This evening, Aston Villa announced that John McGinn will be taking over Tyrone Mings’ duties and will be Aston Villa captain for the upcoming season. Emiliano Martinez takes over the promoted John McGinn’s role as vice captain, and Ashley Young will be club captain (off field captain).
Steven Gerrard has said that “John has demonstrated that he is ready to take on the captaincy through his performances on the pitch combined with his attitude and application in training. He is a popular member of the dressing room who sets high standards and expectations of himself. Emi is a respected senior member of the squad whilst Ashley Young’s experience speaks for itself and he is the perfect ambassador for the team.”
The announcement came a bit out of the blue, and whilst there will definitely be some benefits to these senior members taking up the leading roles in the squad, you can’t help but think that there are some disadvantages.
As Steven Gerrard said, McGinn demonstrates readiness for the armband both on and off the pitch through his application, high standards and expectations, however some of his performances, specifically last season, were quite inconsistent. Will the armband motivate him that little bit more in order to take him up a level? We shall see…
Ashley Young’s experience and leadership skills are there for all to see, however his future at the club was undecided a few weeks back. It is baffling how a player that was leaving until a few weeks ago is now the official “club captain”. However, he has won loads in the game and can definitely be a good mentor for the younger members of the dressing room, so the decision can definitely be understood.
What Does This Mean For Tyrone Mings?
When your club captain is demoted from the role of club captain, you have to ask questions. Why hasn’t he took over the role of vice captain? What will McGinn do different to Mings? Does this mean he’s leaving?
Steven Gerrard stated, “Naturally, I have had to have a discussion with Tyrone Mings and have explained my reasons for making this decision. More importantly, I believe that not having the responsibility of the captaincy will allow Tyrone to focus more on his own game which can only benefit him and the team.”
Tyrone Mings has said, “For me this isn’t about John or I, it’s about what’s right for Aston Villa. I have no issues with the manager’s decision. I’ve loved leading this team. Anyone who knows John knows how infectious he is an it will be an honour to play underneath his captaincy.”
From those statements, you’d think that Tyrone is staying put. However, he may not start every game and may be second fiddle to Ezri Konsa, Diego Carlos and maybe even Calum Chambers…
But, does this mean John McGinn will start every game? If he’s consistent, him starting every game shouldn’t be a problem, however if his inconsistent form from last season carries into this season, will he still be starting every week just because he has the armband, or will he get dropped for Luiz or Sanson like any other member of the squad would be?
What Does This Mean For Luiz & Sanson?
Surely if John McGinn is the captain it means he will be starting near enough every game and will be preferred in the number eight role to Douglas Luiz and Morgan Sanson, and we know how frustrated Sanson gets when not given an opportunity, and Luiz could be the same, so what happens then? We may have a very unhappy Brazillian and a very unhappy Frenchmen on our hands…
A lot of fans have said that they would have preferred Emi Martinez. They believe he is the only one that should start every game as he is astronomically clear of every other option in his position and therefore is guaranteed to start if available. However, McGinn has a lot of competition, and a few bad games may lead to him getting dropped which can then cause conflict in the dressing room.
Some of the fans have also said that they feel Tyrone has been treated slightly unfairly and should have at least been given the role of vice captain.
However, this is what Steven Gerrard has chose to do, and Gerrard is a true professional and will only do what he believes is right for the club, whether we as fans like it or not. We have a big season ahead which starts in ten days with a trip away to Bournemouth, and hopefully it can be a successful season where we can potentially secure European football or win some silverware with John McGinn as captain, Emi Martinez as vice captain, Ashley Young as the “club captain” and Tyrone Mings as a non official captain.
Tyrone doesn’t need an armband to be a leader on and off the pitch… He is a born leader with a great attitude.
BY HARRY BATTERS - @HarryBatters