Did Jeff Stelling miss the point in damning assessment of Aston Villa's season?

Jeff Stelling Carlsberg Peoples Pundit

Aston Villa moved one step closer to their inevitable relegation and it was compounded by a scathing assessment of their season by a top pundit.

Villa were beaten 1-0 by Swansea City on Saturday night to slip 12 points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League table.

The club has been relegation fodder for most of the campaign and although they showed signs of improvement in Wales, the defensive frailties which have dogged them all season cost them at least a point.

Earlier this week the club's chairman Steve Hollis talked to the press about an investigation into Villa's season and business model, as reported by the Birmingham Mail.

But Sky Sports pundit Jeff Stelling insisted he could save Villa a lot of time and effort with his own damning verdict on how and why things have gone so wrong for the Villains on Soccer Saturday.

"You sell (Christian) Benteke, (Fabian) Delph and Weimann, you don't replace (Tom) Cleverly, you let Ron Vlaar go, you buy a clutch of French players nobody has ever heard of, you sack the coach and replace him with somebody with no Premier League experience, you get relegated, there you go," Stelling said on Soccer Saturday.

Rant goes viral but was it accurate?

Stelling's rant has gone viral since and some of it does eloquently sum up how Villa have got it wrong from top to bottom.

Whether he is right on all the points is another thing, though.

Both Benteke and Delph went for the kind of mega money most clubs would find it difficult to refuse and both actually look like very good pieces of business on Villa's part in terms of their performances for their new clubs this season.

There is also the factor that both players were keen to move on.

Vlaar had serious injury problems and would not have featured much this season having only played eight times for AZ Alkmaar back in his native Holland.

Recruiting replacements was key failure

The key issue is that the club has failed miserably to adequately replace them, a point Stelling correctly makes.

While his point about Garde having no Premier League experience does carry some weight, the same could be said of Slaven Bilic at West Ham, and look at the season they are having.

The man he replaced, Sherwood, had experience in the English top flight but he is as culpable for the mess Villa are in as Garde is.

Meanwhile Sunderland, who appointed the survival master in Sam Allardyce are far from certain of staying up themselves.

What Villa need now is a logical plan, some unity and a positive end to their disastrous season so they can start building for what promises to be a tough Championship campaign where they will be the big scalp.

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