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Latest updates

  1. 'Gerrard is visibly making a fist of turning things around'published at 12:33 4 October

    David Michael, My Old Man Said, external

    After Aston Villa went three games unbeaten having picked up a point away at Elland Road, to a team unbeaten at home this season, the calls on social media grew louder from some fans wanting Steven Gerrard to be sacked.

    Yet, after a poor start to the season, Gerrard is visibly making a fist of turning things around, including back-to-back clean sheets, despite injuries to six regular matchday squad defensive players.

    It may not look pretty at the moment, but sometimes the medicine tastes bitter. The Villa boss admitted that it was two points dropped against Leeds, who were down to 10 men for the best part of the second half, but he’s not the first Villa manager in recent years to fail to take advantage of a numeric advantage.

    From seventh downwards in the Premier League table, only Fulham have won more than Villa’s two games this season, including Liverpool and Newcastle.

    Villa will be kicking themselves they haven’t taken advantage of this situation, but it also means the season isn’t lost yet. Gerrard may need to further extend Villa’s current unbeaten run in October though, before his distractors buy into that fact.

  2. Your thoughts on Sunday's gamepublished at 12:29 3 October

    We asked for your post-match reaction after Sunday's goalless draw.

    Here are some of your comments:

    Aston Villa fans

    Elliott: It’s worrying how toothless we are given the talent in our team. Steven Gerrard needs to unleash our players’ talents or we’re in for a disappointing season.

    Simon: Gerrard has stopped the rot. If you can't win games, make sure you don't lose them. With the amount of efforts on goal, Villa should have scored, strikers are still not firing on all cylinders. Maybe need to give Cameron Archer a run in the team. Not pretty, but effective. Five points from nine means we're heading in the right direction. Gerrard needs more time.

    Esme: So disappointing - 10 men and still looked slow and devoid of ideas. Emi Buendia must start, at least he gave us a spark. Goals not going to be easy - Ollie Watkins, sorry but your touch and instinct in front of goal is simply not good enough.

    Leeds fans

    Thomas: I thought Leeds were poor overall, they got away with a result. Poor distribution all over, Illan Meslier was all over the show, but saved them at the end. Compared to the Chelsea game you wouldn’t recognise the team that played today, the substitutions were baffling!

    Mick: Some might see us saving a point but in my view we dropped two. Both sides approached the game with too much niggle and bad blood. The refereeing might have been inconsistent but you have to remain calm, or calmer. Luis Sinisterra's sending off was plain stupid and easily avoided. My main reservation about Jesse Marsch is the example he sets on discipline.

    Graham: Very frustrating and frankly disappointing. If we can't beat a side like Villa at home then the season is going to be a difficult one again. The early season energy and touch has gone and scoring looks questionable. Improvements are needed urgently.

    Wol: Leeds were frustrated from the start by Villa’s tactics. Their negative approach stopped us from playing. Time wasting and falling at the slightest touch. The referee had a very poor game.

  3. 'There are legitimate questions about progress'published at 09:12 3 October

    Aston Villa's toothless performance against Leeds is a concern for Steven Gerrard, according to former Hull defender and West Brom coach Alex Bruce.

    Gerrard's side toiled to a goalless draw at Elland Road, despite their opponents being reduced to 10 men with the majority of the second half remaining.

    Bruce empathises with Gerrard, believing he needs his players to show more quality in the final third.

    "As a manager, it's your job to find a way to get players into those situations and it can be so frustrating," Bruce told BBC Radio 5 Live's Football Daily podcast.

    "Once in those situations, it's all about that last action and composure and then it's down to the players.

    "They had a lot of those moments through Ollie Watkins and especially Philippe Coutinho. I feel Gerrard's pain."

    Telegraph journalist Luke Edwards went further, pointing to just six goals scored in their opening eight games.

    "They didn't impress going forward and Gerrard has issues to address," he said.

    "There are questions being asked about how much progress has been made - and they've spent a lot of money."

    More analysis from Elland Road is available on BBC Sounds

  4. Analysis: Leeds United 0-0 Aston Villapublished at 21:55 2 October

    Michael Emons, BBC Sport at Elland Road

    There was no hiding the frustration from Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard as his side failed to claim all three points, despite having a man advantage for the last 42 minutes of the match following Luis Sinisterra's sending off for the hosts.

    When Ollie Watkins had an effort saved by home goalkeeper Illan Meslier late on, one of a number of fine saves he made, Gerrard booted a bottle of water down the touchline to show his annoyance.

    Gerrard will be wondering how his side did not record a second successive league win, which would have been the first time they had done so in this campaign.

    In a game full of no-nonsense challenges and 100% commitment, the majority of the quality moments came from Villa, but once again their failure to convert the chances proved costly.

