It’s very hard to feel sorry for a footballer in ‘sound health’. Well-paid, mostly well-thought of, celebrated. Mostly, they seem to be ‘living the life’. However, I do ‘feel’ for Scott Hogan in the sense that despite his best efforts, things have not gone his way at all. It’d seem as though Hogan would have enjoyed a better time at Villa by giving up and taking the pay home, much like another high-profile striker. However, that doesn’t seem to be an option for someone like himself. Someone who has worked extremely hard to arrive at this point, someone who has suffered critical and debilitating injuries throughout his career.
Hogan’s injury history - along with their depth at striker in January 2017 (McCormack, Kozak, Hepburn-Murphy, Davis, Kodjia and Agbonlahor were all on the books) makes the decision to sign him for a high fee from Brentford now seem amongst the poorer decisions the club has made. Despite that, he’s an extremely good player and one of the best examples of a ‘true number 9’ in the Championship. He makes intelligent runs, has an eye for goal and defends from the front. What’s not to like in that?
However, for all the hard work, he’s put in, Hogan’s back at square one. He’s missed the pre-season to injury, he’ll probably be on the transfer list in January and he won’t play as first-choice unless Villa are forced to.
Last season we said that “Hogan should be Villa’s main man, but he needs to prove it. It’s a huge year for Villa, but it might be an even bigger one for Hogan.”
If that was then, what does that make this season for Hogan? Approaching the age of 27 - and without a real grasp on his time at Aston Villa, which has seemingly been pushed to the brink by selection policies, injuries and runs of poor form. You’d certainly bring the words ‘last chance’ to the forefront of your mind - let’s just hope that Scott can find the luck that his hard work should have brought him a long time ago.