They obviously downed tools for Gerrard

“It actually really annoyed me. It annoyed me because they obviously downed tools for (Steven) Gerrard. Look, Aston Villa are a good team with some good players. But it annoyed me that the energy and performance they put in is kind of where you need to look at yourselves then as players,” Jamie O’Hara said on TalkSPORT.

If ever you were wondering if football pundits were out of touch with the game and didn’t do their homework, this is a prime example. Sky Sports Sue Smith and even Match of the Day’s Ashley Williams could teach O’Hara a thing or two but saying that what can you expect from a man who threw away a very promising football career?

I know, I know, TalkSPORT reporters say things to antagonise supporters and get them to phone in. It’s the whole point of the radio station but O’Hara isn’t alone in his thoughts. Many other pundits have stated similar.

Danks returns to basics

Square pegs in round holes come to mind with Gerrard and his time at Aston Villa. He tried to play a system that didn’t suit the squad he had assembled and played players out of position.

Aaron Danks moved from Gerrard’s rigid 4-3-3 formation to a more fluid 4-2-3-1 system and allowed players to express themselves while playing in more national positions.

He dropped out of form captain John McGinn and handed Leander Dendoncker a start alongside Douglas Luiz in a double pivot that so many Villa fans had been calling for.

Leon Bailey returned to his more natural position on the left-hand side while Emi Buendia played in a number 10 position.

Three goals inside 15 minutes, two of them from Danny Ings, saw Villa secure all three points in a re-energised performance.

Villa took the lead after just two minutes when Luiz found Bailey following a short corner and the Jamaican smashed the ball into the back of the net.

Five minutes later and the home side doubled their lead with Bailey once again involved as Ashley Young played the winger through before he found Ings in the middle of the box to slot home.

Ings got his second from the spot on the 14th minute and Ollie Watkins completed the rout just before the hour mark after three attempts on goal.

Liverpool legend Bill Shankly once stated: “Football is a simple game made complicated by people who should know better.”

It didn’t work out for Gerrard as he over complicated things and became too stubborn. I’m sure Villa’s former manager will learn from his experience and go on to have a successful career elsewhere. It just wasn’t to be at Villa Park.


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