Steven Gerrard singles out Aston Villa player, says what annoys him the most
Villa boss Steven Gerrard was quick to single out Jacob Ramsey at today’s press conference in a detailed response regarding the club’s impressive academy.
Gerrard was sitting in the Baltic conditions at Bodymoor Moor Monday night watching Villa’s Under-23s beat Burnley 4-1 thanks to goals from Jaden Philogene-Bidace (2), Caleb Chukwuemeka and Tristan goodridge.
Gerrard, meanwhile, believes Ramsey is the benchmark for Villa’s crop of adolescent talent having been incredibly impressed with the 20-year-old during his first sessions with him.
âI was really impressed with JJ over the 10 days or two weeks we worked together,â he said, with Ramsey known mostly as JJ, “because he seems like a really humble kid, he’s hungry, his standards are very high and he’s gone and supported him on the training ground and in the game. This is the reason he made his debut (vs Brighton).
âThere has to be a path (from the academy to the first team), sure, but there are two things to that. I’m a person who put the ball in his court. We’re going to build a relationship with the academy staff who do a fantastic job.
“It’s clear to see that there are a lot of talented players at the academy level. We won’t really interfere with the Under-23 squad in terms of style and identity because that’s fair and we would be doing a disservice if we didn’t and it is important that they rehearse and play like the first team.
“But, from the age of 18, they must continue to do the fantastic job that was done long before us.
âThe message to the academy players is that you will have opportunities and chances in this football club if you are good enough.
“Now it’s loaded because it’s just not on the backs of talent. You have to put everything around talent to make sure you’re ready to perform consistently at that level.”
Gerrard was also asked about the standards he expects and the minimum requirement he asks of his players, to which he replied: “To be the best version of yourself. Which bothers me, if you will. , is when I see an underperforming player -performing and not being the best version of themselves.
“It’s really frustrating from any manager and for me I’ll be everywhere with any player who I think could give us more of any department.”