Former Aston Villa captain Martin Laursen has told Sky Sports News HQ that the team weren’t giving their all under Paul Lambert – a problem he believes rests with the now-departed manager.
Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss at fellow strugglers Hull City saw Villa drop into the relegation zone for the first time this season amid a dismal run of two wins in 21 top-flight games, with the club giving Lambert his marching orders just 24 hours later.
A lack of goals has proved the main problem throughout the campaign, with the team on course to be Premier League’s lowest-ever scorers after recording just 12 in 25 matches, but Laursen believes the issues under the Scot ran deeper.
“I thought their form just hasn’t been good enough for the whole season,” he said on Thursday. “If you don’t score goals you won’t win games, but recently the problems have been more than that.
“I haven’t seen all the games, but I think especially against Arsenal when they lost 5-0 I saw a team that wasn’t fighting, wasn’t giving everything for the shirt, and that’s a huge problem for me.
“You might not be able to create chances or defend well, but you can always give your all. That was very sad for me to see the players not giving everything.”
Laursen, however, doesn’t think the blame lies with the players, and instead sees it as a failure on Lambert’s part to motivate his squad amid their recent plight.
“When the players aren’t giving everything that means something is wrong [behind the scenes],” he continued. “I think the team is good. When you look at the players, they should be doing better, so it was a problem with the manager.
“That’s why I think it was a good decision to sack Paul Lambert.”
On a run of five-straight league losses, Villa now face 13 crucial games to avoid the drop, but the ex-Denmark international believes Lambert’s departure could prove the turning point in their form.
“If they can win some games from the beginning, it will not be such a big problem, but it all depends on the players’ reaction from now on,” he added.
“I think they have enough in their squad [to stay up], but that’s why It was a problem with the manager.”