Aston Villa have been struggling in the Premier league throughout the season primarily due to the lack of experience within the squad, which contains several youngsters. The likes of the Darren Bent and Stephen Ireland are amongst the few experienced members within the squad, but Lambert has been forcing them out of his first-team in recent weeks.
The former Sunderland and Tottenham striker Darren Bent has not been in the squad for the long time, while Ireland is the latest one to be forced out. Ireland was brought to Aston Villa in an £ 8 million deal from Manchester City several years ago.
Ireland has had several problems with his attitude and relationship with the managers in the past.
However, the action taken by Lambert has come out of the blue and as a surprise to the fans. The 26-year-old has made just 16 appearances in all competitions for the club this season. He has not been included in the squad that will be taking on Arsenal, which has put his Villa future in major doubt. Aston Villa come into the encounter against Arsenal on the back of a decent run of form, which has seen them score in the last three matches and also take a victory against West Ham.
“I have to pick a squad that I think will benefit the football club. He has featured up until recently. It is my decision. Stephen’s got a contract. I’ve had chats with him and we get on well,” said the Aston Villa manager for Lambert when asked about the omission of Ireland from the squad. Ireland is one of the high earners at the club, as his contract is worth around £ 55,000 per week. Villa have been struggling with finances for the last couple of seasons following the departure of Martin O’Neill.