When asked if he could believe local midland rivals Villa were in the bottom three, Clarke said: "Yes, because you look at the results this season and they haven't been good enough to get them further up the league.
"That's what happens in football. The size of the stadium or the size of the crowd doesn't give you a God-given right to be in the Premier League.
"They are probably a club in a little bit in transition. They've had good moments in the season, are one game from a Wembley final (in the Capital One Cup).
"It's not all doom and gloom for them. I've seen them quite a few times and they always play with energy and enthusiasm."