    Villa have only scored six goals in the league this season (only Wolves and West Ham have netted fewer) and, as Gerrard said afterwards, this was a chance for a victory that slipped away.

    Gerrard said his side are improving but felt his side still had a lot more to work on, even if this goalless draw meant they were now three games unbeaten.

  5. Leeds 0-0 Aston Villa: What Gerrard saidpublished at 19:13 2 October

    Speaking to Sky Sports, Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard said: "I'm scratching my head and I'm frustrated and I'm sure my attacking players will be as well because we created more than enough to win this match. We came here to frustrate Leeds and maybe we would have taken the point before the game but we could have had three.

    "It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t question my attacking players and I need more quality. We have had 19 shots on goal and 12 inside the area so we need to be better. Leeds defended well and dug in and you would expect that but we created more than enough and it was that last bit that was missing. If we had found that we would have been happy.

    "At times Leeds wanted to go to war and we did that. We frustrated Leeds and the crowd. When our moments came we got the ball into the right areas and to the people we wanted to but it didn't happen.

    "We need more goals. We need our attacking players to step forward and be more ruthless. That tally [six goals so far] is not enough at this stage of the season and we know where we want to go. We keep working and putting the sessions on a rehearsing the moments that will come their way. We have improved slightly defensively and we need to continue that but we need to keep creating these moments and hopefully our players will gobble them up."

  6. Sutton's predictions: Leeds v Aston Villapublished at 19:20 30 September

    Chris Sutton takes on Sports Team drummer Al Greenwood to pick his winners and losers for the weekend's Premier League games.

    Sutton's prediction: 2-1

    Leeds boss Jesse Marsch won't be in the dugout after his red card against Brentford last month.

    His side will still play with the same great intensity, though, and Elland Road always seems to lift them. At home is where you feel it is going to happen for them.

    Villa got a big win over Southampton last time out, but their results on the road so far have been poor, with three defeats out of three, and I don't see that changing.

    Al's prediction: This should be a really good game. Leeds always seem to go for it and, whether it is good or bad, there is always something happening. Villa will sit back more, but if Leeds score early then it could really open up. 3-2

    Find out how Sutton and Greenwood think the rest of the weekend's fixtures will go and cast your votes here

  7. Leeds v Aston Villa: Team newspublished at 17:47 30 September

    Image source, Getty Images

    Leeds United are without Adam Forshaw because of a knee problem and Archie Gray, who suffered a fractured toe at home.

    Rodrigo has returned to full training after a shoulder injury.

    Aston Villa are missing injured first-choice full-backs Matty Cash and Lucas Digne, with summer signing Ludwig Augustinsson set to make his debut.

    Leander Dendoncker is likely to replace Boubacar Kamara, who is out until after the World Cup with knee ligament damage.

    Pick your Leeds XI

    Chose your Aston Villa line-up

  8. 'We want him to stay here' - Gerrard on Luizpublished at 15:33 30 September

    Image source, Getty Images

    Steven Gerrard says he wants Douglas Luiz to stay at Aston Villa amid speculation that the midfielder may leave the club in the January transfer window.

    The 24-year-old was linked with a move away from Villa on deadline day but remained at the club and has started six games in the Premier League this season, scoring one goal.

    Luiz is out of contract next summer and when asked about his future, Gerrard said: "No news in terms of him extending his stay here, so that situation hasn't changed, but what I would say is that he's very focused and has trained well.

    "Am I surprised by the speculation? No, because we have got a young Brazilian player who is a fantastic talent, so I expect to be asked this question a lot as the season progresses.

    "We want him to stay here, the owners were very strong in keeping him here.

    "We didn't obviously want to lose him on the final day and he has performed very well since and has trained very well and is ready to go at the weekend."

  9. Gerrard on Kamara injury, current form, Luizpublished at 14:34 30 September

    Steven Gerrard has been speaking to the media before Aston Villa’s game with Leeds United on Sunday.

    Here are some of the lines from his news conference:

    • Fitness update - Matty Cash to re-join squad training on Monday, Boubacar Kamara has been ruled out until after the World Cup and Lucas Digne is also unavailable for the coming weeks.

    • On Villa's current form, he said: "We took four points from six against Manchester City and Southampton, our form has improved in certain parts of our play."

    • He added: "We have a lot of games from now until the World Cup and a lot of opportunities to pick up points."

    • On the game against Leeds, he said: "We know the challenge is big, but it’s exciting and we’ll be ready. It’s going to be a tough game, but we’re in a good place, we want to go there and be really tough to beat."

    • Asked about the future of Douglas Luiz, he replied: "He’s very focused and he’s a fantastic talent. He’s performed very well and he’s ready to go at the weekend."

