Steven Gerrard has claimed that Tyrone Mings must show significant improvement if he is to return to the starting line-up while also questioning the attitude of the England defender. Before the start of the season, the 29-year-old was stripped of the captaincy in favour of John McGinn.
Mings was an unused substitute in his side's 2-0 opening day defeat to Bournemouth with Ezri Konsa and new signing Diego Carlos - who both played the full 90 minutes - preferred by Gerrard.
Gerrard's approach to Mings has been a top storyline for Aston Villa after the centre-back appeared 36 times in each of the past two Premier League seasons and started twice for England at Euro 2020.
What did Gerrard say about Mings after the Bournemouth defeat?
"When I made the decision over the captaincy, I set him that challenge," Gerrard told BBC Radio West Midlands.
"We said to Tyrone 'if you get back to your consistent best, you'll be back in the team'."
At the time of announcing McGinn as the new Aston Villa captain, Gerrard claimed that there had been no negative reaction to the news from Mings. However, that had seemingly changed by the time the first game of the season came around.
Asked if his decision to leave the centre-back out of the team had been brought about by the player's reaction, Gerrard responded: "It's a little bit of that.
"He's also missed some training time with an injury and there's a niggle in the background as well.
"When Tyrone is back at his best and looks me in the eye and shows that he's ready to play, he'll get opportunities."