Another international break has come to a close and the Premier League is thankfully right around the corner once more.
It’s been all change at Villa Park since their last game - the 1-0 defeat away at Southampton.
It’s an interesting period for Gerrard to take the reins. With players away on international duty right up until a few days prior to the game with Brighton, it doesn’t give him much time to assess the full squad that he has at his disposal.
The former Liverpool and England captain will of course know all about his new players and will have studied them at great length but it doesn’t take away from the fact he wont get to meet a large chunk of the first team until really late on in his planning.
11 first team players in total were away with their respective nations during the latest break and the new Villa boss had already made it clear he was paying close attention when he commented (via Instagram) on Jacob Ramsey’s man-of-the-match award that he received in England U21s 3-1 victory over the Czech Republic.
But how did the rest of the team get on and have any picked up dreaded injuries during their time away?
We’ve taken a look so you don’t have to.
Chukwuemeka played the full 90 minutes in both of England U19’s European Championship qualifying matches playing a pivotal part in both.
The midfielder was key in helping the team top their initial group with a 0-0 draw with Switzerland and a 2-0 win over Sweden respectively.
Ramsey, like Chukwuemeka was part of the U19’s team and was probably also on for two full 90 minutes had he not picked up a knock.
He was substituted after 39 minutes in the win over Sweden but it’s yet to be revealed if it was precautionary or something more severe.
Philogene-Bidace was part of the U20’s side that lost 2-0 to Portugal, playing 64 minutes before making way.
Archer also saw himself in the U20’s but was unable to find the net in the 2-0 defeat. He played the final 25 minutes of the game in Portugal.
The Villa midfielder has cemented himself as a regular first teamer this season and he proved why once again during international duty.
He played the full 90 minutes and provided an assist as England U21s ran out 3-1 winners over Czech Republic in their European Championship qualifying game and his all round performance saw him awarded man-of-the-match.
Ramsey also played 25 minutes in the 3-2 friendly defeat to Georgia but it wasn’t until after his introduction that the Young Lions scored both of their goals on the night.
Villa’s captain didn’t play in the 5-0 win over Albania but he did play and start in the 10-0 drubbing of San Marino. He contributed to one of the easier clean-sheets the team will ever receive but also managed to score his first England goal during the second-half.
The right-back made his debut for Poland as a substitute in the 4-1 win over Andorra and followed that up with his first start for The Eagles in the 2-1 defeat to Hungary. He was however, replaced at half-time on his full debut after picking up a yellow card in the first 45.
Nakamba played in Zimbabwe’s loss to South Africa but was substituted due to a groin strain before full-time.
The injury he sustained forced him to miss the game against Estonia, too and he is now a doubt for Steven Gerrard’s first game in charge against Brighton on Saturday.
Does what he does best. Started in both of Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil respectively - keeping a clean sheet in each of the games. It’s like clockwork now.
The speedy winger started in both of Jamaica’s World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador & USA but failed to finish either of the games.
His second substitute appearance came as more of a worry as he seemed to be carrying an injury but his post on social media following the game had no mention of a problem which is hopefully a positive sign.
McGinn helped Scotland secure a seeded spot in the World Cup play-off semi-finals following two 2-0 victories over Moldova and Denmark respectively.
The midfielder provided an assist in the former match-up before putting in one of his best individual performances of the season to help the Scots down Denmark.
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