Nicholas feels that Villa are guilty of going direct whenever they fall into trouble, but he insists that playing no-risk football will not get them out of relegation danger this time around.
Villa are already five points adrift of safety, and Nicholas feels Villa need to use their imagination to climb out of the drop-zone.
“What Villa do is that every season they revert to the same old scenario,” he said.
“[They’ll tell Rudy] Gestede ‘your movement's not good enough, so you’re on the bench. [Gabriel] Agbonlahor you’re playing up through the middle on your own, and we’ll knock it into the corners and that will be enough’.
“That might have been enough in times gone by, but it’s not enough now. The new man has to come in and see a fabric to the play.”
A long-ball style does seem unlikely at Villa with Remi Garde at the helm, as he has always prided himself on utilising an aesthetically pleasing style during his managerial career to date.
Garde took charge of his first Villa match last weekend, and the initial signs were encouraging.
The Frenchman helped Villa to claim a 0-0 draw against the current league leaders Manchester City, and their display was one full of promise.
Villa looked well organised and showed some threat going forward, but they will realise that their standards cannot afford to slip, due to the trouble that they are currently in.