On Monday night, Aston Villa suffered a 4-0 hammering against Leicester in a Midlands. The result was probably little surprise considering the positions of the two teams. The Villans kept the Foxes out for the first 40 minutes before the floodgates opened.
The defeat was Villa’s fifth straight loss in all competitions. In truth, the side from the Midlands are performing like a team heading straight back down to the Championship.
Vulnerable in defence
Even in their promotion campaign, Villa were not exactly solid in defence. However, the club from the Midlands spent a small fortune on strengthening their backline in the summer. They brought in the likes of Tyrone Mings, Matt Targett, Bjorn Engels and Frederic Guilbert, who all played on Monday night.
Earlier in the season, there were signs that Mings and Engels could well form a solid central defensive partnership. However, statistics do not usually lie when it comes to conceding goals and Villa have the worse defence in the Premier League.
The Villans have not exactly been prolific at the other end of the pitch either. A leaky defence and a struggle for goals add up to a relegation fight.
The big-spending simply has not paid off
At the beginning of the Premier League season, some were comparing Villa to Fulham in the previous season. They were a team that was not prepared for promotion, so brought in basically a new squad of players. In truth, Villa’s recruitment looked a lot less scattergun than the Cottagers the previous summer.
Villa did not sign players for the sake of it. They simply did not have the quality or quantity of players to compete in the Premier League. The team from the Midlands only just scraped through the play-offs in the Championship. It wasn’t as if they were a readymade team for the Premier League.
There is much to admire about the work that head coach Dean Smith has done at Villa. It is a nice story of the local lad who has led his club back to the promised land of the Premier League. He did an excellent job guiding Villa back to the top-flight.
However, the highly-rated boss must take some of the blame for the team’s poor performance. Smith must have had a say in the new arrivals. Week by week the new arrivals are looking less shrewd signings.
Villa now one of the favourites to go down
Aston Villa were amongst the favourites to suffer relegation from the Premier League at the start of the season. The Villans are now odds of 4/9 to make a quick return to the Championship. On current form, those odds look justified.
Villa are just two points from safety in the Premier League, plus they have a game in hand. The side from the Midlands are certainly not dead and buried just yet. However, their remaining games do not scream survival, as they still must face Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal.
There is still time for Aston Villa to turn things around and avoid relegation. If they are to beat the drop, then they must turn things around quickly or they could soon find themselves at a point of no return.
Will Aston Villa survive the drop this season?
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