By Chima Azu
Aston Villa coach Steven Gerrard made it 4 wins from 6 after a convincing 0:2 win away at Carrow Road against Norwich proving his good enough for the Premier League and that his achievements at Rangers wasn’t a flash in the pan.
After replacing former coach Dean Smith Villa fans and the football world wanted to see if Gerrard can prove himself in the EPL just like he did in Scotland with Rangers. So far he has not disappointed, his only two defeats didn’t come from relegation threatening or mid-table teams, he lost both games to Manchester city and Liverpool all with a goal margin ( 2:1 and 1:0).
The former Liverpool legend isn’t just winning games he has worked on the team’s leaky defense. They have conceded 5 goals so far and 3 out of the 5 came from the top two team in the league, that speaks volumes of how stingy his defense is right now. It should be noted that Liverpool’s goal against them came through a penalty by Mo Salah. According to The Analyst, Villa now only concede 1.0 goals per game, a great decrease from 1.8 under Dean Smith.
Villa now play more as a collective unit with an identity and more sharpness. As for the players, they no longer struggle with confidence to simply tackle and win back the ball. There’s a new sense of concentration, a new commitment to be aggressive, two things that were obviously absent for the last few games Dean Smith was in charge.
He has now gotten the best out of record signing Buendia who struggled under Smith, also Watkins is showing glimpses of how good he is. Matty Cash is also not left out, he and Targett are both running down the flanks at will creating chances for the strikers.
Definitely they are not gunning for the title or top four places but Villa fans would love to see more of these performances and with Gerrard’s antecedents with Rangers they can be assured of more memorable games and possibly an European spot. Gerrard is proving that his here to stay, this Villa job can also be the stepping stone for bigger jobs for the former Three Lions midfielder especially his boyhood club Liverpool, he might be Jurgen Klopp’s successor someday.