Look at that picture. Look at it again. And again. That’s the passion of a man who wants to win football games.
Six months ago Villa fans were expecting to see the former Bournemouth man shipped out alongside Nathan Baker and Jordan Amavi after a fairly disappointing first season in the Championship.
After making an appearance in the cup earlier in the season which was nothing short of a catastrophe, many people didn’t expect him to ever pull on a Villa shirt again – especially with John Terry doing so well and Christopher Samba deputising well in his absence.
Bruce’s hand was forced, and Elphick was back in contention for games.
In his last two performances, Elphick hasn’t looked like the kind of player that’s been frozen out. He looks more like the kind of man that has football in his blood, and the kind of man that is enjoying his football again.
Whilst his first game since returning to the squad didn’t go quite as planned with a 2-1 loss to Brentford, he made a few mistakes but ensured they didn’t cost his team – which is a far stroke from the Elphick of last season.
In the last game against Middlesbrough, the centre-back was certainly Terry-esque, performing at the top of his ability and receiving plaudits for his performance.
Many Villan’s thought that his heart wasn’t in it, that he was simply earning a wage and time would tell in regards to his fate at the club. But it’s evident that the passion is there – and that’s what fans want to see.