At the end of every football season there is a moment for supporters (and I’d imagine for players as well) when you realize the team you have followed for the last year is done. The makeup of the players & staff will never be the same. The 18 will change — and most years — the starting 11 will change by the time Fall shows up. At least this year Aston Villa’s final memory of many players is one of celebration.
James posted about Albert Adomah and I doubt he will be the last to do so. I’ll simply say this — I’m not sure I’ve seen someone bring as much joy to the football pitch as Uncle Albert. This was vital because Villa had been without joy for sometime. Thank you AA.
Now to the rest of the reports of contracts not being renewed — none of which have been confirmed by the club as of May 31.
Oh Alan Hutton. What a wild ride. Bomb squad to folk hero. Never the most talented player on any pitch. Certainly not always an actual asset of the pitch. But his effort was never in question — nor his passion for the Club.
I’ve made my opinion clear over the years — but his effort never made me lose respect for him. He gave everything he had — and now his watch is over. Hutton is a player I expect to see in the Holte End over the next few years.
We will always have this.
The consummate professional. In his first couple of years the Australian Captain was vital to Villa in the defensive/holding midfield position — especially Villa’s first year in the Championship. Steve Bruce made the decision to try him at central defender — it didn’t work great. I put most of that on the coaching decision and the lack of foresight from Bruce to actually train Jedinak to do it. Mile never complained and carried on though. His final touch as a Villa was his most important — hitting a flawless penalty against West Brom.
Thank you Mile.
The defender really never found his feet at Aston Villa — but still had a vital role in the promotion season. After being recalled from loan from Hull — Elphick played for Villa in 10 matches in a row from January through March. His recall allowed Dean Smith to actually play central defenders in their natural position — and to finally let James Chester deal with his injury.
Elphick has confirmed the move on Twitter.
Thank you @AVFCOfficial it’s been a privilege to captain and play for you. So happy for the players, staff and fans to be back in the prem and end on a high.— Tommy Elphick (@TommyElph4) May 31, 2019
Micah Richards and Mark Bunn are also expected to exit the club. Richards is an easy target for hate — and gets plenty of it. But it sounds like injuries made playing impossible. Mark Bunn was a depth keeper — and now Aston Villa probably have too much depth there.
A word on Glenn Whelan.
The Irish midfielder is out of contract. His name has not been reported as one of those that is on his way out. He has made an excellent case for another short contract — he has played an important role on the pitch and keeping him would offer some continuity in the locker room. If his time at the club is over — he will go out on top — but I suspect he still has a role to play.