Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Just two short summers ago, Stephen Warnock beat out Leighton Baines to get a spot on the plane to South Africa. Sure, the left back never set foot on the pitch in the 2010 World Cup, but it seemed to signify that Aston Villa had a quality defender on their hands.
But perhaps his call-up for England turned his head, or maybe he had some sort of run-in with a hippopotamus that scarred him for life. Whatever it was, Warnock never again looked consistent in a Villa shirt. With the reign of Paul Lambert settling over the good side of Birmingham, it became clear that Warnock's chance to prove himself had slipped away. He was told he could no longer train with the first team, and the club tried desperately to send him on his way over the summer.For some reason, no Premier League side seemed seriously interested in taking on a declining defender rumoured to have attitude issues. The Villa even tried to bundle him with Alan Hutton in a 2-for-1 deal, but still, no takers -- apparently two useless fullbacks are even less attractive than one.
Enter Bolton Wanderers. This morning, Owen Coyle spoke about the fact that he'd always liked Warnock, and even tried to land him before deadline day (this despite the fact that Lambert says there were never any offers). But a loan move could very well be a possibility. The Bolton manager stressed that there's no signing eminent, but that he's certainly interested.
Bless you, Owen Coyle. Now, may we interest you in a clumsy Scot to complete your set?