Aston Villa: Jacob Ramsey was ‘caged’ under Gerrard, claims Hatchard
European football broadcaster and Sky Sports contributor Kevin Hatchard has claimed that Jacob Ramsey was ‘caged’ under former Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard.
The Lowdown: Rising star
Gerrard played the Villa midfielder 37 times during his time in charge of the club in all competitions before he was sacked earlier in the season.
Under his replacement, Unai Emery, Ramsey has featured in five Premier League matches and possibly could’ve played more had he not sustained a hamstring injury.
The 21-year-old has spent his entire career with the Villans (bar a loan move to Doncaster Rovers) and has risen through the ranks of their youth system.
The Latest: Limited by Gerrard
Hatchard raved about Ramsey’s displays under Emery and stated his belief that he didn’t show these capabilities in Gerrard’s system when speaking on The Villa View podcast.
He stated: “It was one of the things that, to me, when I watched Villa under Gerrard – and it was especially noticeable, I felt, towards the end of Gerrard’s reign – Ramsey was caged. He was part of this really solid midfield unit that was just shunned from side to side.
“He couldn’t do anything – he couldn’t break forward, he couldn’t affect the game. Now, he has not only the freedom to affect the game, but a demand on him to affect the game because Unai Emery knows he’s so good.”
The Verdict: Progressing well
We believe that Villa’s stock is rising under Emery – they have lost just twice under him ahead of their trip to Manchester City – and so is Ramsey’s since the appointment of the Spanish manager.
The Villa midfielder has had a lot of excitement around him since he first broke onto the scene. Gary Neville said last year that it wouldn’t surprise him if he received an England call-up soon.
In the last calendar year, Ramsey has proven to be an attacking threat, ranking in the top 5% for progressive carries by a midfielder in Europe’s top competitions.
Aston Villa’s academy has produced some Premier League stars including Jack Grealish, Gareth Barry and Gary Cahill, and our view is that Ramsey could be another name that could be on that list in the future.
It’s certainly a promising sign that he’s continuing to get plenty of opportunities under Emery’s regime at Villa Park.