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Worst ever Villa team


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57 minutes ago, mallett said:

Formation 4 - 4 - 2

Goalkeeper - Peter Enckelman - I think he could be on this list just for this mistake. He came to the club as a 21 year old from his home town club in Finland with no expectations. A few years later however, his stock had risen such that he became the Villa no.1 when Taylor (MkII) sold Schmeichel. EWhatever he had shown Taylor on the training pitch was never obvious on match day and despite hoping he would grow into the expectations of him, Enckelman never really convinced as a premier league goalkeeper but somehow made 52 appearances for us. He never really recovered from THAT mistake and eventually left in 2004. Afterwards his career petered out at Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff and some Scottish clubs without him ever really establishing himself as any club's main keeper.

Full back: Habib Beye - Habib Beye is perhaps a bit unfortunate to make this team. I mean lets face it I could just have put in the players that got the club relegated from the premier league in 2015-16 . A 'team' that added up to far less than the sum of their parts and who on their day could lose to pretty much any team from any division on the planet. Bought for about 2.5 million by Martin O'Neill in 2009 Beye made 9 appearances for Villa for the 2.5 years he was at the club before his contract was cancelled 'by mutual consent' (surely a clear sign that his place isn't totally undeserved in this team). Back in 2008 he had been voted the supporters player of the year at Newcastle so as fans we had hopes for him when he signed. Still he managed to get sent off in his 3rd game for the club. The main problem is that it was never clear why O'Neill had ever signed him as he never seemed to want to play him. The reason he is included here is partly for what he represented - the complete waste of opportunity that Randy Lerner's initial largess should have brought Villa. His purchase just seemed totally unnecessary and if the money had gone towards investment in other areas of the team perhaps the whole Lerner era might have worked out differently. See also Curtis Davies, Nicky Shorey, Carlos Cuellar et al.

Full back: Kevin Richardson Just not very good by the time we signed him. One of the worst players for one of the worst defences to have ever disgraced the premier league. Richardson had his good spells as a player during his career, he even won 8 caps and scored two goals for England but by the time of Villa's relegation season he was probably the worst left back at the club (others: Joe Bennett, Aly Cissoko, Jordan Amavi). I am sure every Villa fan remembers with horror the absolute gutless shambles that was Villa's defence that season. Richardson only played 11 games but I would put that down to him not being good enough to play more even for that team. As a fan I was never totally sure what had happened to Richardson between him playing for England in 2005-7 and the same player that signed for Villa in 2014.

Centre Back: Micah Richards - In June 2015 Tactics Tim decided it was time that someone played Micah as a centre back, the position Micah had always believed himself destined to play one day. In part the move was a reflection of the fact that injuries meant Richards no longer had the athleticism demanded for a full back. Villa's PR machine was quick to highlight his premier league winner's medals raising expectations. Richards had risen to national prominence early on in his career as an athletic and ball playing defender who was made team captain of the previous incarnation of Man City at the age of 19. He was an important part of the first Man City team to win the premier league when he played full back. However, he had lost his place in the Man City team and gone on loan to Fiorentina in an attempt to get some minutes before Villa got him on a Bosman. As such some of us fans had some hopes upon his signing. Besides the fact that he never seemed anywhere near capable of getting to the level of fitness required for a professional footballer during his time at Villa I think he was fundamentally unsuited to being the centre back position. Recently when commenting on a match Micah explained that during his career he had always had the responsibility of marking the space in front of the centre of the goal at corners because he had never been able to master the skill of watching both his man and the ball. Stayed at the club and ran his rather generous contract down. I don't blame Micah for his disastrous Villa career, he was always considered to be a positive presence in the dressing room / training pitch but he was a very expensive cheer leader.

Centre Back: Joleon Lescott - Another busted flush signed by Tim Sherwood, Lescott came on the back of a relatively successful season with West Brom which suggested there was still life in the old dog. Declaring his boyhood Villa allegiances soon after signing, Lescott was a player Villa fans had long cast envious glances at going back to his Wolves days. His move to Everton had seem him develop into one of the premier league's best central defenders. At Man City he was able to convert this into silverware with two titles, an FA cup and a league cup to his name. However, his attitude over the course of the season seemed to go down the toilet the same as the rest of the team and his infamous 'accidental' tweet of his expensive car in response to fan criticism of his performance in the 0 - 6 defeat by Liverpool at Villa park lost him any support from the fanbase. It wasn't really Lescott's fault he was too old when signed but the tweet is indefensible and his attempts to do it were embarrassing.

