US News

Former Villa skipper Elphick on his troubled spell at the club

Former Aston Villa captain Tommy Elphick has looked back on an eventful three years with the club and admitted he “wouldn’t change it for the world”.

Elphick, who recently announced his retirement, joined Villa in June 2016 as the first signing under the short-lived Tony Xia and Roberto Di Matteo era following relegation.

He played his part as the club won promotion to the Premier League in 2018/19, netting the first goal in an opening-day win at Hull City.

Elphick, who also won promotion to the top flight with Bournemouth, has taken up a coaching post with the Cherries and was the club’s guest on their latest podcast.

Video Loading

Video Unavailable

He discussed his new role and spoke at length about his 16-year playing career, including lining up for Bournemouth when they all but relegated Villa for the first time in 29 years in 2016.

Elphick said: “I played at Villa Park for Brighton in the third round of the FA Cup in 2010 and scored in front of the Holte End.

“In the era I grew up in, I would watch FA Cup semi-finals at Villa Park and the club was steeped in rich history. It still had that real old-school classiness about it. I remember going back with Bournemouth and thinking ‘this is proper’.

“They read out the teams and (the supporters) booed one to 11, bar one lad who was a local homegrown lad.

“It was absolutely toxic and you were looking around thinking how has this club got into this mess?

Read more:‘A different level, 93 goals, six hat-tricks’ – The making of Aston Villa’s Chukwuemeka brothers

“They were a top-six Premier League club for so long under Martin O’Neill and Ron Atkinson before that.

“They had such wonderful players and it was a real shame. Getting back up took three years longer than I thought it would. The club is so powerful.”

Asked about his three years at Villa, Elphick replied: “Tough, unbelievable, disappointing, anger – I had every emotion but I wouldn’t change it for the world because it’s created who I am now.

“What I saw and experienced at Villa was mental, good and bad. A big club brings different pressures and different pitfalls and you have to experience that to know what you could be dealt with further down the line.

Former Villa skipper Elphick on his troubled spell at the club
Tommy Elphick during his time with Aston Villa

“It was really troubled and there was poison in the brickworks to start with. Steve Bruce did the most unbelievable job at weeding that out and bringing it all together.

“He wasn’t a manager I particularly took a shine to in the way he coached or managed but he taught me a lot about how to bring people together and how to create a group.

“I experienced working under Roberto De Matteo, a Champions League-winning manager, and Steve Bruce, one of the most successful managers in the Championship. Dean Smith was a bit of a trailblazer and did some powerful stuff.”

The Tommy Elphick podcast airs on Monday 6th September (afternoon) and is available on all popular podcast platforms and afcb.co.uk

Read more:Chelsea wonderkid training with first-team ahead of Aston Villa clash

Read more:Early Chelsea team and injury news ahead of Aston Villa clash




Source link

Back to top button