Shay Given outlines main reason behind Aston Villa's poor start to the season

The Stoke City goalkeeper was an unused substitute on his return to his former club last weekend.

Former Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given has weighed in on the current predicament of his old club and highlighted their summer transfer activity as the reason behind their troubles.

Tim Sherwood oversaw the arrival of no less than twelve new players - while a further eleven were shown the door - and Given feels the drastic changes have brought about a lack of cohesion within the squad.

“For whatever reason Tim hasn’t got them clicking yet together,” he told the 'Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast' show on talkSPORT this morning.

“They bought a load of players in the summer and I just feel they don’t know each other…I think it will take them a little bit longer to start playing as a team because at the moment they’re playing as individuals.”

The Villains currently occupy 18th position in the league table after one win, one draw and six defeats in their first eight games and the pressure is slowly mounting on Sherwood.

The Villa boss came under fire for his negative tactics in Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Stoke and Given touched on the difficulties of realising the ambition of the supporters at the West Midlands club.

“The natives are restless as you can imagine after the (Stoke) game and it’s a tough job at Villa because of the history and size of the fanbase they expect to finish top half of the league as a minimum,” he added.

Sherwood’s task doesn’t get any easier after the international break, with Villa facing Chelsea (a), Swansea (h), Tottenham (a), Manchester City (h) and Everton (a) in their next five league games.

It’s difficult to see where the points will come from in that set of fixtures but Sherwood will have to pull something special out of the bag if Villa are to avoid the now familiar relegation dog fight.

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