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Jamie Carragher says goalscoring problems could prove fatal for struggling Aston Villa

by new_c_admin

Jamie Carragher believes Aston Villa could find themselves going down if they don’t sort out their problems in front of goal. Paul Lambert’s side drew a blank for the sixth Premier League game in a row – a club record – as they lost 5-0 at Arsenal on Super Sunday. It has been over 10 hours since Villa last scored, when Christian Benteke netted in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United before Christmas. After Sunday’s result they sit 16th in the Premier League table, three points from the relegation zone, but Sky Sports pundit Carragher believes they’ll find themselves in the bottom three soon enough if things don’t change. “This is another terrible result for them,” he said. “I don’t agree with the way they set up – that was always going to play into Arsenal’s hands. The only thing that’s helped them is the results of the other teams down below yesterday. “They’ve broken the record of games without goals, and if that doesn’t change they’re going to be right in the mix to go down, and there’s a good chance they could go. “Their defensive record hasn’t been too bad, but today they were all over the place with the way they set up. But they’re not scoring goals and that’s going to be a massive problem for them. “The manager spoke before the game saying how much of a lift they got from the Bournemouth result in the FA Cup. They got a couple of goals. It’s maybe something you wouldn’t normally shout about, beating a team from the Championship at home in the cup, but that’s how bad things have been.” Big club Next up for Villa is a clash with Premier League leaders Chelsea, who boast the second-meanest defence in the division behind Southampton. Lambert’s men are bottom of the scoring charts in the entire Football League, nine goals behind the nearest team – West Brom – and Carragher says this isn’t the record a club like Villa should be owning. “That’s a shocking statistic, and that’s coming from a player who scored five goals in his career,” Carragher said. “That’s awful considering the size of the club, who they are, Aston Villa. We’re not talking about a Mickey Mouse club who are bottom of the league, adrift of everyone else points-wise, completely out of their depth. It’s Aston Villa. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the country. “Today the players haven’t produced. You could talk about the manager’s tactics, the way he’s set his team up and how they’ve done this season – is he positive enough? Is there enough quality on the pitch in terms of the goals they’ve got? Obviously not. “But it comes back to the top and what’s going on at the club. Is the ambition there to try and get Aston Villa back to where it should be and belongs, which is a top-six, top-eight club? “I know they had aspirations of breaking into the Champions League under Martin O’Neill, but they were always short. I was playing at the time and they were never quite at the top-four level. “Will they ever get there, who knows? I don’t think so, but they need to get back to being a team who fight for European qualification year-in, year-out.”

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