Midfielder: Carlos Sanchez - To be honest it's all Carlos Sanchez's fault that I wrote this. A friend of mine is a West Ham fan and recently told me how much he had enjoyed a youtube video by one of the West Ham channels going through the worst West Ham team of the last 20 years. Of course Carlos had made the West Ham team which was the point of interest in my friend telling me about it. Sanchez does have all the credentials to take up a place in the worst Villa team as well. He made 20 PL appearances in our relegation season but probably the reason why he makes the team is because he could have been quite good. Sanchez has 88 caps for Colombia who are a country with some very good footballers. Paul Lambert signed him for about 4.7 million back in 2014. At Villa he showed himself to be quite a stylish defensive midfielder for most of every game, playing the ball simply but effectively, closing people / space down and generally looking like a competent bottom half of the PL midfielder. However, in every match there would be those moments where he had a total lack of concentration and casually played the ball to the opposition's striker in our penalty area for no discernible reason (or some other similar incident). These mistakes didn't seem to lesson with time spent in the league and seemed almost too frequent to be sheer accident. He left Villa following relegation to go on loan to Fiorentina before returning for another unsuccessful spell at West Ham which I think I have already mentioned.

Midfielder: Brett Holman - Another who was just not very good. An Australian international, Holman signed a pre-contract  agreement in March 2012 to join Villa when his contract with AZ Alkmaar ran out in the summer. As fans we were led to believe that for once Villa going to benefit from a player running down their contract. By the time he joined Villa, McLeish, the manager who had signed him, had left and Paul Lambert inherited the transfer. Looking back it is hard to see why it was ever thought he would be a premier league player. The main attribute he brought was the ability to score goals as a midfielder which was something the club was lacking at the time. However, their is a big step up between the Dutch league and the PL and Holman didn't have the quality to make it. Even at AZ he hadn't made the team during their title winning season. Overall at Villa during his one season at the club, he made a surprisingly high 27 appearances as Lambert throw him on as a sub when looking for goals. However he only delivered 1 goal and was released by mutual consent at the end of the season. He went off to that footballing hotspot that is Dubai to ply his trade for two years.

Winger: Aleksander Tonev - With his atomic shot, here on Villa talk we were very excited about the unknown Bulgarian international recommended by Stilyan Petrov to Paul Lambert back in 2013. His youtube compilation showed off some incredible long range shots with either foot as he cut in from the sidelines. However in the Villa shirt the goal was never under any threat from Tonev's increasingly desperate efforts to impress us all. Instead he seemed determined to lose as many footballs as possible with many of his efforts being laughably poor and the fans in the stands being in far more danger than the goal. A loan spell to Celtic which was meant to relaunch his career ended ignominiously with a suspension for racism.    

Winger: Charles N'Zogbia - Villa's decline under Lerner didn't just take place in the summer before our relegation season. For several years before that, we had been selling our best players and bringing in inferior replacements during every summer transfer window. At one point in this period, our almost ritualistic habit of immediately selling the player voted as player of the season by fans seemed so ingrained that I was hoping we as fans could apply some reverse psychology and start nominating our worst players for the award! In the summer of 2011 in was Ashley Young who departed and the inferior replacement was Charles N'Zogbia from Wigan. At Wigan, Nzogbia had scored goals like this one and he wasn't coming for a small fee. He was arriving for a similar fee to the one which had brought Ashley Young to the club from Watford. Young had gone on to improve himself and become one of the best attackers in the league - he was the only outfield player to make the premier league best XI from outside the top four in 2007-8. Ashley Young had been what Paul Lambert would describe as 'young and hungry' when we signed him as a player. N'Zogbia on the other hand turned out to be the opposite. He seemed to view his arrival at Villa as him him having made it and we as Villa fans only saw occasional glimpses of the undoubted talent. To be fair, his time was interrupted by a bad Achilles injury but he was another player who just wound down the contract at Villa while not playing football. His stats shows he made 80 appearances (many as sub) for a return of 4 goals which is diabolical for someone of his talent playing in his position on the pitch. When his contract finally finished in 2016, N'Zogbia reportedly tried to join Nantes but failed the medical due to a heart problem and ended up retiring. Villa fans would say he had a metaphorical heart problem long before that.

