By Dominic Toner
Aston Villa slumped to a heavy 3-0 defeat away to Brentford on Tuesday night – and the club’s supporters highlighted the performances of defensive pair James Chester and Nathan Baker.
The two defenders are regarded as senior players and have been the first-choice centre-back pairing under Steve Bruce.
However, they were unable to stop a ruthless Brentford side who cruised to the three points at Griffin Park.
Lasse Vibe’s brace and Nico Yennaris secured victory for the hosts, while Villa slipped to 14th-placed in the Championship table and they are now 10 points adrift of the play-off places.
Villa supporters expressed their anger at their centre-back pairing and feel they struggled all game.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
Baker and Chester utterly useless tonight #AVFC
— Greg mallen (@gregavfc) January 31, 2017
With a midfield now there's no excuses for Chester and baker, poor defending. #AVFC
— Emmett Carey (@3MMETT_c4R3y) January 31, 2017
Baker & Chester have been poor this year, don't know what's happened to them. Everything just goes through them – time for Elphick? #AVFC
— Reece (@Reece_AV) February 1, 2017
Chester and Baker have had their worst game together. Both have been utterly dreadful. Not that it means the other 9 have been good. #avfc
— Jonah (@tom9022) January 31, 2017
Wtf was that?!! Makes you wonder if it was the midfield all along; the back four, particularly Baker and Chester have been shocking.
— Aston Villa Daily (@AVFC_Daily) January 31, 2017
Chester and Baker have established themselves as the main centre-backs, but have not kept a clean sheet together since a 1-0 win over QPR on 18 December.
Tommy Elphick is an alternative defender who could come into the side, while highly-rated youngster Jacob Bedeau was signed on deadline day.
Chester, 28, is a Wales international and has proven himself in the Premier League, but may now be under pressure to keep his spot.
Meanwhile, 25-year-old Baker is a product of the club’s academy and has made 107 senior appearances for the Midlands giants, but could be dropped from Bruce’s starting XI.
Villa travel to Nottingham Forest on Saturday and will be looking for an immediate response.
Bruce could be considering fielding a new-look side after eight new players joined in the January window.
Sam Johnstone, Henri Lansbury, Birkir Bjarnason, Conor Hourihane, James Bree, Bedeau, Neil Taylor and Scott Hogan have all moved to the club.
In other Aston Villa news, Tony Xia has sent a message to Ashley Westwood after his departure.