LONDON — Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood said some players in the side crushed 4-0 by Arsenal in the FA Cup final on Saturday had played their last match for the club.
Offering no excuses for Villa’s poor performance, Sherwood said he intended to immediately start re-building his squad for next season.
He admitted his team were outplayed by Arsenal’s “outstanding, world-class” players, who secured the Gunners’ record 12th FA Cup triumph while handing Villa their worst final defeat.
Yet Sherwood was also critical of his players and insisted there would be changes.
“My group of players in there need to get better and change their mentality because they are quite used to losing football matches which is not a good habit,” he said.
“I have to make sure I improve this group of players so we are not scrapping relegation again and perhaps we might have a couple of more trips to Wembley again.
“There will be changes. That will start immediately. Some of the boys have been told that they won’t be here next year and they can go and find other clubs. I like to be that honest with them. I don’t like experienced players to be strung along.
“A team who have escaped from relegation for the last four seasons is not good enough for a club like Aston Villa and we need to improve.”
Sherwood added that he may also change Villa’s style of play, which would suit some of his squad who did not play on Saturday.
As for Arsenal, he had nothing but praise. “They deserved to win. They were outstanding, world-class footballers and they nullified our threat,” Sherwood said.
“I don’t think the occasion got to my players. They just came up against some world-class footballers who played very well on the day.”
When Villa won the FA Cup for the seventh time in 1957, they established the competition’s all-time record at that time but now it was Arsenal’s turn to establish a new landmark with their 12th triumph.
Their 4-0 win was their biggest in any of their final successes and it was Villa’s worst final loss, surpassing their 3-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion in 1892.
“I feel sick, and so do the boys in there,” Sherwood said, adding that managing to keep Villa in the Premier League this season and avoiding relegation felt like no real consolation.