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Tyrone Mings: Overrated or Overhated?

Tyrone Mings is a player who divides opinion to say the least. As Aston Villa captain and an England International at the heart of the defence you could say on paper he’s the perfect centre back. Standing at 6’5, left footed and playing as a left sided centre back, Mings has very sought after attributes in the modern game. But football as we know isn’t played on paper.

Mings first joined Aston Villa on loan from Bournemouth in January 2019 with Dean Smith convincing Mings to drop down to the Championship from the Premier League. It was a match made in heaven and instantly Mings won over the many doubters regarding his injuries and playing at CB. The season ended in promotion and Aston Villa were back where they belong, in the Premier League.

Mings joined permanently that summer from Bournemouth for a fee worth up to £26.5m and since then Villa have stayed up on the final day of the season, and finished mid table in the last 2 consecutive seasons. Villa kept 14 clean sheets in the 2020-2021 season and Mings was a key part of the defence with Mings also making his England debut in October 2019.

In the most recent season just gone 2021-2022 is where Mings’ game has really come under the spotlight. The title of this piece is Overrated or Overhated because I really feel the truth lies somewhere in the middle for Tyrone Mings. Tyrone Mings is not this “fraud” of a centre back who is one of the worst in the league as some fans will say on Twitter. But at the same time neither is he completely irreplaceable as some other fans on the other end of the argument would say.

In the 2021-2022 season Mings made an average of 1.3 interceptions per game (1st highest for Villa). Made an average of 4.2 clearances per game (1st highest for Villa). Mings also won 59% of his ground duels and 64% of his arial duels. These stats look good and also to partner the stats, Mings was made captain at the start of the season and is a very vocal part of the team. Organising the back line, shouting instructions and being the leader at the back. These are all the plus points to Mings’ game and Villa are the benefactors for that. There is always the other side of the argument though.

Mings’ lack of concentration at times and his errors have been an issue this season. They are highlighted more by fans of other teams because they only watch highlights of the games and Mings’ errors tend to lead to goals. Thus being shown on the highlights. They wont watch the other 89 minutes where Mings has been a leader and commanding the backline. That lies the issue with Mings, he can play well for 89 minutes of the game but just have that one lapse of concentration and the other 89 minutes are almost irrelevant. I would argue both Konsa and Mings haven’t been consistent this season and a lot of the responsibility to play out from the back and bring the ball forward lies on Mings’ shoulders rather than Konsa. Or even being shared.

The signing of Diego Carlos this summer and the continuous links to Bassey bring into question whether Mings will be a starter next season. Has Carlos been brought in to partner Mings at the back? Are the Bassey links just an easy link to make because of Gerrard managing him before? These are questions that will be answered shortly. I will finish this piece by saying I think the truth of Mings lies somewhere in the middle of being overrated or overhated. I think he’s a good Premier League centre back who has been a very good servant and ambassador for Aston Villa. The million dollar question is though, is a good Premier League centre back who is your captain good enough for Villa to challenge the European places? Are the mistakes one too many? Or are the leadership qualities and commanding presence too big to overlook?

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