The Claret and Blues brought in a host of players from France during the previous transfer window, and the bulk of the new additions have found it difficult to make the transition to playing Premier League football.
Richards feels that one of the reasons for this is because they struggled to grasp the messages that Sherwood was giving to them.
Many of Villa’s squad are not fluent in English, and Richards feels that the appointment of Frenchman Remi Garde should help them to improve.
“It’s not about if they’re not good enough, they need time to adapt and we haven’t got that now,” Richards said.
“The new manager has come in and hopefully he can get the best out of the French players, because there were certain things Tim was trying to get across that they didn’t understand because of the language barrier.”
The collective poor form of Villa’s summer signings has been one of the reasons behind the club’s awful start to the season.
The Midlands outfit are currently winless in their last 12 Premier League matches, stretching back to the opening day, and they are sitting at the bottom of England’s top flight.
Villa lost 4-0 in their latest outing against Everton, meaning Garde is under pressure to start getting his messages across rapidly.
The Villans’ next match comes against Watford on Saturday, and they will be desperate to pick up the three points, which will take them much closer to safety.