By Amir Mir

Aston Villa legend Paul McGrath believes striker Jordan Ayew is the only player at the club who can “hold his head up high” after relegation last season.

Many Villa players delivered a series of wretched displays which led to the former European champions producing their worst season in their 141-year history.

Former centre-back McGrath, who is regarded by many as Villa’s greatest ever player, believes the Ghanaian forward was the only one who produced the goods last season.

In a question-and-answer session with Villa blog Venture Down The Left, McGrath was asked if he felt there was a softness among the current squad.

“Gone soft? Without a doubt!” McGrath told the blog. “Jordan Ayew is the only one who can hold his head up high, all of the rest were way below par,”

Ayew scored seven goals last season as the club netted a disappointing 27 goals, three wins and 17 points.

McGrath, a Holte-End hero notched up 322 appearances for the club during a seven year period, including the 1994 League Cup triumph against Manchester United, which the Irishman was at the heart of.

Villa recently had a change in guard with new owner Tony Xia purchasing the club from the much-criticised Randy Lerner for a reported fee of £75 million,

As a result the Chinese Tycoon appointed former Champions League winning boss Roberto Di Matteo as the club’s new manager, the Italian now has the pressure of guiding the club back to the Premier League this season.

McGrath, a former Republic of Ireland international was pleased with the new appointments as he feels the club have had too many bad periods in recent years.

“I’m happy that there is now a new owner, and hopefully he’s a genuine fan that cares deeply about the club and the supporters,” said McGrath to Venture Down The Left.

“I’m delighted the others are gone. It was time for fresh ideas and fresh faces. It had all gone terribly stale for too long.”

Di Matteo and his coaching staff kick-off their Championship season away at Sheffield Wednesday on August 7.

In other Aston Villa team news, supporters react on Twitter to Ian Holloway’s Championship finishing predictions which angered the club’s owner.