Aston Villa's inability to get the ball in the net this season has left them in danger of taking an unwanted Premier League record.
The Birmingham club have hit just 11 goals in their 21 league games so far. This poor figure leaves them currently on course to match the record low of 20 league goals scored by Derby County in their 2007/08 campaign.
Of the club’s striking roster, the three main attackers – Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann – have hit just eight goals between them in a cumulative total of 51 games.
Darren Bent’s lack of favour with manager Paul Lambert has seen him head, somewhat ironically, to Derby County on loan. Aston Villa’s only other senior striker is Czech international, Libor Kozák, still in long term recovery from a broken leg sustained in training in January 2014.
Worries were abound before the start of the new season with Benteke, the focus of much of the Villa attack, out until November with a ruptured Achilles. Despite this, the season began strongly with three wins and a draw in the first four games.
Momentum faltered with six consecutive losses due to a tricky run of fixtures featuring Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton back to back.
The relatively small Villa squad showed further signs of strain with a run of injuries and red cards in November and December.
As poor as the attack has been, there is some solace to take from how strong Villa’s defence has been. With just 23 goals conceded in the league so far – only four more than league leaders Chelsea – Aston Villa are sitting in 13th, three points from the drop zone.
Derby County’s record low of just 20 goals scored in a Premier League season was twinned with the record for the most conceded, 89, sealing their relegation by March. If it wasn’t for their defence then the Villa position would be far more precarious.
Paul Lambert’s best transfer window business would be to ward off the clubs sniffing around defensive linchpin, Ron Vlaar. Losing any defensive strength could be a kiss of death for their Premier League survival.