Brad Guzan insists the players are responsible for Aston Villa’s potentially disastrous season, and not manager Paul Lambert.
The Midlands giants have struggled against relegation in each of the past three seasons, including last term when they finished just five points above the drop zone and in 2011-12 when the margin was just two points. And they could be heading for another relegation scrap this time round, as they currently sit 15th in the league table and only three points above the third-bottom side.
Villa are currently in the midst of a six-match winless run in the Premier League, a sequence which consists of three draws and three defeats. They have failed to register a single goal in any of their last four contests, the latest blank coming on Saturday afternoon when they fell to a damaging 1-0 defeat against Leicester City in which defender Ciaran Clark was sent off.
This loss at the King Power Stadium was met with anger from the 3,000 travelling support, many of whom called for Lambert to be sacked, and not for the first time this season. However, Guzan has spoken up for the former Norwich City manager, and has pointed at the team’s woeful tally of just 11 goals from their 21 league matches to date as the reason for their problems.
“We are the ones that have to score goals,” said the 30-year-old goalkeeper. “He [Lambert] can’t go and score for us, the assistant coach can’t score for us, the goalkeeping coach can’t score for us. Us as players have to take responsibility. I know the fans are unhappy, we hear them during the game, but they need to realise it’s a difficult moment and we need to stick together.”
One piece of encouraging news for the long-suffering Villa support is the likely new arrival of Carles Gil, a former Spain Under-21 international. The 22-year-old creative midfielder is thought to have agreed a five-year contract with the club, and should complete a £3.25million move from Valencia this week. Lambert also hopes to secure a deal for Scott Sinclair, the Manchester City forward.
However, it is a striker who Villa are really in need of. Christian Benteke has hit double figures in his two previous seasons at the club, but the Belgian is still striving for top form after recently returning from a serious knee injury and has two goals to his name so far. Former Tottenham Hotspur star Jermain Defoe is hoping to return to England this month, and the Toronto FC hitman could be a solution.
Who is to blame for Villa’s decline, and what can be done to stop the rot? Let us know what you think by joining the discussion below.