Glaring statistics emphasise lack of Villa progression under Gerrard

As question marks persist over Steven Gerrard’s future at Aston Villa, the statistics don’t write a positive story of his tenure thus far.

Beyond the numbers, there are intangibles that also add to the disappointment and frustration around what we’ve seen over the past 12 months, and concern has increased in recent weeks as the disconnect and disillusionment amongst supporters has grown.

READ MORE: Villa player ratings vs Chelsea: Mings, Martinez make costly mistakes in defeat

While we may well have gone four unbeaten prior to Sunday’s defeat to Chelsea, that shouldn’t mask the issues that have been clear for some time now as we simply haven’t looked convincing nor have we shown a clear style of play or identity to show that Gerrard has successfully stamped his mark on the team.

The expectation for now at least is that he’ll be in charge when we travel to west London to face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Thursday night, but should that result not go our way, and it may well take a win to really make him safe, then there will undoubtedly be growing calls for a change to be made.

When considering the statistics in terms of results under Gerrard, it produces a damning verdict of his time in charge and just how little we’ve moved forward under his stewardship both in terms of points and development as a squad.

Statistics show Villa haven’t progressed under Gerrard

Former Villa boss Dean Smith was sacked after picking up 10 points from 11 games at the start of last season, a poor run of form that left us two points above the relegation zone. Gerrard currently has nine points from 10 games as we sit just one point above the bottom three.

That is a glaring lack of progression and improvement as ultimately we’re almost in exactly the same place as we were in 12 months ago. If anything, the level of our play has regressed further and we look much less effective than when Gerrard initially arrived and improved results instantly.

Further, if we look back over an extended period of time since Gerrard was appointed, Villa have just two wins in our last 18 games against current Premier League opposition, scoring just 13 goals in those 18 outings while we’ve collected 11 points (W2, D5).┬áThat’s 0.61 PPG.

After Smith was sacked for – in CEO Christian Purslow’s own words – a lack of continuous improvement, where does that leave us now with Gerrard as we see this situation drag out?

Yes, we’ve seen defensive improvements. Yes, the players must be accountable too as we’re making costly individual errors and not being ruthless enough in the final third, and those are factors out of Gerrard’s control when the whistle goes.

Villa played at a high level in the first half against Chelsea, but you don’t get anything for playing well for 45 minutes.

We constantly hear Gerrard talk about the personal challenge he has in steering us in the right direction, about how he inherited a squad and has been struck with unfortunate injury luck to new additions as well as a bizarre belief that we’re not too far away from being where we want to be.

Where is the brand of football he spoke about previously? Have any of the Villa players improved and developed individually from coaching over the past year? While we may well get a good result here or there, is there sustained and consistent proof that he can guide us forward in the long term?

Gerrard was appointed to take us to the next level. To give us an identity, a style of play that built on the work Smith did previously, not to merely rely on big moments and moments of magic from individuals to make the difference.

Naturally, all teams need that too and it’s an important element of any successful side along with some luck along the way. However, we lack the basic principles of being a competitive side and given how long we’ve waited to see shoots of positive signs emerge, they don’t seem to be forthcoming.