COMMENT by Amir Mir
Football Insider continues its series by naming the Aston Villa flops of 2016
There is considerable competition for this unwanted accolade during a miserable year but Gabby Agbonlahor, Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards are the flops of 2016 for Aston Villa.
The senior trio were involved in Villa’s relegation from the Premier League last season, where the Midlands side only picked up three wins during the humiliating campaign.
They angered fans over the manner in which they conducted themselves over the course of the year, both on and off the pitch.
From tweeting pictures of an expensive car after a heavy home defeat to failing to be physically fit nine months into the season.
Not to add, the shambolic performances produced by the trio on the pitch, despite holding valuable experience during their careers.
Striker Agbonlahor played 15 league games last season, scoring only one goal against Norwich in February.
The 30-year-old was then put on a fitness regime in April, before he gave up the captaincy following numerous off-field issues.
Shockingly, he has been offered a clean slate by new manager Steve Bruce in the Championship this term, but unsurprisingly he has failed to score a goal in six games.
Defensive duo Lescott and Richards are in the same boat as Agbonlahor – the latter still at the club.
They are former Premier League winners, so there should be that understanding of how to win games and wanting to win.
Unfortunately, none of that was displayed in 2016, with Lescott’s biggest faux pas being tweeting a picture of an expensive car on his personal Twitter account straight after losing 6-0 to Liverpool at home.
Not only that, Lescott is a boyhood Villa fan, but from his 32 league appearances last season, you would have thought they were his rivals judging by his performances.
Therefore it is no surprise that he left the club in the summer, a move which no doubt suited both parties.
Right-back Richards did not help himself either, partying during the season in March with his side moments from the drop.
The former England international also produced wretched displays on the field, most recently this term during the 3-1 defeat against League Two outfit Luton Town in the EFL Cup.
Off the pitch and on the field of play, all three deserve to be named the biggest flops of not just 2016, but in Villa’s history.
In other Aston Villa news, Jack Grealish posts Twitter message following QPR win.