The Lowdown: Underwhelming start
The Midlands outfit hosted the Irons on Sunday afternoon but suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of David Moyes’ side with a 74th-minute Pablo Fornals goal, with Ezri Konsa seeing his earlier goal chalked off in the first half.
The Villans have had a disappointing start to the Premier League campaign, winning just one game out of their opening four and losing the other three, leaving them languishing in 15th place despite a summer spend of almost £50m.
The Latest: ‘Utter madness’ from Gerrard
With the tams still level in the 66th minute at Villa Park, Gerrard decided to bring on Jacob Ramsey in place of Luiz, and Bardell took to Twitter to react to what he believed was ‘utter madness’ by the Villa manager.
He wrote: “Utter madness to take Luiz off and go back to a midfield that hasn’t been working. I assume he wasn’t injured.
“As soon as Luiz [was] off we lost all stability and control in the game, easy to play through. Goal. Winnable game gone.”
The Verdict: Surprising decision
Luiz has played in three of Villa’s four Premier League matches this season, so if he wasn’t injured, it seemed a strange decision to take him off.
He had been enjoying a decent afternoon against West Ham, completing 44 of his 51 passes, winning one duel, making two interceptions and drawing one foul (Sofascore).
Was Gerrard right to take Luiz off against West Ham?
The Brazilian currently averages a 92.2% pass success rate in the Premier League alone, highlighting his composure and how he can firm up a midfield, and Fornals’ goal could have potentially been prevented had he still been on the pitch to break up the play in the build-up to the game’s decisive moment.
Gerrard will now be hoping to regain some form when his team travel to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal on Wednesday night to ensure that he doesn’t come under any more pressure. Hopefully his substitutions work out better than the decision to withdraw Luiz did today.
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