The curious case of Joleon Lescott. Another embarrassing nightmare at Aston Villa.

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After the embarrassing drubbing on our own pitch against Liverpool, you would have thought that things couldn’t get any more tedious in a season of tedium.  

However, the bizarre ‘supercar’ tweet after the loss by Jolean Lescott, a seasoned professional, has opened a big can of worms.

It’s snowballed into a debate that now features laughable excuses from Lescott, divided opinion amongst fans & even more unbelievably, now resulted in invitations from the defender to sort out these differences in person.

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The above was tweeted apparently in ‘error’ following the shambolic display against Liverpool on Sunday evening.

After a tsunami of bemused responses, disdain and disbelief on the part of most football fans & commentators, Lescott released an equally dubious response as means of an apology;

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Whilst he perhaps didn’t realise it, this “dog ate my homework” excuse made a developing public relations disaster a comedy farce.  The excuse alone soon went viral, opening the floodgates of ridicule upon the defender and bringing Aston Villa into further disrepute.

To top matters off, Lescott has then permitted himself to be drawn into direct spats with “fans” on Instagram.

In one of many ill-judged responses to blatant trolling, Joleon replied to extensive hounding by inviting one commenter to Bodymoor Heath;

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I think that a great many are missing the point as to quite why all of this is so stupid, so inane and truly pathetic.  Not just on Lescott’s part either.

This is just another example of how Aston Villa has lost it’s discipline, all sense of responsibility for individual actions and that our public relations are without doubt amateurish at best.

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Our players are human beings, entitled to opinions, but like the rest of us must temper them when it comes to work & life.  Whilst few of us exist in such a public sphere as the modern footballer inhabits, none of us would dream of exposing our employer to open ridicule or such damaging PR.  

This in part shows the shift of power to players, but also the lack of accountability they have to the club who pays their wage.  Lescott’s actions are done without so much as a care for the consequences or how they might be perceived.  Why?  Ultimately, he is already a multi-millionaire with little or no true attachment to our club.  

A fan?  Pull the other one.  He’s an employee.

Lescott therefore comes out of this with pretty low stock.  He’s a grown man, 33 years old and supposedly a “professional”.  There is absolutely no need for any of it.  It is immature, embarrassing and ultimately a sad insight into the individual.

I accept that he has received some foul abuse, some of it personal, but so do many on Twitter & other social media sites.  That doesn’t justify it, nor condone it occurring, but in opening up the letterbox to trolls and those who harbour strong personal opinions, you have to accept you might receive them.  (*Lescott gives as good as he receives & referred to Collymore as a “div”)

Even in my little corner of the world I get trolled by opposition fans and sometimes Villa supporters who disagree with my views or have their own opinions.  The red mist may descend momentarily, but the rational part of my brain reminds me (like many others who receive any form of abuse on social media) that I am more often than not both bigger & better than an in-dignified response.

I can honestly say I’ve never felt the overwhelming urge to invite anyone to settle scores face to face, principally because I’m a grown up with an active brain cell.

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I also don’t understand why any footballer would want a social media account with every action scrutinised and commented upon, often directly.

It opens one up to making rash decisions, giving immediate responses to messages that neither warrant nor deserve reading, let alone a measured reply.  

It shouldn’t be forgotten however, that Lescott’s initial goading tweet set the wheels in motion for the meltdown.  Again it doesn’t permit some of the responses he received, but it was the catalyst, without which none of it would have occurred.

This sad episode has led to a paid senior professional at Aston Villa inviting somebody he has never met to Bodymoor Heath…to what?  Fight?  Shout slurs at one another like children?  Debate the meaning of life?

It is by definition pathetic in every single respect and an indictment of our club’s decline and with how little dignity we’re managing it.

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