Striker: Ross McCormack - Following relegation and Tony Xia's takeover of the club Ross McCormack was one of the headline signings of the new regime as they set about showing how serious they were about returning to the premier league by spending huge amounts of cash (that it turned out they didn't have) buying all of the best players in the championship with seemingly no idea of how to turn them into a team. McCormack was bought for £12 million. It seemed slightly risky not because of his stats - which were impeccable (23 goals and 9 assists for Fulham the previous season) but because of his age. However, as Villa fans we just thought of it as a short term solution to getting us out of the championship as quickly as possible. DiMatteos team seemed a bit unlucky at the start of the season as they played some nice stuff at times without getting the results. In a recent podcast Tommy Elphick explained that behind the scenes things were still an absolute mess following relegation the season before. Elphick said that the culture in the club was completely rotten with a poisonous atmosphere, an incredibly unprofessional culture and even players drunk in the dressing room. That culture didn't start to change until Steve Bruce came in. McCormack however, rather than helping to change that culture as someone coming in seemed to fall under its spell. It was never completely clear how the players bought in that first great Xia splurge would play together and McCormack was one of those that suffered. However, when Bruce came in, it was clear that he was questioning McCormack's attitude before the infamous gate-gate where Ross claimed he couldn't get to training because his electric gates were stuck. McCormack seemed to give up on being a professional footballer while at Villa and in the end Villa paid off the last 6 months of his contract to get rid of him. It was a sad waste. He scored 2 goals in 20 appearances for Villa. McCormack is now occasionally playing for Aldershot Town.

Striker: Scott Hogan - Before becoming Villa manager, Dean Smith would routinely humiliate Villa with his tactically smart and attractive Brentford team showing up all the deficiencies of Bruce's expensively assembled Neanderthals. He also apparently sold us a total dud in Scott Hogan. Hogan had a great scoring record for Smith's Brentford but he also had a terrible injury record. Bruce signed him in his first transfer window, not long after taking over when he spent a lot of money. Hogan appeared to be a pacy striker who got onto smart through balls from a team playing possession based football. Bruce was apparently attracted by his fox in the box like skills when it came to scoring from set pieces. His skill set however, seemed totally inadequate for the Bruceball tactics of the team he came into as the ball was lumped up to him. As a player he wasn't one of those players who really annoy fans as he usually appeared to be putting in the effort however as the MONS podcast enjoyed highlighting his actual involvement in games was laughable small. Early on in his career, Hogan had struggled to make it as a professional and his poor touch and other lack of refinements sometimes showed why. Surprisingly, Hogan's Villa career didn't improve when Smith, the manager who had brought the best out of him, took over at Villa. Smith seemed reluctant to play him and in the end sent him on loan to our bitter city rivals. All of which suggests that Smith knew he was getting a good deal when he sold him to Villa for such a large fee in the first place.

Manager: Perhaps, controversially I am going for Alex McLeish as the worst manager during this period. He had much better established resources to manage during his tenure than some of the other managers he is competing with for this position. However, he also played the most unremittingly negative football and bizarreley came after getting small heath relegated after a couple of years of similarly negative football. The fact that Lerner appointed him as manager after he won the league cup with our league rivals but also deservedly got them relegated perhaps showed how poor Lerner's decision making was by this time. The Villa fans' opposition to the appointment, while no doubt exaggerated by the blues connection, would have been there to a lesser degree whichever club he came from as a result of his incredibly dour playing style and the fact that he had just got a club relegated. In this case the fans views turned out to be fully justified. Big 'Eck didn't have the resources of previous managers under Lerner but the chequebook still opened for the signing of N'Zogbia. 

Dishonourable Mentions:

David Ginola - past his best Doug signing bought to buy fans off and pretend that Villa were really bringing in top talent.

