Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has revealed his two vice-captains for this season, with summer signing Diego Carlos immediately given a leadership role.
As we edge ever closer to our Premier League season opener against Bournemouth on August 6, final preparations are underway as our pre-season schedule comes to a close in the coming days.
Having opted to keep Tyrone Mings as captain following his appointment last season, Gerrard has decided to make a change having now had time to assess the situation, with the armband passing on to John McGinn this year.
Ashley Young has been named Club Captain, and as per Gerrard in his interview with VillaTV, both Emiliano Martinez and Carlos have also been confirmed as vice-captains for the upcoming campaign and will step in should McGinn be absent.
Speaking on his summer recruit, the Villa boss is clearly impressed with what he’s seen of Carlos thus far, but issued a warning to all those in his leadership group that their titles will not guarantee them a place in this starting XI.
“In the short time I’ve worked with Diego Carlos, everything he’s done smacks me in the face that he’s a leader and a potential leader moving forward,” Gerrard told VillaTV. “It doesn’t mean any of them are guaranteed a shirt, I want to make that loud and clear. It’s still important that your performances are strong and you’re consistent. A captaincy or vice-captaincy title doesn’t guarantee that you start in this 11.”
It’s certainly positive to hear Gerrard speak so highly of Carlos and the influence he has had already since joining, as while he may well have needed time to settle and adjust to his new surroundings, the fact that he has stepped up and shown leadership already is a good sign.
Ultimately though, it remains to be seen how the situation plays out as with competition for places across the squad now, the likes of McGinn and Carlos will not be certain of a place in the side and so they’ll have to earn that with consistency and impressive displays.
It could be argued that Martinez was the smart choice for the captaincy role given the expectation that he will be an ever-present in the Villa XI, but McGinn will now lead us this season and it’s hoped that the added responsibility that comes with that will see his performance level go up as a result.