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Questions must be asked as Villa suffer humiliation at the hands of Brentford

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An awful game caps off Villa’s awful January

Brentford v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Despite all their signings, it was the same old Aston Villa who turned up at Griffin Park. It seemed like the capture of Brentford’s star man by our Villans was enough motivation for ‘The Bees’ to give Aston Villa a beating down in London.

After a promising twenty minutes, Aston Villa never managed to recover from a knockout blow delivered by Brentford’s Lasse Vibe on the 25th minute. In fairness, Chester had allowed the Dane too much space, and was punished. Brentford were lucky that Jonathan Kodjia blew Villa’s best chance of the first, as the Ivorian shot wide ten minutes into the game.

An unmarked Nico Yennaris doubled Brentford’s lead following an excellent cross from Jota Peleteiro, who emulated Lionel Messi and absolutely ran the show for Brentford. The Bees should have went three up when Jota mugged Alan Hutton before cracking the ball off of the bar. Another chance for a third Brentford goal came around when Sam Johnstone spilled the ball in the face of an onrushing Brentford attack before gratefully smothering the ball.

Brentford got their third after Kodjia was dispossessed and a deep ball sliced through to Lasse Vibe, who found it all too easy to add his second of the game. Aston Villa never found their way into the game and too often gave into frustation - most notably Henri Lansbury and Conor Hourihane, who could be spotted giving the referee a mouthful on more than one occasion. As much passion as Lansbury shows in interviews regarding the topic of losing games, maybe Villa wouldn’t lose games if he tracked back with urgency when Villa are under threat?

In truth, Brentford could have easily put six or seven past this sorry Villa side who never offered fight.

Birkir Bjarnason looked particularly unfit, but this is no surprise: he hasn’t played a competitive game since early December. In his role as the lynchpin of this Villa side, Steve Bruce must be asked why this was demanded of a player clearly lacking in match fitness and if this is the case - why Aaron Tshibola and Ashley Westwood were allowed to leave the club right now.

This is a pressing question as despite the abilities of those two players, they can offer a difference to the similar attacking styles of Bjarnason, Hourihane and Lansbury - all three of which like to push forward and all three of whom started. These players must have time to gel, that much is true, but did Steve Bruce have to start an all new midfield in a must-win game?

With 1 win in the past 8 games, Villa’s season will be over soon unless there is a turnaround rightaway and it’s up to Steve Bruce to show he is up for the job.