I cannot see Aston Villa staying up now - Alan Shearer

By Alan ShearerMOTD2 pundit
Match of the Day 2 analysis

On the evidence of their performance against Arsenal, and from what I have seen in their previous 15 Premier League games this season, I cannot see Aston Villa staying up.

Villa are lacking in quality and are also lacking in confidence, as any team would be in their position. It is looking pretty bleak for them.

They have not won since the opening day of the season, are six points off second-bottom Sunderland and eight points adrift of safety.

By the time the January transfer window opens, they might be as good as relegated.

Rather than looking to bring in players then to try to keep them up, their manager Remi Garde might have to start planning for the Championship instead.

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Villa offer little in attack

Not once during their defeat by the Gunners on Sunday did I think Villa would get anything out of that game.

Remi Garde's side made it much easier for Arsenal than it should have been because they never really asked any questions of the Gunners' back four.

Rudy Gestede was leading Villa's attack but offered very little in terms of movement and did not attempt to get behind the Arsenal defence - Scott Sinclair was the only player trying to do that.

No Premier League team with as few points as Aston Villa from 16 games has stayed up
The fewest points a team has had after 16 Premier League games and still stayed up is nine - Coventry (1995-96), Wigan (2007-08) and Sunderland (2013-14) all survived
Average position of Aston Villa players' touches vs Arsenal with Gestede leading the attack
Average position of Aston Villa players' touches vs Arsenal

Villa offered more of a threat in the second half but by then they were 2-0 down and the game was already gone.

I don't know whether their improvement in attack was down to them having more of a go, or Arsenal taking their foot off the gas after a big week in the Champions League. I suspect it was the latter.

Even when Villa did create chances, they rarely troubled Petr Cech. Only two of their 18 shots were on target.

Aston Villa's shots vs Arsenal
First halfSecond half
Aston Villa's shots vs Arsenal
Aston Villa had 18 efforts at goal against Arsenal - six in the first half and 12 in the second - but only two were on target (green arrows). Four were blocked (yellow circles) and only seven came inside the Gunners area.

Summer signings lack quality and experience

Villa spent almost £50m on 13 players in the summer, using the money they got for Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph.

But when I look through the list of their signings, there is hardly any experience there, let alone experience of the Premier League.

Aston Villa's signings - summer 2015
Idrissa GueyeLille26£9m
Jordan AyewLorient24£8.5m
Jordan VeretoutNantes22£8m
Jordan AmaviNice21£7.7m
Adama TraoreBarcelona19£7m
Rudy GestedeBlackburn27£6m
Scott SinclairMan City26£2.5m
Joleon LescottWest Brom33£2m
Jose Angel CrespoBologna28£550k
Matija SarkicAnderlecht18Unknown
Micah RichardsMan City27Free
Mark BunnNorwich30Free
Tiago IloriLiverpool22Loan

That is a lot of money on mostly unproven players, and it is asking for trouble.

Villa have a similar problem to the one Newcastle have had this season - they have bought players who have done well in French football, but that is a completely different ask to what you need in the Premier League.

Yes you need youth, but you also need nous to go with it. Villa do not have enough of that in their team.

Aston Villa striker Rudy Gestede
Rudy Gestede joined Villa for £6m from Blackburn in July. He scored the winner against Bournemouth on the opening day of the season and has three Premier League goals in total, but has not scored in any of his past nine league appearances

I don't know who has the final say on Villa's transfers but they have a head of recruitment and a sporting director at the club and it cannot just be the manager's fault.

My old Blackburn team-mate Tim Sherwood was sacked at the end of October but was in charge at the time those players were brought in.

I know Tim well, and I know he knows what the Premier League is all about - not all 13 of those players were his buys. (This paragraph was amended after publication to clarify Shearer was not saying all 13 signings were made without Sherwood's approval).

So, as well as looking at how badly Villa are struggling on the pitch, you also need to look at who is signing their players in the first place.

They have spent £50m and I would ask them what return are they getting on that? I cannot see much of one myself.

Who will want to join Villa now?

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde
Garde has drawn two and lost three of his five games in charge of Aston Villa

Garde said this week that he wants to bring in some experience in January, and clearly he will be trying to sign better players too.

But his problem, if Villa are still so far adrift, will be who can he get?

For starters, I can't imagine many players wanting to go there with relegation looking almost certain.

He also needs to consider whether to buy players for the present situation or look ahead and buy players for the Championship to try to get Villa up next season.

That is not a nice situation to be in, but it looks like it will be the case.

Alan Shearer was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

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