Antonio Luna  - great debut was apparently a fluke

 

McLeish is definitely unfair call. He lost Downing, Young, Reo-Coker and Friedel in the same transfer window and was given little to replace them with. He then lost Dunne, Bent, Gabby, Given, Jenas and Petrov to long term injuries and we stayed up playing abunch of untested kids

Kevin Richardson might also be pissed you confused him with Kieran 😜

Edited by Zatman
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Salifou, Herd, Sylla, Hogg, Helenius,  Bowery, Tonev, Cissokho, McCormack, Hogan, Bjarnason, Lansbury, Tshibola, Leonardsen, Harewood, they all deserve a mention. 

I'm not saying they didn't underperform, or weren't better footballers than what they showed, but in a Villa shirt they were hardly a shining beacon of excellence.

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From 2010 onwards, using our current 4-3-3 formation:

Kalinic

Beye Richards Lescott Richardson

Lansbury Drinkwater Salifou

Tonev Holt Dawkins

Manager: McLeish

Subs: Bennett Clark Crespo Gardner N'Zogbia Sinclair Bowery

 

I've only included players who were with us in the Premier League, although you could argue some that only played for us in the Championship were better than this dross...

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I could explain my choices but I’ve pretty much wiped them from memory.  

————————Kalinic————————

        Herd———Lescott———Crespo

Tonev——Drinkwater—Sylla——Dawkins

————————Tshibola————————

———Helenius————Bowery———

 

Anyone remember Berson?  A nothing player from France who probably played a handful of games.

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442 some inclusions not mentioned. I dont think its fair to include youth team players so Chris Herd and Gary Gardner can relax

Gk: Kalinic - maybe a bit harsh but as an international keeper he never looked convincing, maybe could have settled but the position was taken

RB - Agathe - a useless player to bolster the squad

CB - Richards - seems a decent guy but was never good enough for the PL anymore and we gave a shocking contract

CB - Lescott - nothing worth saying except one season was too much

LB - Nicky Shorey - Bennett vs  Bradford was one of the worst left back performances but Shorey was still shitter overall. Somehow he won England caps under McLaren

RM - Tonev- brilliant on Youtube, his agent should have won an Oscar. Tonev should have been arrested as I think he was trying to assault fans with his shots

CM - Drinkwater - Villa highlights include a 6-1 loss and a headbutt

CM - Lansbury - wasnt good enough in the Championship for our midfield when we were starting Whelan and Jedi in there mid 30s

LM - Scott Sinclair - his stats look good but watching him play he is one of the most cowardly gutless players to wear a Villa jersey

CF - Jordan Bowery - except for a cracking wheelchair gif he offered nothing to Villa

CF - Ross McCormack - the captain of the team and has outperformed Lescott in the shit stakes 

 

Manager - Lambert he ruined football for many Villa fans, yes he was restricted but doesnt mean to be so negative in the style and for so long

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19 hours ago, mallett said:

A few rules: 

  1. The player has to have played for Villa in the last 20 years. There are plenty of terrible players to choose from in that time period and it makes it easier to compare them. 

Shouldn't the title of the thread be renamed as Worst Villa team of last 20 years? 

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1 hour ago, Zatman said:

McLeish is definitely unfair call. He lost Downing, Young, Reo-Coker and Friedel in the same transfer window and was given little to replace them with. He then lost Dunne, Bent, Gabby, Given, Jenas and Petrov to long term injuries and we stayed up playing abunch of untested kids

Kevin Richardson might also be pissed you confused him with Kieran 😜

Yeah, think Rico is a bit harsh. I’d throw Gary Charles into the mix for full back. He was rubbish. 

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Bowery is the most astonishing signing I think we've ever made. As another poster says, 1 in 8 in League 2 when we signed him, and he was 22 so not exactly some hot young up and coming prospect.

Ok we didn't spend much on him, but what the **** were people thinking. I half expect we just signed the wrong player.

