Hope and optimism, if we didn't lose and Everton

Let me start by saying that when Steven Gerrard was appointed, I was surprised. First, I didn't think we should have gotten rid of a manager that had taken us higher every season he was in charge, but to then appoint someone with so little experience and so quickly made me think that this wasn't knee jerk, it was planned and not all for footballing reasons.

This is when I could write something now about Christian Purslow but I wont because if it turns out he was right about appointing Gerrard, then all will be good and he should have a job for life and it wont matter that I just don't seem to like him very much and think he has an ingratiating manner. But if things don't work out with Steven Gerrard, he should be the first to go for the reasons implied in the first paragraph.

The thing is, even though I had my concerns when Steven Gerrard was appointed and we've only picked up 23 points all year, he is our manager and we have many reasons to be optimistic and hopeful. He also need a proper chance and as the manager, even if we don't like the decisions, we have to accept them.

But if you were to read many of the comments on this blog and Twitter (much worse over there), you'd think he was on the verge of getting the sack. After one game of the season. This does raise the question about how much time though. That I can't answer.

And let's take a look at the Tyrone Mings situation. He lost the captaincy but are any of us really surprised that a new manager came in and wanted to change things? Just because Mings was the captain, doesn't mean he should remain the captain or that he was any good at the job. The manager will know better and we have to trust that decision.

Then he didn't play Mings at the weekend, but we all know he picked up a slight injury and wasn't 100%. The manager even said in the press before the game that if Mings looked him in the eye and said he was ready, he'd be playing. Bottom line, had we won or even not lost against Bournemouth, they'd be no talk about Mings. Finally on Mings, we all like him for wearing his kit on the train back but if he left this window, would any of us really be that disappointed? I mean, he's no Martin Laursen or Olof Mellberg.

But it's not just Mings, it's also Buendia. Whenever he plays, he makes an impact, but the manager was more interested in bringing Coutinho in instead of giving him a proper look. I don't think I've spoken to a Villa fan that wasn't excited about Coutinho, but also a little surprised that Buendia isn't playing ahead of him.

And I could go on. The thing is, he's the manager and he has said often enough it's on him. With Mings and Buendia, we'll see if he can learn. We're going to see if he learns when he finds a formation and way of playing that he can get to work. Chopping and changing doesn't work, we know this.

I've also said it before about new managers and I'll write it again; they seem more interested in spending money and hoping things work instead of coaching the players to play a certain way and getting them to believe that it's going to work. Look at what Potter did in Sweden and what he's doing at Brighton, it's the template for any new manager.

Don't get me wrong, players are hugely important but it's not as if Gerrard arrived and half our first team that finished eleventh the season before had left. If Dean Smith could do it.

Hope and optimism

Gerrard grew up in the game and probably had quite a bit of media training and he is also a very likeable person. And in football, that's important. But in management, the most important thing is to win games.

How you do that is less important. I've written before also that I'd take a boring 1-0 win every week, if it meant we won silverware or we are challenging for it. I'd crave the free flowing, attacking football that others play, but if we won stuff or looked like we were competing, I'd be more than happy. I think we all would be.

And even though he won only one trophy from a possible nine in Scotland, he did win something. And nobody can say the owners haven't backed him or that we don't have exciting players to pick from. And even though he only got the job in Scotland because he played football, every one has to start somewhere.

Steven Gerrard has been given the best possible opportunity at Aston Villa and it takes time. Look at Manchester United. Look at Liverpool. Look at Leicester. Look at Brighton. These things take time and in football, that isn't half a season or even two full seasons, it can be longer. The other thing with football is we as supporters should be able to see how it is taking shape and that is the challenge Steven Gerrard has this season.

We have Everton at the weekend and on paper our starting eleven is better. All things equal, Everton is a good test. Win and we will all be happy. Win and we see glimpses of something taking shape and we will be even happier. I suspect a draw and seeing glimpses of a Steven Gerrard side taking shape and it wont be so bad. But losing to Everton is going to be horrendous if it happens.

And I hope we start to see glimpses very soon.