By Matt Farr
Ex-Aston Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel insists the club’s drastic decline was a ‘disaster waiting to happen.’
The 41-year-old spent six years at Aston Villa, during which time he scored 44 goals from 175 Premier League appearances.
He had arrived at Villa Park in a £9.5million deal from River Plate in January 2001, before quitting the club for MLS outfit New York Red Bulls in April 2007.
However, with Aston Villa suffering relegation from the top flight last season, Angel admits that the club is ‘not in the best state.’
Speaking to KICK’s ‘We Talk Football Show’, which was shared on YouTube on Thursday, Angel said: “The club is not in the best state.
“[Relegation] was something that all the Villa fans were waiting for, not in a positive way, but because of the way the club had been managed in the recent years. It was a disaster waiting to happen.
“But not it’s given the club a great opportunity for everybody to come together and make a plan to take the club back to where it belongs which is the Premier League. Aston Villa should be there.”
Even before their eventual relegation from the Premier League last season, however, Aston Villa had long-flirted with the drop, only to pull-off a number of late survival bids.
Paul Lambert had twice managed to steer the club clear of relegation, before Tim Sherwood repeated the feat during the 2014-15 campaign – only for the club to finish 20th under Remi Garde last term.
But Aston Villa’s problems continued into the early part of the current campaign, and despite yet another managerial change, which saw Steve Bruce take the reins in October, the club fell well short of promotion.
The Midlands club finished 13th in the Championship table, a good 18 points short of the play-offs, but Bruce’s side will be considered among the favourites for promotion next season.
In other Aston Villa news, four players are on the agenda as the club’s summer transfer plan is revealed.