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 By Ian Darke

Newcastle and Aston Villa might need the ultimate wake-up call, relegation

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren considers their 5-1 defeat against Crystal Palace a hurtful one for the fans.

Once upon a time Aston Villa were the champions of Europe and Newcastle United could boast the most entertaining team in the Premier League. Today they occupy the bottom two places, and deservedly so based on a series of hopeless displays this season.

The days when Villa were beating Bayern Munich in the 1982 European Cup final and Newcastle were wowing audiences in the 1990s with champagne football (David Ginola, Faustino Asprilla, Les Ferdinand, Peter Beardsley) are but distant memories. Both...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Remi Garde and Villa staring relegation in the face after Watford loss

Remi Garde gave his reaction after Aston Villa's defeat to Watford.

The grim prospect of relegation seems increasingly likely after Villa's 3-2 home loss to Watford on Saturday. What a joyless, miserable campaign this has become. There's barely a result or performance for supporters to cheer, just defeat after defeat to digest.

Villa have struggled in the Premier League for the past few seasons but this is a new and chastening experience. Bottom of the table, with five points from 14 games and now 11 defeats in that time. It's beyond relegation form; it's close...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

The Premier League relegation battle is intensifying already

Swansea's Garry Monk, left, and Eddie How of Bournemouth, right, are both facing relegation battles.

With 13 matches having been played, over a third of the Premier League season has now gone and, as a hectic December approaches, the relegation battle is taking shape.

Aston Villa's encounter with Watford on Saturday looks like the first of a series of "six-pointers" that also includes Villa's trip to Newcastle on Dec. 19 for a meeting of two traditionally big clubs, who are currently in dire trouble.

If Chelsea, currently 15th, are to be removed from the picture on the grounds of the sheer unlikelihood...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Aston Villa need Jack Grealish to step up, not out of line

As Aston Villa's battle to stay in the Premier League intensifies, it's especially disappointing to learn that Jack Grealish was banished to train with the development squad, according to a report first published in the Daily Telegraph.

At a time when Villa really need the young midfielder to step up and use his talent to try and dig the club out of a deepening hole, it's a concerning development, to say the least. Grealish was pictured out in Manchester hours after the 4-0 defeat at Everton...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Aston Villa degenerate into a shambles in heavy defeat at Everton

Everton handed Aston Villa a 4-0 defeat as Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley each notched two goals.

The brief optimism that followed the appointment of Remi Garde and the hard-earned point against Manchester City has already started to fade.

Villa, so determined, organised and spirited during the goalless draw with City, gave a performance a million miles away from that in losing 4-0 against Everton on Saturday. It was abject. It was demoralising. Actually, it was even worse than that -- it was a no contest. Everton didn't need to get out of second gear. The game was over by half-time with the...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Jordan Amavi injury a setback for Remi Garde's Aston Villa recovery

His career as Aston Villa manager is only one match old and already Remi Garde is learning that his new job brings significant challenges. Garde takes Villa to Goodison Park on Saturday to face Everton already without a player he would have considered a regular starter in his first choice XI, Jordan Amavi, who ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee playing for the France under-21s.

Amavi's season is over. It's obviously a huge setback for the player but also for his manager,...