Paul Robinson was shocked that Dean Smith opted to trust Orjan Nyland between the sticks for Aston Villa in their first two games back.
The former Spurs and Leeds United goalkeeper, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested that the 29-year-old may have impressed in training and thus forced out Pepe Reina.
Nyland has started both of Villa’s game since the restart – a goalless draw against Sheffield United and a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.
The Norway international was very fortunate not to cost the Claret and Blue a point against the Blades on Wednesday after he carried Oliver Norwood’s cross into his own net.
The ball clearly crossed the line but an error with the goal line technology denied Chris Wilder’s side a goal and subsequently the win.
When asked by Football Insider for his thoughts on the goalkeeper position at Villa Park, Robinson said: “I was very surprised to see Nyland start.
“I thought Pepe was brought in to cover Tom. Nyland did not do too much wrong earlier in the season.
“In January, Dean Smith clearly wanted an experienced keeper for the run in but that appears to have changed.
“It is a manager’s prerogative and he may have seen performances in training that could have lead him to change his mind.
“It is unfortunate times for Villa, one point from two games and they are in a real predicament.”
Reina, who joined on loan in January, is yet to an agree an extension to his deal which would allow him to remain at the club until the end of the season.
Dean Smith said: “I believe it is in the process of being agreed.”
In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that midfielder is being watched by multiple clubs as he nears his exit.
PLUS: Subscribe for free to our brilliant new YouTube channel for daily videos, interviews with our top pundits and special guests, and all the latest insight into the club you love.