"He’s divided his dressing room" - Richard Keys slams Steven Gerrard for committing 'big mistake' involving popular Aston Villa star

Underfire Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard
Underfire Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard

beIN Sports presenter Richard Keys has criticized Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard for his decision to strip Tyrone Mings of the club's captaincy.

Mings was appointed captain last summer following the departure of former skipper Jack Grealish, but was often slated by supporters for his sub-par performances.

Shortly before the season began, Gerrard gave John McGinn the armband. He dropped Mings from the starting lineup for their opening day clash against Bournemouth.

Villa put in a woeful performance against the newly-promoted outfit as they lost 2-0 and Keys has blamed Gerrard for swapping skippers. The former Sky Sports presenter wrote on his blog:

"Pre-match at Bournemouth he told us that they’d had a trouble-free pre-season and were ready to go. Well they weren’t. And they didn’t have a trouble-free pre-season.
"Gerrard walked into trouble all of his own making. He stripped Tyrone Mings of the captaincy - and dropped him at Bournemouth. Big mistake. He’s divided his dressing room right down the middle. Mings will have his supporters. And they’ll make their feelings known."

He added:

"Some won’t care - but in the other corner will be a group that are delighted to see the ex-captain brought down a peg or two. The unrest will spread to the canteen. Players will sit in their chosen groups - muttering and whispering. It’ll be the same on the coach. Negativity will spread like a virus. Little things become big problems."

Steven Gerrard sets Tyrone Mings a challenge to get back into Aston Villa side

Villa supporters were greatly concerned by their side's performance at the Vitality Stadium, with some questioning Gerrard's ability in the dugout.

The legendary England and Liverpool manager guided his side to a 14th placed finish last term after taking over in November. When asked by BBC Sport about Mings' future, Gerrard replied:

"When I made the decision over the captaincy, I set him that challenge. We said to Tyrone 'if you get back to your consistent best, you'll be back in the team'."

When asked if Mings' omission from the Bournemouth game was related to his reaction to losing the Aston Villa captaincy, Gerrard replied with:

"It's a little bit of that. He's also missed some training time with an injury and there's a niggle in the background as well. 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."

Aston Villa play Everton in their next Premier League fixture on Saturday, August 13.

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Edited by Puranjay
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