A club of Villa's size should be challenging for Europe not scrapping at the bottom, says Carragher.


Jamie Carragher says the goalscoring problems Aston Villa possess could cause damage as they battle to stay up in the Premier League.

Paul Lambert's side lost 5-0 at the Emirates and couldn’t register a goal in north London, making it their sixth game in a row in the EPL without a goal.

With Villa struggling to score goals and sitting in 16th place in the Premier League table [three points from the relegation zone], former Liverpool defender Carragher reckons The Claret and Blue will be fighting for their lives at the bottom if they don’t start scoring soon.

“This is another terrible result for them,” Carragher told Sky Sports. "I don’t agree with the way they set up – that was always going to play into Arsenal’s hands. The only thing that’s helped them is the results of the other teams down below yesterday.

“They’ve broken the record of games without goals, and if that doesn’t change they’re going to be right in the mix to go down, and there’s a good chance they could go.

"Their defensive record hasn’t been too bad, but today they were all over the place with the way they set up. But they’re not scoring goals and that’s going to be a massive problem for them.

“The manager spoke before the game saying how much of a lift they got from the Bournemouth result in the FA Cup. They got a couple of goals. It’s maybe something you wouldn’t normally shout about, beating a team from the Championship at home in the cup, but that’s how bad things have been.”

Villa have scored the fewest goals out of all 92 Football League clubs [nine goals behind the nearest team, West Brom] and the Sky Sports expert doesn’t think it’s a record a club like Villa should be accustomed to.

“That’s a shocking statistic, and that’s coming from a player who scored five goals in his career," Carragher said.

“That’s awful considering the size of the club, who they are, Aston Villa. We’re not talking about a Mickey Mouse club who are bottom of the league, adrift of everyone else points-wise, completely out of their depth. It’s Aston Villa. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the country.

“Today the players haven’t produced. You could talk about the manager’s tactics, the way he’s set his team up and how they’ve done this season – is he positive enough? Is there enough quality on the pitch in terms of the goals they’ve got? Obviously not.

“But it comes back to the top and what’s going on at the club. Is the ambition there to try and get Aston Villa back to where it should be and belongs, which is a top-six, top-eight club?

“I know they had aspirations of breaking into the Champions League under Martin O’Neill, but they were always short. I was playing at the time and they were never quite at the top-four level.

“Will they ever get there, who knows? I don’t think so, but they need to get back to being a team who fight for European qualification year-in, year-out.”


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