Steven Gerrard Explains Decision to Start Morgan Sanson and Leon Bailey in 2-1 loss to Wolves

 Steven Gerrard Explains Decision to Start Morgan Sanson and Leon Bailey in 2-1 loss to Wolves

The decision to start both Leon Bailey and Morgan Sanson came as a shock to many pre-match.

Steven Gerrard, the manager of Aston Villa, explains his decision to start both Leon Bailey and Morgan Sanson in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Wolves.

Neither Bailey nor Sanson were many many people’s predicted starting elevens pre-match. Before Saturday, the Jamaican hadn’t started a game for the Claret & Blue in 2022, and Sanson hadn’t been given the start since mid-January.

They appeared to be really bold actions, and if Villa had won three points, it would have been a masterstroke, but that wasn’t the case, and fans were left scratching their heads.

After the game, Gerrard explained why both players were used and that it wasn’t something he looked at as a bold move to make.

“I don’t think there was anything brave in the Bailey decision because Danny Ings obviously became a dad after 3am in the morning so he had very little sleep,” said the manager.

“Danny actually wanted to come and be part of it but he went to London – obviously can’t give you much detail beyond that but he wasn’t in a position from my point of view to come and play so obviously Leon gets his opportunity on the back of that.

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“Morgan has been training extremely well. He’s been patient. I have to have a look at Morgan Sanson at some point, I have to put him in and give him an opportunity because he can’t keep training well and we ignore that – I don’t think that’s fair, so they were both given an opportunity for those two reasons.

“They are all tough games at this level, it’s the Premier League. There’s no gimmes, every game is tough. Every duel, every opponent to come up against is tough.”

Despite the fact that Villa’s midfield was overrun for the bulk of the 90 minutes, Sanson was arguably the best of the starting three. It’s just a shame that every time he appears to be thrown in, the claret and blue end up on the losing end of the outcome.

When asked about the Frenchman’s individual performance, the manager refused to give anything away in regards to his personal opinion on his display.

“It’s not the time right now to analyse Morgan Sanson’s performance,” Gerrard explained.

“For me the priority is the team and the biggest frustration for me is we didn’t come to a derby game – a local game until half-time and we never really showed that we cared enough until around 70 minutes because we wanted to have a war with Wolves but it was too little too late.”