Aston Villa were seen off comfortably in a relegation six-pointer at home to Southampton on Saturday, going down 3-1 at Villa Park.
Danny Ings put the hosts to the sword and former Villa striker Tony Cascarino criticised many of Dean Smith’s players, chiefly £8 million (Guardian) man Anwar El Ghazi.
He told the Times: “Dean Smith’s side capitulate too easily and always look like conceding goals. Bjorn Engels and Kortney Hause couldn’t handle the movement of Danny Ings and Shane Long. If Jack Grealish doesn’t provide some magic, Villa are always up against it.
“Douglas Luiz and Trézéguet have shown little consistency. Anwar El Ghazi is hiding, which is unforgiveable, and Wesley is playing too deep and not providing enough of a goal threat at present. Villa are going to have to come up with a plan to get out of trouble, and I worry for them.”
TBR’s View – Villa need to harness the spirit which got them promoted
Villa’s season was drifting in the Championship around this time last year but they galvanised themselves and put together a run which got them promotion.
Perhaps one of the barriers to rekindling that spirit is the turnover in the playing staff since then, but the lifeless reaction to conceding Saturday’s second goal was striking.
There was no leadership or fight and that has to change if Villa are to alter the course of their season. They brought in quality players but they need more unity.