Aston Villa legend, Gabby Agbonlahor, has laid into former manager, Roberto Di Matteo, over his treatment of Stiliyan Petrov once the Bulgarian had recovered from cancer.
Central to the Englishman’s ire was the Italian not offering Petrov a new contract, despite the midfielder being able to prove his fitness.
Agbonlahor was so incensed that he even took the manager to task about it at the time, surely putting his own place in the team in jeopardy.
“I’ll hate him for the rest of my life for that,” Agbonlahor told ThreeSixtyTV and cited by the Daily Mirror.
“Any other manager with a single bit of heart would have given him a pay-as-you-play [contract]. There’s a month, or there’s six months, let’s see how you are. To be so ruthless and heartless to not even give him a chance, you know what I mean?
The apparent snub by Di Matteo clearly had a long-lasting effect on Petrov, because he never played professional football again.
As a former club captain, Agbonlahor would’ve held sway in the dressing room, but that seems to have not been taken into account by Di Matteo who was evidently doing things his own way.
Clearly, managers are paid to make such decisions, and will sink or swim based on how well a team does on the back of the same, however, it’s hard to disagree with the point of view that Agbonlahor held.