Despite the Palace Win, Aston Villa's Failure to Sign a Decent Defender Will Relegate Them

£100m, 350 new players, the 'big club' tag and a cracking home stadium later, and it looks as though Aston Villa will be relegated from the Premier League just one season after clawing their way back up.

There was a positive atmosphere around the club ahead of the 2019/20 season, with money being pumped in and a legendary centre-back in the coaching team, the feeling was there that they had to tools necessary to, at least, secure 17th spot.

All that investment seemed like it was being to put use - it not somewhat haphazardly - but the mantra of quality over quantity clearly doesn't exist in the city of Birmingham. Villa spent big money, and they spent it poorly. Very, very poorly.

But above all their failings in the transfer market, their defensive reinforcements were simply not up to scratch. Only Norwich have conceded more goals than them this season, and it's clear to see why.

Tyrone Mings has earned an England call-up this season, while Kortney Hause has cemented his place in the starting lineup, but the standout issue with them and with the likes of Matt Targett and Ezri Konsa has been their positional awareness.

On too many occasions to count this season has the Villa backline been caught out of position, be it from set pieces or simple balls over the top.

Tyrone Mings has played his part in a woeful Villa defence

On Sunday they came up against a tepid Crystal Palace who look like they turned up in their flip-flops such was the lack of intensity in their play, but Villa haven't faced 33 of them this season. They've faced sides looking to play, and they've come unstuck time and time again.

They can have their moments in the final third through Jack Grealish and occasionally through their wide players, but Sunday's display was a one-off affair where they didn't have to rely on sustained pressure.

If they are to stay up this season, then the improvements showed on Sunday will go down as pivotal in doing so. Their three remaining matches could go either way, but even if they win them all they still need to overcome a three-point deficit on Watford, who've found form themselves.

But as soon as Villa come up against a side with some modicum of attacking intent, they'll fall flat. There's no point beating around the bush, their defending and defenders are not Premier League quality.

John Terry went from playing at Villa to joining the backroom staff

The aforementioned John Terry being among the coaching staff, you'd think, would mean that defensively Villa would be OK this season. Yeah, not so much. If you aren't able to improve and avoid shipping 65 goals in 35 games from someone of his legendary status, then perhaps the club should come to terms with their backline not being up to scratch.

A clean sheet will be a welcome boost to those defenders ahead of the trip to Everton next, but one of the startling issues they've been unable to deal with this term has been pace in behind; Richarlison will offer that in abundance, so you worry for their chances against the Toffees.

Victory over Palace could well go down as a false dawn. It was a walk in the park for them at times, but that only papers over the cracks, which there are plenty of in this defence.

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Source : 90min