Terry Retirement Fund
Why do you think John Terry came to Villa last season?
Let me break it down for you. IT. WAS. FOR. THE. MONEY.
Not only was he getting a decent Premier League level wage of a reported £60k a week, but he allegedly was promised a bumper million pound plus bonus, if Villa got promoted. With a strong squad and a supposed promotion expert as a manager, Villa were the bookies favourites along with Middlesbrough for the two automatic promotion spots. It certainly saved Terry browsing new sites for a gamble.
Nine out of ten Villans (according to a MOMS Facebook poll) would like to see Terry back at Villa. In today’s modern age, it doesn’t take much to win some fans over, a few tweets, Instagram videos and a sprinkling of emojis will soon have them thinking you’re a Villa legend. The poll maybe more influenced though by the fact the current Villa squad only has one recognised centre back in it.
Don’t be fooled by sentimental notions of ‘unfinished business’ that Terry expressed in a recent interview when talking about Villa. It may have escaped your notice, but the current season has started already and Villa’s new owners have been in place to sanction a deal before it started. If he was Villa-bound, he’d have been lining up for the team already.
It’s monetary motivation that is largely influencing Terry’s next move, as it did last season.
While Terry would have certainly improved Villa’s current centre back situation, the price wouldn’t be worth it considering Villa’s FFP situation and high wage bill. There are also cheaper alternatives out there (see below).
The new majority owners wouldn’t be foolish enough to pour more money into Terry’s retirement fund. After all, he didn’t get Villa over the line last time, with his performances fading in the final stretch. Why would the player, who turns 38 in December, do any better this time round?
Spartak Moscow’s reported £1.8m post-tax salary offer (around £40k-a-week) surpasses any figure Villa would deem reasonable or possible now.
Ultimately, as we argued before he signed, the expense of loaning John Terry only worked out for Villa if they got promoted. His loan symbolised the high wage gamble the club has taken since it’s been in the Championship.
While it was enjoyable at times to have Terry in the team last season, in terms of getting him in again, it’s financially a case of once bitten, twice shy.
In terms of Villa getting in an alternative centre back free agent, will this actually happen or is it just ammunition for some clickbait articles? After all, if he was so desperate for a centre back, wouldn’t he have just kept Tommy Elphick? Maybe someone should ask Bruce at the next press conference?
In the meantime, the following two have been doing the rounds…
Free agent Huth had been training at Stoke City during preseason and had played in friendly games, but ultimately he didn’t go the team’s pre-season tour to Germany, where he was going to be accessed, due to picking up a hamstring injury. Gary Rowett didn’t offer him a contract afterwards.
Derby, WBA and Villa were allegedly interested in him after that, but again no contract was forthcoming.
So, considering Huth’s reputation you’d have thought a Championship team would have taken a punt on the 33-year-old. So, does he have injury issues?
It seems that something is up with him, which makes this seem to be either an act of desperation or just paper talk.
Now 35, the centre back has only played over 20 league games in a season once in the last three seasons. Could he play week-in, week-out, I doubt it, but as Chris Samba-like cover, it maybe an option, but again, considering the age of Collins, it once again highlights Bruce’s mismanagement of the situation, if he did get him in.
Elphick Bye Bye
It’s funny, when you look at Villa’s squad, it looks like it’s in such a predicament that you’d even think about recalling Tommy Elphick back from loan, never mind actually sending him out on one!
“The manager gave his blessing for me to go out on loan without many centre-halves in the building so that says all you need to know,” said Elphick last week, of his Hull City loan and not being wanted by Bruce.
Steve Bruce agreeing to send Elphick away to Hull for the rest of the season, when James Chester is his only recognised centre back, as MOMS has already written, may ultimately cost Bruce his job, if his unbalanced defence doesn’t tighten up pronto.