Gerrard ‘under real pressure’ and Aston Villa ‘won’t copy Forest’s U-turn’

Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest meet on Monday night with two managers facing a relegation battle but in very different situations.

Forest are bottom of the Premier League despite their huge spend in the summer, which involved an incredible 21 new signings. But just four points from eight games had Steve Cooper facing the sack with Rafa Benitez being primed to take over.

However, Evangelos Marinakis performed a U-turn and ended up handing the Welsh coach a new contract instead, backing his manager to get them out of the rut. The same cannot be said for Steven Gerrard, though, reports suggest.

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According to the Daily Mail, the Aston Villa boss is walking a tightrope at the club after nearly a year in charge and no real progress made. The Villans were busy in the summer transfer window, although their top arrival Diego Carlos suffered an ill-timed injury on his debut that has ruled him out for the campaign.

Nevertheless, form has plummeted in recent months at Villa Park – stretching on from last season.

Aston Villa owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens are keen to see Gerrard impress at the club – it was quite the gamble sacking fan favourite Dean Smith for a coach with relative little experience of the Premier League, in the dugout at least.

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But the name of Gerrard enticed them and dismissing the 42-year-old would require them to admit that their plan has not come off. However, that is reportedly a decision that is being weighed up by the club's billionaire owners.

Successors to Gerrard are reportedly already being looked at, including Mainz coach Bo Svensson, who has a growing reputation in football for his attractive brand of play. The Dane was on Brighton's shortlist before Roberto De Zerbi was appointed.

It makes Monday night's game an enticing one that could be Gerrard's last chance to prove that he is the man that can lead Villa into happier times in the Premier League.


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