Tyrone Mings has been dealt a lucky break by the Premier League postponing Aston Villa’s upcoming clash with Newcastle United amid an outbreak of coronavirus cases at the St. James’ Park outfit.
Steve Bruce’s Toon were due to visit Birmingham on Friday night but lodged a request with the league for the match to be delayed after a “significant increase” of covid-19 cases, which saw Public Health England advise the closure of the club’s training ground at Darsley Park.
Five Newcastle players and two members of staff are believed to have tested positive, resulting in the Premier League reaching the verdict that Friday’s fixture had to be postponed with group training not permitted until Friday at the earliest.
Newcastle being unable to visit Aston Villa on Friday night will be welcome news for Mings, as the extended break following Monday’s defeat at West Ham United will afford the centre-back a chance to reset after underperforming in recent weeks.
Mings has been letting Villans boss Dean Smith down badly with his displays of late, that are far from befitting of a player England boss Gareth Southgate lauded as an “outstanding” leader after handing the 27-year-old his senior international debut last year.
“Since I have been watching him for the past 12-months or so, he’s displayed outstanding leadership qualities. I thought I would see that [against Bulgaria] and I did. He’s an impressive young man,” Southgate said, via quotes by iNews.
Mings has started all nine of Aston Villa’s Premier League fixtures thus far this season and is yet to miss a minute of action, but was miles off the pace in last month’s 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton and Hove Albion and was at fault for overplaying in Monday’s loss at West Ham.
Danny Welbeck picked Mings’ pocket for Brighton’s opener at Villa Park upon the defender’s return from England duty, having been handed his sixth and seventh Three Lions caps in UEFA Nations League fixtures with Belgium and Iceland.
Mings’ error that led to Welbeck opening the scoring for Brighton was not the £80,000-per-week defender’s only mishap, either, with Smith let down by his star man who won just two ground duels, one aerial contest, lost possession 12 times, made one successful tackle and failed to register an interception, per SofaScore.
Smith would have hoped to see Mings bounce back at West Ham, but rather witnessed the 27-year-old fail to register a single successful tackle or interception, lose possession 15 times, attempt – though win – one ground duel and misplace nine of ten long passes.
Mings must now use the extended break between fixtures to hit the reset button to ensure he can hit the ground running when Aston Villa visit West Midlands rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers on December 12, as Smith can ill-afford to see another woeful display.