Not content with the first 10 disastrous signings plucked from the vault of shame, many of you were kind enough to send some more names my way.
Well…here they are…plus some more that have come to mind since. Keep a positive mental attitude folks…..
10. Mustapha Salifou
Plucked from obscurity. Unheard of then. Mythical during his stay. Unheard of now. Quite how Salifou managed to get a contract at Villa remains a mystery. A mystery that involved us signing him under Martin O’Neill. A baffling waste of money and a human beings time. AND he got a song. Christ. He was that bad.
9. Stan Collymore.
I won’t lie. I jumped around the living room like a man (boy) possessed when we got Stanley from Liverpool. What a disappointment. Stan had his demons, evidently, then and perhaps now, but what a letdown. In purely footballing terms Collymore could deliver the absolute world beating sublime – offset against – well – bafflingly poor showings. A costly purchase, a Villa fan, who must harbour incalculable regret that more could not have been made of his time in Claret & Blue.
Another in a long line of players who looked amazing whenever they played against us, only to be utter tripe upon crossing the touchline onto Villa Park. A little harsh perhaps, but Kachloul was particularly annoying in the El Ahmadi sense. Seemingly quite technically gifted, but only showing it in mere glimpses. A dot in the memory.
7. Nicky Shorey
He made the England squad whilst at Reading. However, Shorey was barely trusted with making the tea at Bodymoor Heath. Signed by O’Neill, Shorey joined from The Royals in £4 million pound deal. The left back, at 27 years old, should have been the assured senior pro to slot into the team. Instead, he looked decidedly average and his Villa career never looked like taking off. A little over a year into a 3 year contract he was loaned to Forest and then Fulham. Eventually joining West Brom in 2010, his career never recovered and he became a journeyman thereafter. From England International to nobody in a matter of weeks…only the Villa.
6. Gilles De Bilde (LOAN)
In desperation due to an injury crisis, Villa loaned in Giles De Bilde of Sheffield Wednesday. The trouble was, the Belgian was described as “a non-trier” and criticised for a “lack of effort” by then Owls manager Paul Jewell. De Bilde intially refused the loan deal from the Championship side on the grounds that he had nobody to feed his dogs…only when Jewell agreed to feed them in his absense did he accept the 3 month loan deal. Suffice to say, his stay was devoid of both effort and anything worth recollecting.
5. Erik Bakke (LOAN)
Bakke…signed on loan from Leeds under David O’Leary. Bakke was ok, average. Hell…average at best. He featured at a time of absolute austerity (the first time round) at Villa Park. We needed a midfielder, he was cheap, hardly worth the money but he had legs and occasionally ran around. Embarassingly we couldn’t afford his wages and when Leeds refused to extend the loan he had to go back to Yorkshire. No-one had his name on the back of their shirt that’s for sure. Instantly forgettable.
Proof that the tall lad who can boot the ball into the car park in the school football team can make it as a professional. Davies was signed for £10 million English pounds from West Bromwich Albion. £10 million. Ten. Million. After his first game for Villa, Davies described himself as having played like a “pub player” – a quote that haunted him at Villa. We all wanted him to succeed, but he was (and is) professionally atrocious. Quite how Curtis Davies has fashioned a living playing football encourages me that my toddler’s art-work may yet hang in the Tate Modern or MoMA.
3. Michael Boulding
Signed from Grimsby Town, this Rivaldo-esque winger tore the Premier League apart with scintillating runs, deft through balls and an array of assists. In my dreams. Boulding was the most surprised person in the world to find himself the subject of a Villa bid, then under the control of Graham Taylor (second time around). Boulding looked way, way out of his depth and despite a dream to play in the Premier League, never did so. Swiftly loaned out to Sheffield United, he sustained an ankle injury that restricted opportunities before a return to Grimsby occurred. Fun Fact: Boulding was once ranked in the top 20 mens Tennis players in the UK. :-/
2. Mark Kinsella
Villa were desperate to capture the exciting Charlton midfielder…the only trouble was that we wanted Matt Holland but instead bought Mark Kinsella. Kinsella, an Irish international was way past his best upon transferring to Villa and struggled to play without a zimmerframe. So rooted was old Mark that moss formed on one side of his body whilst on the pitch. With no knees…it was never going to work. A waste of everyone’s time, money and patience.
Ok – I stated in the first article he wouldn’t be named – but this one true failure should be named. An absolute shocker, joke – a disgrace not only to the shirt but to football in any form. What an absolute honking, stinking, cesspit of a footballer – who is now an agent. You cannot make this joke up.
Signed for over £7 million quid, Villa might as well have spent it on profiteroles filled with excrement.
Now the byword for “flop”, the Balaban signing will stand the test of time as one of the most dubious and costly mistakes a football club has made. Embarrassing. Did I mention he’s an agent? Haha, what a terrible world we live in.
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