Tyrone Mings’ Current Predicament
It’s going to be a big season for Aston Villa’s previous captain, Tyrone Mings, after Steven Gerrard decided that he preferred to make John McGinn his captain for the 2022/23 season, with Emi Martinez serving as his Vice Captain.
The season ahead offers a contrasting spectrum of possibilities for the Villa centre-back.
Mings, for MOMS’s money is a good captain. Off the field, for a footballer, he was an eloquent and principled figure for the club, and communicated well with supporter base. On the pitch, he has presence and is a good communicator, which we clearly saw and heard in the behind-closed-doors games during the Covid-19 lockdown, where no Villa player was more vocal in organising Villa team.
During that season of 2020/21, Mings went a long way to helping Villa to a decent tally of 15 cleans sheets.
When Ming’s is on his ‘A’ game, in recent seasons, there’s been no better Villa defender. Yet, the notion of him having a mistake in him has unfortunately bared fruit more frequently than he’d like.
Part of it is he is a defender that meets the danger head-on and commits himself, which in turn, potentially exposes himself. In a centre-back partnership, one of the pair is normally the more aggressive, while the other one cleans up. Think the combative Shaun Teale, alongside the composed and cultured Paul McGrath.
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Last season, Mings suffered from a confused Villa midfield and full-backs that were bombing on and trying to learn Gerrard’s way, but often leaving Villa open to the counter. Ezri Konsa wasn’t helping him either, as he had a poor season too, after previously having Villa Twitter bemoaning why Gareth Southgate didn’t pick him for England.
Unfortunately, the Villa centre-back with an actual England squad place, lost it towards the end of last season. The irony is Mings has never let England down and him playing for his country, normally equates to a clean sheet for the national team. England were crying out for him in their last farcical outing against Hungary.
Gerrard says his decision to instate McGinn as captain is partly to allow Mings to focus on his game.
“Naturally, I have had to have a discussion with Tyrone Mings and have explained my reasons for making this decision,” explained, Gerrard.
“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.”
Mings was swift to be diplomatic in public, saying that he had “no issues with the managers decision”.
For me this isn’t about John or I, it’s about what’s right for Aston Villa. I have no issues with the managers decision; I’ve loved leading this team. Anyone who knows @jmcginn7 knows how infectious he is and it will be an honour to play underneath his captaincy 🙏🏽💜 https://t.co/HwRawnf1ih— Tyrone Mings (@TyroneMings) July 27, 2022
The Challenge Ahead for Mings
Privately, of course, Mings will not be chuffed at this turn of events, especially with the Qatar World Cup appearing rapidly on the horizon. The battle to get back into the England squad for the tournament will be tough, but a good motivating carrot that should benefit both the player and his club alike.
It’s a high stakes game that Mings is in though, the once first choice Mings-Konsa partnership is now under serious threat, with both Diego Carlos and Calum Chambers impressing. A poor season in the face of increased competition at Villa, could see Mings in danger of slipping to the bench and potentially out of the club, come next summer.
Yet, in terms of the club progressing in the right direction, it’s the kind of strong healthy competition that Villa have needed across the squad.
Off the field, Mings clearly has an active interest in self-improvement, so no doubt once the season gets going, he’ll relish the challenge ahead of improving on the pitch.
If Mings does, it’s certainly a factor that could help Villa finally get a top-half finish since he helped the club get promoted.
However diplomatic the quotes/press release, this feels very high risk from SG. Mings might indeed depart as a result (eventually). He’s still a great defender, not helped by the floppy, flappy mess that was our midfield at times last season (including: McGinn). Arguably, Mings is more suited to the club captain kind of role (Ashley Young?! Eh?). McGinn himself is clearly a top bloke and I imagine would be a popular captain… but always starting? I was thinking only Kamara would be first choice in mid this season. In which case Martinez seems like the best choice if you want to change captain.
Along with the weird lines about Emi Buendia last season, and the clear put down of Matt Targett, I’m starting to wonder about SG’s man-management. Early days still, but…
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