Already relegated Aston Villa looked on course to seal their first win since February this weekend, having led Watford 2-1 until the 90th minute.
However, Troy Deeney was on hand for the Hornets to break Villans hearts, notching twice in injury time to condemn the Birmingham side to their 11th consecutive Premier League defeat.
Not since Derby County’s 11 in 2007/08 has a Premier League side registered such few points in a season – Villa’s meagre tally current sits at 16 with two games to play.
Their remaining two fixtures see them welcome a resurgent Newcastle to Villa Park, before they visit Arsenal on the final day, who will be looking for three points to secure Champions League football for next season.
The outlook is bleak. It has been an appalling season for the Midlands side, with fans and pundits alike quick to condemn both players and the board for what has been a tragedy for a once great club.
‘Proud History. What Future?’ A valid question from the Villa faithful, who have been extremely vocal – especially towards the end of the season – when it comes to their disdain.
Where the club’s prospects lie under Randy Lerner, who knows. However, their immediate future sees them turn their attention to gaining promotion back to the Premier League, and if they are to do so, Villa will need to strengthen, as displays as poor as those this season will see them falter again in a competitive Championship.
Sifting the good from the bad and downright the ugly at Villa Park is number one of the list of things to do, so here are FIVE (it could be 10) players Aston Villa should get rid of this summer if they want to make an quick return to England’s top division…
I think it is fair to say it would be a ‘weight off people’s shoulders’ if blundering Joleon Lescott was to leave Villa Park this summer. Perhaps a scapegoat at times, the former Manchester City man certainly hasn’t helped himself.
Having been brought in to provide solidity in defence, based on his vast Premier League experience, the outcome has been the polar opposite. Calamitous at times, Lescott has looked more Sunday League than Premier League, and has continually been at fault for Villa’s poor defensive record.
This may seem odd, as Gueye has been arguably the only decent performer for Aston Villa all season. The Senegal International sits only behind N’Golo Kante in terms of tackles and interceptions this term; an impressive feat for a midfielder in a struggling side.
However, the former Lille enforcer will be wanted by many this summer, so he could be used to bring in some vital funds.
Possessing far too much quality to be playing in the Championship, Villa are best cashing in their chips and selling. If they can command anything near the £9m paid for defensive midfielder, they should re-invest in players better suited to a lower level of football.
The Scottish defender was named as French newspaper L’Equipe’s ‘Best British Right Back’ back in November 2015. The former Tottenham man featured in the starting XI alongside Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart and of course Welsh wonder Gareth Bale.
Now, it may just be me, but somehow I think the Parisian outlet may just have been watching the wrong player.
Lazy, woeful and lacking in quality, Hutton has been about as much help as a chocolate teapot this season, and Gordon Strachan’s preferred choice for Scotland has also nodded two own goals for good measure in a valiant effort to further condemn his Aston Villa side to relegation.
£63,000 a week is what the former Wigan man makes currently at Aston Villa. That is a serious wage for a player who currently trains with the U-21s and was told he has no future at the club by sacked manager Remi Garde.
Since his move from Wigan in 2011, the Frenchman has failed to impress at all in his five-year tenure at the club, being unable to reproduce any of the form that warranted his £9.5m transfer fee.
Having tried to ship N’Zogbia off to AEK Athens in January in an attempt to cut their wage bill, Villa were unable to throw the 29 year old overboard. They will have no problems this summer, however, as the disappointing winger becomes a free agent with his contract set to expire.
The Solihull born winger has gotten far too big for his tiny boots (and shin-pads).
Although the 20 year old impressed towards the back end of last season, and furthermore at the start of this one, Grealish has barely featured since. In fairness, the former Ireland U-21 international has been injured for a significant part of the season, but when he has had a chance to impress, he simply hasn’t performed.
Staying out clubbing after losing 4-0 to Everton, caught on video inhaling nitrous oxide and opting the try his luck for England at international level rather than Ireland, it all seems to have gone to the young man’s head.
While he may still have ability to offer, Villa need stability at the club next season if they aim to bounce straight back to the Premier League. Chances are one of the big clubs will pay over the odds for his signature, so take the money and run, Villa.