “Gerrard out, Purslow out, Potter in, Forward thinking CEO using a people driven approach data, and we are on the right path.”
But not everyone claims his head.
One fan warned: “You all need to relax. Palace are a good team, there’s nothing to panic about. Gerrard doesn’t need to be sacked. We can’t become a team which has 3 coaches per season.”
Another offered a hopeful perspective: “I can’t even argue with that, we’ve been horrible except for the rebound from the new manager and the little winning runs between a few games. Gerrard needs a huge turnaround because right now he is looking at his depth as a Premier League manager. For the sake of #avfc, let’s hope he can turn the tide.”
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