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2 hours ago, mallett said:

 

Full back: Kevin Richardson Just not very good by the time we signed him. One of the worst players for one of the worst defences to have ever disgraced the premier league.Richardson had his good spells as a player during his career, he even won 8 caps and scored two goals for England but by the time of Villa's relegation season he was probably the worst left back at the club (others: Joe Bennett, Aly Cissoko, Jordan Amavi). I am sure every Villa fan remembers with horror the absolute gutless shambles that was Villa's defence that season. Richardson only played 11 games but I would put that down to him not being good enough to play more even for that team. As a fan I was never totally sure what had happened to Richardson between him playing for England in 2005-7 and the same player that signed for Villa in 2014.

 

 

Kieran Richardson @mallett

Kevin was our captain and was quality for us after signing for us from Real Sociedad in 1991 we also signed Dalian Atkinson (R.I.P.) from  Real Sociedad too in the same year.

Edited by Villan4Life
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Nyland. Wrists made of rich tea biscuits 

Hutton. Just for the sheer longevity and money he took out the club. Along with the fact the shitter we got the more I had to listen to how good he had become. An absolute paradox. Would sprint 90 yards to put a cross into the stands but not jog 20 yards back to track a runner. Absolute chancer.

Richards. Just a brain dead defender. Tactically inept and clueless. Arm flapping a highlight when the majority of the time someone scored in the box it was his man. Much worse than Lescott and less effort but pocketgate has forgotten that.

Elphick. Nice guy. Treated like dirt by Bruce but an absolute tragedy everytime he stepped on the pitch that for 95% of his time here. Thought he was a ball playing centre back.

Cissokho. The most technically inept footballer I have ever seen. Kept coming back like a turd you couldn't flush.

Sanchez. Ball watching moron. Lazy too. Gives Micah and Hutton a run for their money in the jogging back stakes. Mercenary through and through.

Bakke. Bad times. Dark days. O'Leary's love child despite the fact injuries had rendered him with the mobility and agility of a WW2 veteran.

Tonev. Donkey. 

Sinclair. Gob shite. Not good at anything. Spent 80%of time trying not to be in positions to receive the ball.

Joe Cole. Great player. Great guy. Absolutely shot to bits by the time we signed him. Summed up the farce our transfer policy was under Lambert. I recall him coming off the bench I think against Notts County and getting rinsed repeatedly. Looked like he was smoking 30 a day.

Gestede. A lamppost would have score more. Didnt move. Didnt attack crosses. Didnt link play. Actively went out his way not to be involved.

 

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9 hours ago, Villan_of_oz said:

You lost me at Alan Hutton, if he is your worst right back I suggest you go back and watch some of our matches again.

He gets a reprieve purely on the worldie he scored against the scum. 

Without even thinking hard about it you could put Richards there.

 

Nah Hutton was total shite, even in the Championship. Richards was poor, but it was mainly off-the-pitch matters that made everyone hate him and Lescott. On the pitch they were no worse than our other CBs in the relegation campaign (ie poor)

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5 hours ago, Mat Kendrick's Dentist said:

Nah Hutton was total shite, even in the Championship. Richards was poor, but it was mainly off-the-pitch matters that made everyone hate him and Lescott. On the pitch they were no worse than our other CBs in the relegation campaign (ie poor)

Richards was an absolute atrocity of a player. I remember us losing 3-1 against Luton and thinking Micah Richards, on £60,000 a week, was playing like an 8 year-old.

The defending for their second and third goals was so bad it’s funny to watch.

 

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6 hours ago, rodders0223 said:

 

Hutton. Just for the sheer longevity and money he took out the club. Along with the fact the shitter we got the more I had to listen to how good he had become. An absolute paradox. Would sprint 90 yards to put a cross into the stands but not jog 20 yards back to track a runner. Absolute chancer.

He's our decline personified

Went from being utter dogshit hot garbage not good enough to be training with the first team to being a fan favourite and one of our better players

Whilst staying at the same level of ability 

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12 minutes ago, villa4europe said:

He's our decline personified

Went from being utter dogshit hot garbage not good enough to be training with the first team to being a fan favourite and one of our better players

Whilst staying at the same level of ability 

He was never great, but I'll always like him simply for his attitude. It probably says a lot about the standard of player we've had over the last decade, but the simple fact that he always tried keeps him out of this team for me.

I think he'll go down as something of a cult figure because of his fall, rise, fall, rise, fall and rise again, topped off by that goal against blose.

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