In a recent interview with Football Insider, Noel Whelan has tipped Steven Gerrard to drop John McGinn for the upcoming fixtures. The Scotland international was promoted as the new Aston Villa skipper prior to this campaign, but he has shown little leadership traits with the Claret and Blue struggling for results after seven Premier League games.
“If it’s not working, then it’s not working, and someone needs to come in who is in form. Gerrard has already dropped Tyrone Mings, and he’s come back in. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to take a back seat, watch the game, and then come back in again.”
Told the former Leeds United attacker who also highlighted Erik ten Hag’s decision of benching Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire. Manchester United has shown a swift resurgence ever since, and the Villa boss has been asked to take a similar stance to build some momentum following a 1-1 draw against Manchester City in the previous gameweek.
McGinn, 27, was roped in from Hibernian four years ago. He soon secured a starting role in the centre of the pitch and played a massive role in their Premier League promotion under Dean Smith. The midfield ace continued to excel in the top flight of the English pyramid, but an underwhelming run of late might force the manager to think twice before deciding his lineup for the upcoming Southampton game.
Why McGinn Is Struggling In This Aston Villa Side
Gerrard’s success at Rangers was primarily due to a stable 4-3-3 formation. However, he is yet to figure out his best midfield combination despite having an array of options. McGinn has mostly been deployed as a wide midfielder, but the likes of Boubacar Kamara and Douglas Luiz should be ahead in the pecking order given their current run of form.
Meanwhile, none of Luiz and Kamara is comfortable down the wide and the gaffer, therefore, should opt for a 4-2-3-1 in order to utilize the duo as a ‘double pivot’. McGinn must be compromised in such a scenario.
The Scotsman does not fit into a ‘number 10’ or wide attacking role. Moreover, Villans have Leon Bailey, Philippe Coutinho, Jacob Ramsey and Emi Buendia who would be more productive from the flanks. Gerrard’s 4-3-2-1 is not working either as it is limiting Ramsey’s game as a left-sided midfielder. The young Englishman has offered more flair and firepower in and around the attacking third and the same must be prioritized to restore stability before it gets too late for the Liverpool great.