Only at Villa could we take an otherwise prolific striker and reduce him to wanting to lock himself away at home.
If truth be told, many of us have likely peered out of the window on a cold winters morning and pondered whether there was an excuse not to go to Villa Park as well.
Although, we aren’t paid five figures a week for the trouble.
The unbelievable revelations from Steve Bruce at the post Preston press conference, opened the door ajar into McCormack’s life.
It doesn’t make for great listening or reading;
- Too unfit to play.
- Not committed.
- Bad attitude.
- Missing training.
- Late for training.
Similarly to our pretty dismal league form, it’s deja vu again when it comes to ill-discipline at the football club.
We’ve been down this road all too recently (& repeatedly) with Agbonlahor, Grealish & Lescott.
How is it that we are unable to assert some reasonable influence over our most prized assets?
That’s not to say that players’ lives need be dictated to them, but why so frequently must we despair at the lack of professionalism?
This is supposed to be a new dawn under Tony Xia. Indeed, it’s marketed almost as a second coming with Steve Bruce at the helm.
Should anything be read into the fact that Villa had spectacularly collapsed against Preston that this news should suddenly emerge?
It does little to lesson the gravity of McCormack’s failings – but it does detract from Villa’s slide into the lower half of The Championship.
And when was the last time that a manager publicly outed a player in this manner? It’s rare, if nothing else.
Again, that’s not to say that ultimately it might be warranted. It’s as worrying as it is tantalising to wonder what else may lurk below the surface, with the club happy to allow the discussion to be had via the media?
For that, there can only be speculation at this stage.
We would therefore have to assume that Bruce has literally got to the end of his tether with McCormack.
However, by choosing to put the issues and the debate firmly into the public domain, it not only throws down a gauntlet to the striker, but could make any relationship irreconcilable.
Putting McCormack to one side for a moment, how would you feel if an indiscretion at work was put out there by your boss? And all before you’ve been able to provide some context, reasons or at least give your side to the story.
Bruce’s intention might be right, but the outcome and whether the desired effect is achieved, shall only be known in time. It’s hardly building bridges though, is it?
Villa appear to have rejected a loan move from the Scottish strikers former club, which would be his only logical way out in the short term. It’s hard to imagine anyone coming near to the £12 million that was shelled out less than 6 months ago. Scary in itself.
A small initial positive is that he turned up to training today, albeit finding himself practising with the Under-23’s. The development squad must be sick and tired of babysitting banished first teamers, as has been the increasingly norm for many seasons now.
The next couple of weeks could be interesting though, particulary around whether a loan is the possible outcome
Will someone at the top end of the Championship take the gamble on his proven goalscoring past, possibly supplementing their existing options in a push for the top flight?
Premier League sides, who get increasingly desperate as the windows close nears, have been known to make rash and often costly final rolls of the dice. It’s not so far fetched to predict a struggling side may see McCormack as a short term investment or as a calculated risk.
From our point of view, ultimately, it would be best to see Ross rehabilitated into the side.
Consider this; if Gabby can return to the first 11, then it has to be possible for McCormack. And the latter has a goalscoring record which frankly we need & that Agbonlahor has never delivered.