Transfer Daily: No McCormack Jan Sales, Hourihane Fan Frenzy, Deluded Gollini

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‘You wouldn’t get any club knocking on Villa’s door with £12m for McCormack. Not even the imaginary club that was offering £25m for Jordan Amavi’

£12m Story Myth

Media Muppet favourite James Nursey of the Daily Mirror writes a story that we’d normally include in the Media Muppets column, that went with the headline:

‘Aston Villa insisting on getting their £12million back for striker Ross McCormack’

The story? Well, there is none, it’s all about the headline. The text under it is a rehash of what’s happened with McCormack (with no extra insight) and then a desperate ‘revelation’: ‘Villa are struggling to find a taker however as his old club have already ruled out taking him back as he was viewed as a disruptive influence.’

Whether or not Steve Bruce went public with his stance on McCormack, you wouldn’t get any club knocking on Villa’s door with £12m for McCormack. Not even the imaginary club that was going to offer £25m for Jordan Amavi!

Villa paid an inflated price, which they were perhaps foolish in the first place to (and that’s not with hindsight) considering the player’s age and zero Premier League experience.

Unless Tony Xia is content to take a considerable hit on McCormack, then don’t be surprised to see the leading Championship goal scorer in recent years trying to rehabilitate himself at Villa. Yes, he has some private issues, but considering McCormack did play recently this month against Wolves, he’s not in such poor shape.

Bruce informed MOMS this week, that ideally he would prefer to play two up top in the Championship, so McCormack does have a chance to redeem the situation if he’s willing to put his mind to it.

Something has to budge as it’s a tricky situation for both the player and the Villa board.

Deluded Gollini

Now, if you read MOMS you’ll know our stance on Gollini from preseason. Roberto Di Matteo was naive to go into such an important campaign gambling on a 21-year-old keeper, who hadn’t played any senior games in the English league.

On top of that Villa apparently already had scouting reports on Gollini, prior to Di Matteo buying him, that put question marks on him being a suitable signing.

Di Matteo seemingly chose to ignore them and went ahead regardless. It ultimately cost him his job, when you consider the points that Gollini’s mistakes cost the team.

Gollini has also been far from impressive for the Italian U-21’s this season too, so it’s understandable that Bruce doubted that he was mature enough to give his back four confidence in him.

So, it’s even more amusing to read the stories spring up about Gollini based around him complaining about not having an Italian goalkeeping coach. I don’t know if anybody has told him, but it’s very rare in English football to have Italian goalkeeping coaches.

“The condition I had set my agent for me to stay in Birmingham was to have an Italian goalkeeping coach. That was the situation, with Massimo Battara, until the manager Roberto Di Matteo was fired.

“I played a great deal at Villa, but I wasn’t happy with the training regime.”
Now, maybe something got lost in the translation, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time in reporting on foreign interviews, but the bottom line here is he’s not good enough at the moment.
Also, in short, don’t expect him back.

Hourihane Frenzy

It’s like watching the carnival of the lost souls play out on Twitter when it comes to some Villa fans lack of patience with the announcing of the Conor Hourihane signing and then their total panic when an unsubstantiated rumour wafts by (that Crystal Palace were going to swoop the midfielder away). That could be the media outlet practising some dark arts or even the player’s agent trying to leverage his negotiations with Villa, if they are still on-going.

Seemingly the Twitter obsessed supporters haven’t learnt from previous transfer windows how various situations sometimes play out. Hourihane is arguably Barnsley’s most popular player. So what are they going to do? Sell him just like that? Especially at the same time they ship out their right-back James Bree.

How do you think that will go down with Barnsley fans? They’d go apesh*t. Not good PR. Better to haggle as big a transfer fee as possible and more importantly, at least have a replacement (Leicester’s Matty James) to offer up beforehand. The good news is this has now happened.

Remember Idrissa Gueye coming into Villa shortly before the ‘Fabian Delph Loyalty Charade’? Same kind of thing. It softens the blow.

With Villa not playing this Saturday they do have a bit of leeway to play ball in that respect.

If the Villa chairman has been dropping ‘99%’ hints (now 100%) and Bruce has been talking to the media and supporters about how Hourihane could fit into his plans, it’s a safe bet the deal should happen.

Maybe some Villa fans should take up poker and learn to play it cool and spot a bluff.

Social media has certainly increased the hype and excitement surrounding transfers. The funny thing is, in the context of Villa, that’s all it normally ends up being – hype. You can count on one hand the number of really good Villa signings in the last five years or so.

Hopefully, we’ll need another hand come the end of the season.


For sanity and informed opinion in the transfer window follow @oldmansaid


  1. I didn’t realise that we had signed one of the best keepers in the world when Gollini signed!!! He obviously considers his talent to far outlay what he display in the net. His line “The condition I had set my agent for me to stay in Birmingham was to have an Italian goalkeeping coach” sounds like he was doing us a favour to stay!

    I think SB has shipped out a player who thinks he is too good to be at Villa, to be honest, we have done him a favour by letting him go and save him the embarresement of the poor performances that he showed us at the start of the season. Yes, he may go on to become a very good keeper, but if thats his attitude he is best away from the club!

    • I think he’s shipped out a keeper that wasn’t good enough for Villa (especially at the moment) and some at the club knew that, but it wasn’t their call to sign him.

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