As expected, veteran Alan Hutton will not be receiving a new contract.
Words by Mark Jirobe | @VillaMarkPGH
Alan Hutton appears to be the latest player that Aston Villa will not offer a contract to.
“The Scottish Cafu”, as Hutton was affectionately nicknamed at Villa, has had quite the experience at the Midlands club. At times, it seemed as if Hutton was not up to the standards that Villa needed in the Premier League. As fate and destiny would have it, he would end up being one of the most revered and appreciated players that Aston Villa has had in some time.
Although it seems like yesterday, Hutton joined Aston Villa from Tottenham Hotspur in 2011/2012. An incredible seven seasons at Villa did not start off particularly well, with Hutton being dispatched on loan to Mallorca in Spain and Bolton Wanderers. But, Hutton’s determination never wavered. He may not have been the most skilled defender that Villa have ever seen, but he made up for it in the one area that you cannot measure through statistics: Heart.
Through the ups and downs of Aston Villa throughout the years, Hutton struggled mightily to gain a concrete place within the team until recent seasons. Under manager Paul Lambert, Hutton was a part of what became infamously known as the ‘bomb squad’. Included in that list of players that Lambert deemed as surplus to requirements was Shay Given, Stephen Ireland, Darren Bent and Charles N’Zogbia. Those players would be completely phased out of the team for the most part, but Hutton’s story at Aston Villa wasn’t finished just yet.
Flash forward some seasons and Aston Villa found themselves in the 2nd tier of English football. Hutton was still an Aston Villa player, and he knew in his heart he had to do whatever he could to get the club back to the Premier League after having a woeful season himself. Unbeknownst to anyone else, he would play a massive part in doing exactly that.
Hutton would find himself in on the pitch for the Claret & Blue for 8,354 minutes in the three years that Aston Villa were banished to the EFL Championship. During this period, Hutton would become a bit of a cult hero. To be frank, some supporters loved him and some supporters couldn’t wait to see the back of him. Alas, that’s football. And football has a funny way of surprising people and changing their minds in an instant.
Hutton will mostly be remembered because of THAT goal against Birmingham City. Again, football is a funny old game…and one of the most defensively minded players will be remembered eternally by a stroke of offensive genius.
Even the commentary from Gary Weaver is memorable for Hutton’s wonder goal. “The Holte End rises to the man they call The Scottish Cafu!” It will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, as if saluting such a meaningful and brilliant goal against a local rival like Birmingham City.
Hutton has done all he can physically do for Aston Villa, but it is indeed time to move on for both parties. He’s been critiqued, frozen out and adored. He’s been lambasted, loved and disliked. He’s made you want to rip your hair out and he’s changed positions for the best interest of Aston Villa. He’s been a hero and a defensive rock at times.
But, he’ll forever be a Villan.