Former Aston Villa favourite Dennis Mortimer laid into the club's flops following their worst home defeat for 81 years.
Villa were thumped 6-0 by Liverpool on Sunday to leave them bottom of the Barclays Premier League and eight points from safety.
Mortimer captained Villa to European Cup triumph in 1982 and also became their first skipper for 71 years to lift the First Division trophy a year earlier.
Villa are plummeting towards the Sky Bet Championship and former midfielder Mortimer slammed the under-performing players.
"There is a Villa side out there who, for me, the effort is not there. The understanding around how to play as a team is not there," said Mortimer, who played more than 400 games for the club.
"It could have been more. I never expected that, I expected maybe 2-0 but 6-0 was a shocking result.
"The manager has to get players to appreciate what this club is all about and get on that pitch and put performances in because that was shocking.
"Put the right manager in, a guy who understands what the Premier League is all about. Until they get that right they won't get the right players.
"I am disappointed for the fans, this has been coming over the last three seasons.
"Sooner or later it had to happen. Players have to accept that performance is not good enough."
And Mortimer insisted Villa should have appointed Nigel Pearson, instead of Remi Garde, when they sacked Tim Sherwood in October.
"For me I always felt it should have been Nigel Pearson coming in. I think the ideal person who should have taken this job was Nigel Pearson," he said.
"What he did last year to get (Leicester) up the league, and then they have gone on from there and are now top, it is unbelievable."
Garde has won just three times in 18 games in charge after Daniel Sturridge, James Milner, Emre Can, Divock Origi, Nathaniel Clyne and Kolo Toure inflicted Villa's latest loss.
The Frenchman said: "I feel humiliation when you concede six goals at home without scoring. It's very painful.
"I have a lot of feelings but I will keep some for myself. We have 12 games to go, there's still the possibility to win these games and we have to fight for it. I will find 11 or 18 players who still have the desire to win those games."
Joleon Lescott also apologised on Twitter for the performance and claimed a picture of a top-of-the-range Mercedes which came from his account - and sparked an angry reaction from fans - was posted by accident.
He wrote: "I would like to apologise for the performance, personally and collectively. Liverpool were better than us but that does not excuse mine and the teams lack of commitment for the 90 minutes.
"I would like to add that the tweet sent out from my account involving a picture of car was totally accidental it happened whilst driving and my phone was in my pocket."
Liverpool moved to within three points of fifth-placed Manchester United and boss Jurgen Klopp was delighted with Sturridge's impact in the striker's first start since October.
"We need the goals of Daniel and he needs the goals. For me it's not a surprise he can score goals," Klopp said.
"He is a real striker. It's really good to see. When he hides himself on the pitch it's really difficult to defend (against) if he is always somewhere.
"It was brilliant and you saw he was not too happy when we took him off."