Player #826

1/1

James Collins

Centre Back

From:

To:

2009-10

2011-12

Previous Clubs

Villa Career

Subsequent Clubs

2001-05 Cardiff City |
2005-09 West Ham United, £1.8m |

2009-12 Aston Villa, £5.13m, 110 (6) |

2012-18 West Ham United, £2.88m |
2019 Ipswich Town, Free |

Villa Seasons

Seasons

2009-10
2010-11
2011-12

Appearances

37
37
36

Goals

2
3
1

AT A GLANCE

James Michael Collins

Birth Date

Tuesday, 23 August 1983

Birth Place 

Newport, Gwent

Wales

TRANSFER IN

Transfer Date

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Joined From

West Ham United

Transfer Fee

£5,130,000

Aged

PLAYING RECORD

Playing Position

Centre Back

Seasons Active

2009-10

to

2011-12

Appearances

110

Goals

6

Played Under

Martin O’Neill |
Gérard Houllier |
Alex McLeish |

KEY DATES

First Squad Appearance

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Debut Appearance

Sunday, 13 September 2009

First Goal

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Final Appearance

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Final Squad Appearance

Sunday, 13 May 2012

TRANSFER OUT

Transfer Date

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Moved To

West Ham United

Transfer Fee

£2,880,000

Aged

MISCELLANEOUS

Height

Foot

(6 ft 2 in) 1.88 m

Right

Honours

2009-10 League Cup Runners Up |

James Collins

BIOGRAPHY

Player #826 for Aston Villa, James Michael Collins known as James Collins played as a centre back for the club between 2009-10 and 2011-12 making 110 appearances and scoring 6 goals.

Collins was born in Newport on 23 August 1983 and he was signed by Martin O’Neill from West Ham United for £5,130,000 in September 2009 as part of a makeover of the Villa defence that had suffered since the departure of Olof Mellberg and Martin Laursen.

Collins made his debut appearance for Villa on Sunday, 13 September 2009, aged 26, in the win at neighbours Birmingham City.

Collins made his debut that day alongside Richard Dunne and Stephen Warnock as part of a new look defence for Villa.

Indeed Collins proved one of three critical and excellent defensive signings that Martin O’Neill made in his final season as Villa boss.

Collins along with Richard Dunne and Stephen Warnock were a significant upgrade on Villa’s recent defensive options and it was no surprise that Villa went on to have their most successful season under O’Neill.

Collins made 37 appearances in his debut season, including 36 starts, and helped Villa to the League Cup final, an FA Cup Semi Final and a 6th placed finish in the Premier League.

Collins weighed in with 2 goals for good measure - hitting the winner in the 2-1 defeat of Chelsea on Saturday, 17 October 2009 - and scoring Villa’s first in the 5th Round FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace.

Collins’ worth to the team continued throughout the troubled reigns of both Gérard Houllier and Alex McLeish, as whilst the team overall struggled, Collins did not and his dominating defensive performances continued.

Under Houllier - who neither started nor finished the 2010-11 season as Villa boss, Collins once again made 37 appearances and scored 3 goals including the winner at home to Newcastle United on Sunday, 10 April 2011, the equaliser at Birmingham City on Sunday, 16 January 2011 and the winner at home to Blackpool on Wednesday, 10 November 2010.

In 2011-12 with Alex McLeish at the helm Collins made 36 appearances scoring once - a consolation goal in a defeat to Chelsea on Saturday, 7 April 2012.

With Villa struggling in the League and unable to replicate the form of Martin O’Neill’s final season it came as a shock that Collins became an early casualty of the bewildering Paul Lambert regime.

Collins was sold without an appearance under Lambert despite still only being 28 and a defensive kingpin Villa desperately needed to keep.

It made no sense, just as Lambert’s entire reign made no sense.

Collins had made his final appearance for Villa on Sunday, 13 May 2012 and returned to former club for £2,880,000 in August 2012.

A player whose reputation had been nothing but enhanced after his £5,130,000 move to Villa three years before was allowed to leave for a fraction of his worth as Lambert focused his recruitment and squad building on lower league players.

As a postscript to the James Collins story, with Villa in the Championship having suffered at the hands of Lambert and fellow below par managers, Collins agreed to rejoin the club following his release from West Ham United to help galvanise the squad and deliver promotion back to the top flight - a task he was more than capable of delivering.

However during an early training session following his return, Collins suffered an injury that would render him unavailable for much of the contract and rather than exploit the earning opportunity, like the sportsman he had always proved to be, Collins ripped up the contract and walked away.

His reputation ever more enhanced without kicking another ball for the club.

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