Football

Aston Villa's EPL nightmare

Updated 1629 GMT (0029 HKT) January 11, 2016
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Aston Villa captain Micah Richards dejectedly leaves the field after his side's 2-0 defeat to Norwich City at Carrow Road. The Villans have won just one English Premier League match this season. Stephen Pond/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
The club appointed French manager Remi Garde in early November in a bid to turn around its fortunes. Garde, a former defensive midfielder, was a member of Arsenal's famed EPL and FA Cup-winning side of 1997-98 but he has been unable to inspire his charges at Villa Park. Ian MacNicol/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Rudy Gestede, one of 12 new arrivals at Villa for the 2015-16 season, is yet to recapture the form that saw him score 33 goals in 51 starts for previous club Blackburn Rovers. The striker has just four goals to his name in all competitions for his new side. Stephen Pond/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Jordan Ayew, a $12.2 million signing from French club Lorient, has notched five Premier League goals. But Villa has struggled without the prolific Christian Benteke -- sold to Liverpool during preseason. Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
With points in short supply, tempers have frayed. In this image, players separate Richards and Swansea's Ashley Williams during Villa's October defeat. Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
The discontent is certainly not limited to the players. Villa supporters have called for the removal of American owner Randy Lerner -- who bought the club in 2006, and sold the Cleveland Browns NFL franchise in August 2012. Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Certain sections of the club's support have been even more vocal in their criticism. Fans shouted insults and a barrage of expletives at Villa players after a disappointing draw with fourth-tier Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup last weekend. Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Dismal defeats to the likes of Sunderland -- also in the relegation zone -- have cost Garde's men dearly. With just eight points from 20 league fixtures, they have a proverbial mountain to climb. Ian MacNicol/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Much was expected of starlet Jack Grealish ahead of the season following a standout performance against Liverpool in the 2015 FA Cup semifinal. But the 19-year-old faced strict reprimand from his Garde after he was spotted in a nightclub following Villa's 4-0 defeat to Everton. Clive Rose/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Villa fans hold up inflatable snakes during a match against Manchester City. The gesture is in reference to Fabian Delph, the former Villa captain who left to join City ahead of the 2015-16 season. The England international professed his loyalty to Villa and turned down a move to City before performing a dramatic U-turn and signing for the 2014 EPL champion days later. OLI SCARFF/AFP/AFP/Getty Images