Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has been told by owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens that the club should be finishing in the top half of the table this season, says BirminghamLive journalist Ashley Preece.
The Villans came 14th in the Premier League last term, and it appears that Sawiris and Edens are looking for a much better final position this time around.
Where are Villa currently in the table?
One place lower, 15th. Gerrard will be the first to admit that it has not been the greatest start to the new campaign.
From seven games, Villa have taken just seven points. They have also won just two matches, so it is clear to see that they have not hit top form yet.
They have, however, had some injury problems, losing summer signing Diego Carlos in only their second fixture of the season, the 2-1 win over Everton.
There is still a long way to go before this campaign wraps up, though, so a top-half finish is certainly not out of reach yet.
What has Preece said about Gerrard and Villa?
Preece has told GIVEMESPORT that Villa’s owners definitely want to see Gerrard and his men secure a top-10 finish come May.
Speaking to GMS, the BirminghamLive journalist said: “The early signs were fantastic last season when Gerrard first came in. He grabbed the club by the scruff of the neck, got some results on the board straight away and steered Villa away from the threat of relegation, so that was the mantra last season.
“I asked him what the remit from the owners is this season, and it’s a comfortable top-half finish and progressing well in both cups. They’ve got Man U in the League Cup in November, so that’ll be a tricky game.”
Can Villa finish in the top half of the table?
As already mentioned, it is still early days. Villa are not where they want to be now, but there is still plenty of time for them to climb up the table. And they certainly have the players to help them do so.
In attack, Gerrard has the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Ollie Watkins to call upon. The former has underwhelmed a bit so far this season, failing to come up with a single goal contribution. However, the Brazilian is obviously a quality player on his day.
“His vision is a major strength to him as a player,” Gerrard said back in February (via MailOnline) after Coutinho arrived at Villa Park on an initial loan deal.
“He’s lovely on the eye to watch; his technical ability is high level. I don’t think I have to go on about Phil Coutinho the player, you just have to watch and admire the class with which he goes about it.”
Once his form returns and everyone else also starts to perform, should Gerrard be able to get that to happen, then things should drastically improve at Villa Park.