Garry Thompson has criticised Aston Villa's James Chester by claiming he is a 'quiet player' and that he has been 'shown up a little' this season.
The 29-year-old has been a key player at the heart of Villa's defence during this campaign, but he has struggled to produce the form that won him plaudits in previous seasons.
During Villa's run to the play-off final, Chester was named the supporters player of the season despite having John Terry alongside him in defence - Villa conceded 42 goals.
After having the third leanest defence in 2017/18, Villa have already conceded 37 goals from their 23 matches, both under the stewardship of Steve Bruce and now Dean Smith.
Most recently against Championship leaders, Leeds United, Villa blew a two-goal lead as former Holte End hero, Thompson claimed that Chester doesn't have the character to lead a backline.
“The reason Tony Pulis let him go is that James Chester is a quiet player,” Thompson told BBC Radio WM. “He’s not a leader, he’s not a really demonstrative player and he felt as a central defender, he wasn’t strong and forceful enough.
"When you bring Chester to your club, you know what you are getting. He has never been a captain, but they made him captain. Chester for me does an okay job, he has been shown up a little bit because John Terry hasn’t played."
Villa signed Chester from West Brom in 2016 following their relegation to the second tier of English football. At that time, Roberto Di Matteo was in the Villa hot seat and Tony Pulis was still in charge at the Hawthorns.
Wales international Chester was an ever-present for Villa last term, but he has already missed a game this season because of suspension.
In Bruce's final game in charge, the 3-3 draw at home to Preston North End, Chester was sent off just before the hour mark as Alex Neil's side came from two goals down to draw 3-3 with the Midlands outfit.
Now, the Warrington-born play will prepare his side for a trip to his home country where Villa will be looking to get back to winning ways against Swansea City on Boxing Day.