Wasted Talent: Gabby Agbonlahor + King & Bernstein resign as positions “untenable”.

It is difficult to imagine quite how a season can get worse just a matter of days after a once in a generation relegation.  Yet Aston Villa manage it, with ease.

It was a day where the club was rocked by the resignations of both Mervyn King and David Bernstein, delivering a stark message that there is something very grim unfolding behind the scenes at Aston Villa.

I wrote just yesterday that Chairman Steve Hollis’ work, effective it might be in the removal of Tom Fox & Henrik Almstadt, was at best like re-arranging the deck chairs on The Titanic.  The phrase becomes not just appropriate, but painfully accurate.

Aston Villa is a ship that has long been adrift, battered relentlessly, rudderless & is now crashing helplessly onto the rocks.  As a football club, we are in absolute disarray; be in no doubt about that.

Our great club, once dignified and respected, is now beyond ridicule or even parody.  It is a parody of itself if anything.  It pains me to write that.

Resignation letters of Mervyn King & David Bernstein:

The most telling element is that these men are respected in their fields, have longevity on their CV’s, yet, have walked away after literally a matter of weeks.

I don’t believe we need to look much further than our absent, increasingly bizarre owner for the reasons behind this.

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King’s resignation points explicitly towards “recent communications” from Randy Lerner as being the catalyst for his departure and that what progress had been made had “stalled”.  

We can read many things into this, speculate as anyone would, but certainly deduce that whatever the message was from Lerner, it was enough for King to immediately want to separate himself from the club.  A club he makes the point of stating he has supported for 55 years.  

This is deeply, deeply troubling if dwelt upon.  What would prompt you to do the same in his position?

Bernstein’s letter is perhaps less clear cut in terms of finger pointing, but it does affirm that there is a culture (or person) resistant to change within the club.  It is evident from his resignation that he had a clear remit and in his attempts to deliver upon it has been obstructed.  It is worrying that whoever the party (or parties) are, remain at the club.  This though is the clearest evidence yet that there are figures at large without the best interests of Aston Villa in post.

Bernstein resigns his position after just 34 days on the Board.

It is reported also that Adrian Bevington, barely having parked his car at Villa Park, will also likely depart, albeit quietly.

I was critical at the time of the appointment of King, but recognised the “vision” being driven for through “footballing” experience in Bernstein and Brian Little.  Now, we are not even at square 1 & it’s hard to know what to think.

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From the intellectually minded, to those who have the world at their feet but suck happy gas through balloons for fun.  It’s quite a departure…


Club Captain:  Gabby Agbonlahor.

Gabriel Agbonlahor pictured:

Where do we begin?  

The Sun, Talksport and various media outlets began circulating that a Villa expose was being dropped at 11pm on Monday night – and given the earlier bombshell resignations – many feared the worst.

It is a reflection of how little regard we as supporters hold Agbonlahor (and many of his team-mates) in that there was a mixed response.  It was either a resigned shrug or calls for his head.

It has come to something that I can understand why many would think; “is that it?” – it isn’t “news” after-all.

In a season where we have been mocked and humiliated from all quarters, where Grealish has been passed out in an overseas street and our relegation confirmed weeks before the seasons close…where does it rank?

Equally, I understand the fury.

Gabby is a man with riches beyond the vast majority of most peoples reach or dreams.  Particularly in terms of an ‘effort’ to ‘deserving’ ratio.  It is commonplace to make the point about the financial rewards for doctors, teachers, nurses, police and then compare them to clowns like Gabby wasting their lives and money.  Maybe it is relevant, maybe it’s not.

Yes, many of us enjoy a good time and don’t have the risk of “kiss & tell”, mass media surveillance or the public profile which comes with the territory.  However, we didn’t choose his career path, weren’t fortunate enough to or in fact would have behaved responsibly if we had.  The latter point is one which is often overlooked.

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Is Agbonlahor entitled to conduct himself in this way?  Privately; questionably so.  The public, care-free and careless actions tell the whole story.  Gabby makes Joleon Lescott appear a Saint.

To be photographed was never likely his intention, but to put himself in such an exposed position raises many largely unanswerable questions.  Or perversely, it actually confirms that the club had made an accurate decision on him following the Dubai exploits and subsequent dropping due to poor fitness.

For a man whose derby performances bring back many happy memories, another sour chapter may yet mark the end of his association with Aston Villa.

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