The European Championships are just around the corner and Delph has finally broken into the England set-up. What better way to undoing years of hard work, overcoming injury lay-offs & consistent performances, than sitting on the bench at Manchester City? A sure fire way of slipping into obscurity & certainly out of the England managers thoughts, just at the wrong time.
9. Bench Warmer
As if the prospect of watching your international career disintegrate just as you’ve established yourself, what about your club team opportunities? Delph would have joined a City squad with existing strength in depth & would have found himself very much the bit part player. Many a talented footballer has been hoovered up by the financial might of sides like City, only to find themselves in the footballing wilderness thereafter, having played little or no football.
The warning came loud and clear in a recent interview with newly signed, former Man City player Micah Richards. In it, Richards basically affirmed what we all know to be true. Delph would have had to accept that he would play occasionally in league games or cup runs. The warnings didn’t come just in Richards’ words, but also in his and another Man City reject Scott Sinclair’s careers. Both of whom have shown supreme talent and ability in their early careers, only to see themselves replaced and overlooked.
7. Big Club? Better Club?
Yes, Villa are seemingly forever in transition. Yes, we are coming off the back of another near miss in terms of our top flight safety. However, we are a massive club, with heritage and history. Whilst these things don’t impact upon results on the field in the here and now, they do shape a football club.
Man City, for all their riches and recent silverware, are no Manchester United. Their success is bought. Plucking every single player of promise and talent, from any team, anywhere….it makes for a team of mercenaries. Do City carry the stature in the game that really screams “big club”?
Villa may not have trophies of late, but we are a massive club with values & class. Can the same be said of Man City?
Villa are crying out for a player to define Aston Villa’s next chapter. Delph played his part in not only keeping the club in the division, but putting us within 90 minutes of lifting the FA Cup. He has the attributes and guile to become a player who is recalled in future years, perhaps amongst other club greats. Certainly, he must achieve things of note in order to obtain true ‘cult’ status – but he stands more of a chance revitalising Aston Villa than he would on the periphery at Man City.
5. Club Captain.
Delph would have not only abandoned his post but disgraced it had he departed. This would surely have weighed heavily in his mind. When Ron Vlaar was relieved of his Captaincy duties, Delph was the natural & obvious choice. Captains do not abandon their ships, least of all in an hour of need.
4. Money Is No Object.
No doubt the remuneration at City would have made Fabian a ridiculously wealthy individual. I’d imagine that he is already comfortable – and money – is not everything. A massive bank balance does not bring with it career or personal satisfaction – and not every player is content to watch their valuable years of playing time slip away without kicking a ball. Is becoming even richer worth the trade off?
3. Family Life.
It’s easy to put the importance of a settled family life out on the periphery, but aside from 90 minutes of football twice a week, it’s the reason Fabian gets out of bed in the morning. It’s not to make us, fans, happy. It’s to give himself and his family the best lives possible. Would uprooting them to an unfamiliar city be the best for them?
2. They don’t want you, just your nationality.
There was an uncomfortable fact about the whole transfer saga & that was the fact that all City really wanted was an English footballer. They weren’t really bothered who it was & at £8m for an England International, you can’t really go wrong. The trouble was…if there had been another, cheaper Delph…they’d have pursued him. Hardly makes you feel valued, does it?
The statement accompanying the contract renewal in January was a gift to media and fans alike when the rumours surfaced. Delph would have had no escape from the criticism and rightful scrutiny in the event he had jumped ship – they were his words – and ultimately he would have lied.
Loyalty is a virtually non-existent thing in modern football – so it’s a welcome and unexpected result that Delph appears to be true to his word. We can debate until the cows come home whether a loyal person should come so close to exiting the club – but ultimately – he didn’t. He acted as he said he would. It was by no means a public relations masterpiece – far from it – but Delph is still an Aston Villa player, and one for the right reasons.
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