James Collins, or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?
n Friday, we learned that two Aston Villa players had been involved in a "frank exchange of views" while away at a team bonding retreat at a luxury spa. There was much speculation over who the players were, with the prevailing view on 7500 being that Ashley Young and Darren Bent were fighting over who would get to sleep with Gérard Houllier's daughter. Turns out that, according to the ever-reliable News of the World, it was Richard Dunne and James Collins, not fighting against one another, but clashing with the coaching staff.
In a way, this makes total sense. Dunne has already been involved in a tempter tantrum on the training pitch; his words with Gary McAllister earning him an extended benching. Collins, meanwhile, looks as though he could cut you in half with his eyes. I'm sure he's a gentle soul but really, I'm guessing he's not one to mince words.
While Dunne and Collins have both apologized for the criticisms (this has got to be a euphemism for loud yelling and bad language), it's not a stretch to realize that at least one, possibly both, of the defenders will be on their way out of Villa Park this summer. Between Dunne's salary, his inconsistency, and his attitude toward Houllier and the staff, there's no way he can be expected to stay on. This isn't really news to anyone, but it's a very early hour and I thought I'd state the obvious.
But what of Collins? Will he stay with Aston Villa? Do you want him to?