Alan Hutton has admitted Aston Villa have failed to cope with losing Jack Grealish to injury.
The former Villa defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted Trezeguet, Bertrand Traore, Anwar El Ghazi and Ross Barkley had all let Dean Smith down in their captain’s absence.
Grealish has missed Villa’s last six games after suffering a leg injury earlier last month.
Smith’s men have won just once without their midfield talisman, with Sunday’s clash with Tottenham ending in a 2-0 defeat.
Trezeguet and Traore have been chosen to start in Villa’s last three games, with El Ghazi and Barkley both falling out of favour in recent weeks.
However, Hutton admitted none of the quartet have managed to deliver and insisted Grealish’s absence was proving to be a major issue for Smith.
Asked what went wrong against Spurs, Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “What went wrong? Missing Jack Grealish.
“I mean you look at recent performances – defensively, they’ve been decent. They’ve not conceded too many goals. Even though it’s been more one win in seven games, three losses and three draws, it’s the creative side they’ve really lacked for me.
“Defensively, they’ve been strong but moving forward they just don’t create enough. Simple as that. They have tried different things, whether it be Trezeguet, Traore, Anwar, Ross Barkley coming off the bench. It looks a struggle at times.
“It looks like Ollie Watkins is up there on his own, running channels, running himself into the ground and not much is coming off. When Jack plays, yes, we know how good he is and what he can create but he also draws people towards him.
“He gets double teamed, double marked at times which leaves spaces and gaps for other players. We’re just not seeing that at the moment. I think the team, in general, are finding it difficult to create when Jack’s not in the side.”