Player #820

Appearances:

104

Starts:

60

Goals:

8

Seasons:

6

Marc Albrighton
Marc Albrighton

Villa News & Record

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Marc Albrighton
Marc Albrighton

Villa News & Record

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Marc Albrighton

Position

Winger

From

2008-09

To

2013-14

IMAGE CREDIT

Marc Albrighton

Seasons Quick-View

Seasons

Age*

18
19
20
21
22
23

Division

PL
PL
PL
PL
PL
PL

Appearances

104
1
6
34
31
11
21

Starts

60
1
1
23
19
5
11

Substitute

44
0
5
11
12
6
10

Unused

38
6
9
6
3
7
7

Goals

8
0
0
5
3
0
0

*Age on opening day of the season

FAC: FA Cup; FL: Football League; D1: Division 1; D2: Division 2; D3: Division 3; PL: Premier League; CH: Championship

FULL SEASON BREAKDOWN

Marc Kevin Albrighton

Birth Date

Saturday, 18 November 1989

Birth Place

Tamworth, Staffordshire

Birth Country

England

Villa Youth

1998-08 Aston Villa Youth |
2008-09 Aston Villa Reserves |

From

Transfer in

Youth Team

From

For

Free

On

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Previous Clubs

Youth Team |

Loans Out

2013 Wigan Athletic, 30 Oct 2013 to 27 Nov 2013 |

Transfer Out

To

Leicester City

For

Free

On

Monday, 30 June 2014

Subsequent Clubs

2014- Leicester City, Free |

Marc Albrighton
Marc Albrighton

Villa News & Record

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Marc Albrighton
Marc Albrighton

Villa News & Record

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Villa Career

Seasons Active, Fee, Starts (Sub) | Goals |

2008-14 Aston Villa, Free, 60 (44) | 8 |

STARTS

SUBS

GOALS

Played Under

Martin O’Neill |
Gérard Houllier |
Alex McLeish |
Paul Lambert |

First Squad Appearance

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Debut Appearance

Thursday, 26 February 2009

CSKA Moscow (a), UEFA Cup

DEBUT

First Goal

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Final Appearance

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Hull City (h), Premier League

FINAL

Final Squad Appearance

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Honours

2009-10 League Cup Runners Up |

Height

(5 ft 9 in) 1.75 m

Foot

Right

International Team

Not selected

Marc Albrighton

Player #820 for Aston Villa, Marc Kevin Albrighton played as a winger for the club between 2008-09 and 2013-14 making 104 appearances and scoring 8 goals.

Albrighton was born in Tamworth, Staffordshire on 18 November 1989 and was promoted from the Youth Team in July 2009 by Martin O’Neill.

By that point however O’Neill had already handed Albrighton his debut on Thursday, 26 February 2009 aged 19 in his controversial selection for Villa’s Round of 32 UEFA Cup tie at CSKA Moscow where he played a weakened team of youngsters and reserves and forfeited Villa’s best chance of European success in 26 years.

O’Neill wouldn’t select Albrighton again in the starting line up in 2008-09 and for 2009-10 he handed Albrighton a single start - in the FA Cup 4th Round win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, 23 January 2010 and 5 substitute appearances in a 52 game season.

As a result, having been given his debut opportunity in the oddest of circumstances - a debut in a UEFA Cup quarter final qualification game in Moscow - it wasn’t until the arrival of Gérard Houllier that Albrighton was given an extended run in the first team.

For all Houllier’s myriad faults he saw in Albrighton the kernel of a player who could materially improve a declining Villa squad.

A committed and solid winger with an eye for a pass and assist rather than an exciting, beat the man dynamo, Albrighton was clear to all observers as something Villa had been missing.

The otherwise maligned Houllier recognised this and brought him to the fore of the first team handing him 34 appearances including 23 starts as Albrighton contributed five goals - his first coming in defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, 2 October 2010 and earning draws at Fulham on Saturday, 6 November 2010 and Manchester United on Saturday, 13 November 2010 before his final league goal of the season in another defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day 2010.

