On the back of Nottingham Forest’s last-gasp win on Saturday, Andy Macfarlane of Villa Till I Die, discusses enigmatic striker Ross McCormack and his short-lived time at Villa Park
No one knows what goes on behind closed doors; or closed gates, in the case of Mr Ross McCormack. Signed by previous manager Roberto Di Matteo for the not-so-paltry fee of £12 million, the seasoned Championship striker promised so much, but delivered so little. Criticised for his lack of effort and rapid weight gain, current boss Steve Bruce ousted McCormack on loan to the City Ground after he missed training and cited broken garden gates as to the reason why he couldn’t attend. With the Scotsman’s feeble excuse seemingly the straw that broke the camel’s back, it is now down to your historic club to get the best out of him.
With McCormack watching from the stands on Saturday, he as well as anyone will know first team football will be anything but guaranteed. With first choice striker Britt Assombalonga a yard quicker and an inch smaller round the waist line, Ross’ work-shy attitude will not bode well should he want to pick up from where he left off last season and return to being one of the league’s most feared strikers. Despite scoring 38 goals in 89 appearances for Fulham, he’s scored just three this season and remains at 400/1 to be the top scorer in Championship betting.
This blood and thunder league has already shown us time and time again that it has no time for prima donnas. The success of smaller clubs in the division, such as Huddersfield Town this season, is evidence enough that attitude and desire counts for a lot more than the amount of 0’s on your pay packet. Embarrassingly, despite sitting in 14th position of England’s second tier, Villa have one of the biggest wage bills in Europe; not just in England, in EUROPE. So it’s clear that this recruitment policy of spoiled ‘tried and tested’ talent is become nothing but a drain on our resources… and our patience.
We’ve already shown the door to the likes of Joleon Lescott and Fabian Delph and, as evidenced by our performances on the pitch over the last 24 months, just one bad apple can have a real detrimental effect on the whole bunch.
With yet another expensive striker through the door in the form of Scott Hogan (who had a more than respectable debut at the City Ground), it is unlikely McCormack will have any future at Villa; especially not with Bruce at the helm. With that in mind and given the fact that there is little bad blood between your club and ours, I hope that there’s some way the temperamental Scot can get his career back on track over at Forest this season. At least then, if a deal beneficial for both parties can be agreed on at the end of the season, Villa will see at least some return for their initial £12 million outlay last summer.
For now though, it’ll be all hands on deck over at B6. As your supporters and the Sky television cameras saw this weekend, there’s plenty of things Steve Bruce needs to work on: namely a goalkeeper devoid of any confidence and a midfield, featuring Henri Lansbury, which has barely played 90 minutes together. With a home tie against Ipswich Town coming up this Saturday, let’s hope the harsh lessons of our last encounter can be learned, and quickly.