I’m guessing a loss tonight would likely see Gerrard sacked, but maybe he’s been given Brentford, as well. Either way, that’s its own comment on the state of affairs: Gerrard’s tenure depends on Villa beating two teams that the owners would be expecting us to, and that we should be ahead of in terms of the club’s progression and ambition.
With Sawiris and Edens in town to watch, Villa battled against Chelsea, and on another day would’ve had a goal or two for their troubles. Perhaps they wouldn’t have either made or been punished for the two decisive errors. Could’ve had a result. Alas, ’twas not be. But losing to Chelsea was never the marker by which Gerrard’s body of work is going to be judged.
Here we are largely talking about Steven Gerrard, as one of the game’s bright managerial talents comes to Villa Park running Chelsea rather than Brighton. We’ve a good record against Potter, but that’s largely down to Brighton’s inability to score for fun. Now he’s got a better squad all-round and it’s Villa that have this certain inability to score for fun.
That’s the question following Villa’s creditable 1-1 draw with Manchester City, the first decent result against top competition in quite some time. Steven Gerrard was definitely on the hot seat prior to kick-off, and no one knows exactly how much rope he has left.
So, could be a very long and depressing afternoon. Could be an inspiring one that turns our season. No idea if it will end up being a referendum on Gerrard, though I can’t imagine a heavy loss will help him. A spirited performance might. A result will almost certainly forestall any thoughts of sacking him.