Aston Villa: Gerrard could now ‘rattle underperforming' stars at Villa Park

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard is ‘sending a message’ to the underperforming members of his senior squad by calling up youngsters to first-team training, according to journalist Dean Jones.

Gerrard has overseen a tough start to the season at Villa Park and may be hoping that some youthful exuberance in training can set them back on the right path.

What is the latest from Aston Villa?

With six matches played in the Premier League, the West Midlands giants have won one game and scored just five goals.

Their most recent clash ended in a 1-1 draw against Manchester City, perhaps hinting at a recovery, but upcoming clashes with Southampton, Leeds and Nottingham Forest will likely offer a clearer picture of where they are as a club.

Gerrard has taken action to try and rectify the problem recently, calling up under-21 stars in the form of midfielder Tommi O’Reilly and defender Josh Feeney, according to Birmingham Live.

The same outlet later reported that winger Declan Firth has also seen his good form rewarded with a call-up to Gerrard’s first-team training sessions.

What has Jones said on the decision?

Jones believes that Gerrard is attempting to send a message to members of his squad who have not stepped up in the current campaign.

He says it has given O’Reilly, Feeney and Firth the chance to ‘rattle’ some members of the first team and potentially provoke a response.

Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “I think that Steven Gerrard is sending out a message that there are going to be opportunities in this team if anyone isn’t performing. We’ve seen so far, a lot of underperforming on the whole, so this does seem like a good time for him to send out this message and to give young players an opportunity to rattle some of those big-name stars.”

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Who has failed to impress this season?

Defensively, Villa have been woeful in the current campaign, failing to keep a clean sheet and conceding two or more on three different occasions already.

Meanwhile, Philippe Coutinho was expected to act as a talismanic figure in the final third but is yet to provide a single goal or assist despite appearing in all six Premier League games.

Gerrard has had some bad luck along the way too. This summer saw Villa complete the £26 million signing of Sevilla centre-back Diego Carlos.

However, the Brazilian is now set to be sidelined until 2023 after rupturing his Achilles’ tendon against Everton.

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