    Follow Friday's Premier League manager news conferences

  10. Transfer news: Villa have 'no intention' of selling Martinezpublished at 07:55 30 September

    Aston Villa have no intention of letting Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, 30, leave in January with Manchester United among the clubs interested in him. (Football Insider), external

    French defender Morgan Sanson, 28, would have moved to Espanyol but his paperwork only came through 15 minutes after the transfer window closed earlier this month. (L'Equipe - in French), external

    Want more transfer news? Read Friday's full gossip column

  11. 'McGinn has a fight for place but it is likely he gets back to best form'published at 17:05 28 September

    Mike Taylor, BBC Radio WM

    It is just as well that John McGinn is a good sport. We can think of sportsmen who would have taken offence at being asked, as McGinn was the other day by an intrepid colleague at BBC Scotland, to discuss the importance of his much-discussed bottom to the way he plays.

    "I always say if I didn’t have my backside, I’d be at Yeovil. No disrespect to Yeovil," said McGinn.

    Having been a bouncy, lively presence on and off the field since he first arrived at Villa Park, there were few complaints when McGinn was appointed captain of Villa in the summer.

    In quite a short time, however, a real difference has opened up between how he is regarded for club and country. Arguably the key man in Steve Clarke’s competitive Scotland side, McGinn’s record of scoring and contributing to goals is increasingly impressive. At the same time, while wearing the armband, his influence on Villa has faded in recent months.

    Perhaps this unsteady form is in part due to getting used to the responsibility of leadership. "We thought it might happen," said Steven Gerrard, saying that he felt McGinn might be trying too hard. "That’s not a fault, that’s John McGinn. It will take time."

    If that is the explanation, it’s reasonable to hope that McGinn will recover his best form for Villa too, as the season goes on. It may also be relevant, though, that he plays in a rather deeper position for Villa these days, compared to his role behind the striker for his country. With Philippe Coutinho, Emi Buendia and Leon Bailey in the squad, there may not be a vacancy for him to play there for his club.

    Instead, the injury to Boubacar Kamara leaves a gap alongside McGinn among the deeper-lying midfielders. Douglas Luiz and recent signing Leander Dendoncker are among those who could fill in, but Villa are so fully-stocked with midfielders that McGinn’s presence as a starter cannot be guaranteed.

    Gerrard’s main focus this week may be a short-term view of which players he has available, and how best to cover for absentees. Until Kamara and Diego Carlos are available, Gerrard’s squad is strikingly similar to the line-up from the second half of last season, when he first arrived, which only goes to show how difficult it can be to revamp a Premier League squad however much you spend.

  12. Leeds v Aston Villa: Head-to-head recordpublished at 13:01 28 September

    Image source, Getty Images
    • Leeds have won just one of their past 10 Premier League home games against Aston Villa (D5 L4), a 3-1 victory on the final day of the 2002-03 campaign.

    • Aston Villa have won their past two away league games against Leeds, as many as they had in their previous 17 such visits to Elland Road (D9 L6). They’ve never won three in a row at the Whites before.

    • Leeds are unbeaten at Elland Road in the league so far this season (W2 D1) – only twice in the Premier League have they avoided defeat in each of their first four home league games of a campaign, in 1992-93 (8 games – W5 D3) and 2001-02 (8 games – W4 D4).

    • Aston Villa have picked up four points from their past two league games (W1 D1), one more than in their first five games of the season (W1 L4). Meanwhile, the Villans could record consecutive clean sheets in the competition for the first time since April.

  13. 'There are too many changes week in, week out'published at 12:02 28 September

    Image source, Getty Images

    Aston Villa's poor start to the season is partly down to Steven Gerrard making too many changes from game to game, says former captain Dennis Mortimer.

    Speaking to Daz Hale on BBC Radio WM's Football Phone-In, Mortimer - a league winner with Villa in 1981 - said: "It’s not gelling at the moment.

    "I think it’s a team that needs to be a bit more settled.

    "There are too many changes week in, week out - I think probably because of injuries. But you have to get a settled team.

    "When we won the league, we used 14 players that season. We very rarely lost anybody. The midfield three stayed together for every game.

    "I’m looking at the midfield at Villa Park and, at the moment, it’s being changed too often. They are trying to figure out which is the best three, but at the moment it’s not happening.

    "Up front as well, Ollie Watkins does everything you want of a forward and he works hard. The only problem, for me, is he doesn’t get in the box enough. The way he makes his runs from inside the field to outside is not good for him. You’ve got to get Ollie Watkins in the box."

    Listen to the full hour on BBC Sounds

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  14. This week's live football commentariespublished at 10:59 28 September

    The Premier League returns this weekend and BBC Radio 5 Live have four top-flight commentaries available, including Sunday's Manchester derby.

    Saturday, 1 October

    • Liverpool v Brighton & Hove Albion (15:00)

    • West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers (17:30)

    Sunday, 2 October

    • Manchester City v Manchester United (14:00)

    • Leeds United v Aston Villa (16:30)

    All times are BST