Alan Shearer wades into row between Micah Richards and Ian Wright

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

Premier League legend Alan Shearer has waded into the very public row between Micah Richards and Ian Wright.

Match of the Day pundit and Arsenal legend Wright criticised Richards' performance in Villa's 2-0 defeat to Norwich City last Monday.

The defender was caught out of position for one of the Norwich goals and Wright said at the time: "That’s the captain (Richards). He’s got to make more of an effort than that," Wright said.

"These are the reasons they are going down."

The former Manchester City man hit back at Wright on Twitter in the wake of that Norwich defeat saying: "I respected you as a player! And your not a bad pundit but talking about me like that isn’t on!!

"What has captain got to do with it? I can take constructive criticism but not this!"

Concentrate on the football

Many felt Villa skipper Richards should be focusing on helping Villa turn things around on the pitch with his side rooted to the bottom of the table with just eight points from 20 games.

But he was again at fault (although not the only one) as Villa were beaten 3-1 by relegation rivals Sunderland last time out.

And, analysing the performance on Match of the Day, Wright's fellow pundit Alan Shearer re-ignited the row.

"I know Micah Richards was upset with Wrighty for criticising him and the back four two or three days ago," Shearer said on MOTD.

"But these guys are making mistake after mistake every single game, they have to accept criticism.

"This was definitely a must-win game."

Villa deserve better

While Wright was not on the show alongside Shearer, he took to Twitter immediately after the latest comments, posting a series of laughing faces to the Newcastle United legend.

There is no getting away from the fact Shearer is right, Villa players need to accept criticism when their side are on course to become the worst in the history of the Premier League.

It is looking increasingly unlikely Villa can survive this season.

But there is a level of expectation on Richards and his team-mates that they need to start living up to in order to restore some pride to this once great club.

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