Houghton, who spent three years at Villa Park, said: There [are] too many players sitting back and not taking responsibility and, looking at Tim Sherwood’s face, he was not being as demonstrative as he usually is [against Stoke]. The team needs some help and someone to point them in the right direction and Tim Sherwood isn’t doing that at the moment.”
Sherwood certainly looks more dejected than he usually does, and this is moving onto the players, who are failing to motivate themselves.
Of course, it is easy to understand why Sherwood is struggling to get up for his job, considering Villa have lost six of their eight games this season, picking up just one point since their opening day victory over Bournemouth.
However, Sherwood needs to get out of this miserable feeling, as it is his job to motivate the players to ensure they are performing to their best abilities on the field of play.
Yet, looking at Villa’s next run of fixtures, it is hard to see how Sherwood will be able to get his players going, and it is hard to guess where the Midlands club will pick up their next point.
They take on Chelsea, Swansea, Southampton, Tottenham, Manchester City and Everton in the next run of games, before hosting Watford at the end of November. That will be considered a winnable game, but even then Watford have been performing well this season.
It promises to be a long, tough season for Villa, and Houghton wants to see Sherwood back to his usual energetic self to ensure his players stay up for the fight of staying in the Premier League.