Aston Villa fans could turn on manager Steven Gerrard if he fails to lead them to a positive result against Everton on Saturday, according to Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Villa fell to a disappointing opening day defeat, conceding two goals against newly-promoted Bournemouth at the Vitality stadium without reply.
The result means Villa won just two of their last 12 Premier League games, with seven defeats in that time, as pressure continues to grow on Gerrard, who joined the club in November last year.
Villa have spent close to £80m under Gerrard’s watch, with Lucas Digne arriving from Everton in January along with Philippe Coutinho, who’s now signed permanently, joined by Diego Carlos, Boubacar Kamara and Robin Olsen this summer.
Because of that significant investment and the options he has available, Agbonlahor believes a top ten finish is the minimum requirement for Gerrard, who needs a result against the Toffees, who also lost on the opening day to Chelsea, to keep the fans off his back.
“He’s got a squad of players where he’s got a bit of a headache,” Agbonlahor told talkSPORT.
“You know when you’ve got options as a manager, he could play Emi Buendia or Philippe Coutinho, Ollie Watkins or Danny Ings and Leon Bailey’s been in good form in pre-season.
“He’ll know that Aston Villa need to be finishing in the top 10 this season. It’ll be a great game on Saturday against Everton at home to get a result, but that Villa crowd, if we go 1-0 down they’ll be ready to turn after the Bournemouth game.
“Aston Villa should be finishing in the top 10 with that squad of players. He’s been given the money. He’s got [Philippe] Coutinho, another centre-half and another centre-midfielder in [Boubacar] Kamara.
“He’s been given money to spend and that squad of players should be competing and finishing in the top 10. He’ll know that he’ll be under pressure if he doesn’t deliver that.
“The board have pumped a lot of money into Aston Villa Football Club, they’re bettering the stadium and the academy has had money pumped into it, so Steven Gerrard knows that Aston Villa need to finish in the top 10 and, in two seasons, to be looking at getting into those European places.”