Albrighton also contributed the crucial second goal in Villa’s 3-1 FA Cup 3rd Round win over Sheffield United on Saturday, 8 January 2011 and 4 assists in a campaign that otherwise provided few highlights.

With Houllier unable to either start of finish the 2010-11 season in charge of Villa, his replacement Alex McLeish continued to place faith in Albrighton.

McLeish handed Albrighton 19 starts and 12 substitute appearances as he hit 3 goals to lift Villa to wins over Bolton Wanderers and Bristol Rovers (FA Cup) as well as in defeat to North London once again - this time Arsenal.

As Villa once again struggled in 2011-12 McLeish was replaced by Paul Lambert for 2012-13 and Villa - and Albrighton - reached a nadir.

Albrighton missed 26 games during 2012-13 due to injury and managed just 11 appearances including 5 starts without scoring or contributing an assist.

Of all the footballing crimes Paul Lambert committed against Villa the under-use and disposal of Albrighton ranks as the worst.

2013-14 saw a fit again Albrighton relegated behind vastly inferior lower league players and used so sparingly that come contract renewal time Albrighton was allowed to leave Villa on a free transfer.

Given just 11 starts and 10 substitute appearances, Lambert’s woeful management robbed Villa of a genuine progressive talent and for the second consecutive season Albrighton was left without a goal.

To add insult to injury Lambert sent Albrighton out on loan to Wigan Athletic during 2013-14 as Villa struggled both on and off the pitch.

When he did get a run in the team Albrighton contributed 4 assists in 6 appearances including in what was to prove the final game of his Villa career on Saturday, 3 May 2014.

If Albrighton’s career had ended that day then it would still have been criminal but that Albrighton joined Villa’s nearest realistic rivals of the time, Leicester City, and went on to play an instrumental role in securing their first ever top flight league title meant that for all the idiocy of Lambert’s regime his treatment of Albrighton topped the lot.

During the same period Villa were relegated for the first time in nearly 30 years.

As Albrighton recalled:

“Two days after the season finished, my agent phoned me and said, ‘There’s nothing on the table from Villa’.”

“So I said, ‘What do you mean there’s nothing?”

“He was like, ‘There’s literally not an offer, there’s not an offer there. You’ve got to go to another club. I’ve spoken to a few clubs just in case this scenario happened and they’d like to speak to you.’

“At the time I was just like, ‘Can I call you back once I’ve taken all this in?’

“In my head, definitely naively, I trusted everything that they said. I don’t know whose decision it was, I still don’t know now.

“In my head it was, ‘Yeah my contract’s sorted, (Lambert) said it would be sorted towards the end of the season, keep playing your football, keep doing what you’re doing, keep doing well.’

“So that’s what I was doing and I just expected a contract. I didn’t expect anything massive because I hadn’t been playing every game, I’d only played bit parts.

“But whatever was on the table for me I would have accepted, 100 per cent; a one-year or even a pay-as-you-play or whatever. I didn’t even think in my head that I would leave Villa.

“Once I’d got to grips with the fact that there was no conversation to be had, I phoned my agent back and he named the clubs that were interested. I chose Leicester as my preference and I went there, spoke to the manager, spoke to Steve Walsh on my phone. He was singing my praises, he told me how good it was at Leicester and he sold it for me.”

“I looked at Leicester and the stability I felt they had there was long-term. The players that they had. They were my kind of players who want to work hard for each other. It was the best move I could have hoped for.

“And, as upset as I was to leave Villa, them not offering me a contract was the best thing that’s happened to me because anything that was on the table; whether it be a year or pay-as-you-play, anything, I would have signed because that was my club.

“I just totally loved the club. I knew no different. That was my life. Aston Villa was my life since I was young. I’d probably say I was getting a bit complacent there and never really pushed on as much as I could.”

Meanwhile, despite the dispiriting period for Villa, Albrighton could still be found in the crowd cheering on his boyhood club when he had a spare Saturday afternoon.

“It started with my dad - he was Villa through and through. He tells me about the times when Villa won the league at Arsenal, and he was there.”

“He went to the European Cup final and he’s got all of the photos. Everything was Villa, my room was a Villa quilt, Villa wallpaper.”