An open letter to Fabian Delph about his acrimonious switch to Manchester City

Subject: An open letter to Fabian Delph about his acrimonious switch to Manchester City
From: BirminghamMail
Date: 9 Nov 2015

Dear Fabian,
We have deliberately taken our time before writing you this letter because we are loathe to make any rash statements that we may later regret, even once, let alone twice.

It's been a while now since you completed your messy, faith-destroying move to Manchester City and ensured your new status as Villa Park's public enemy No.1.

But those 'Delph You Snake!' banners, those Facebook clips of fans burning replica shirts bearing your name, those mocking memes on social media all could have been avoided if only you had not laid it on so thick.

If only you had not tried to trumpet yourself as the second coming of commitment, if only you had not awarded yourself the loyal seal of approval.

You could have gone to Manchester City with your reputation intact had you not uttered such hollow nonsense as: "I'm proving that there still is loyalty in football" back in January.

And then compounded it just a week ago, by blurting out: "I'm not leaving. I'm staying at the football club and I can't wait for the start of the season and captaining this great football club."

Oh Fabian.

Why did you not just go quietly rather than whipping up a frenzy of false hope.?

The claret and blue faithful would have coped. As a fanbase they have become increasingly anaesthetised to the pain of their best players leaping off the Witton stepping stone no sooner have they got a handful of England caps.

There would have been disappointment, but it would have eased quite quickly. After all no player is bigger than this club, than any club.

To be honest, we expected better from you. A proud Yorkshireman who prides himself on straight talking.

There's plenty of Premier League primadonnas capable of pulling a stunt like this, but we thought you were different.

We thought you had eradicated the clumsiness from your game which always ran the risk of you seeing red, but as soon as you were seeing the Blue of city it reared its ugly head.

Had you simply signed your contract without a fanfare - winking on the scoreboard for goodness sake?! - then most Villa fans would merely have shrugged a familiar shrug, waved you goodbye and wished you well.

They would have actually thanked you for agreeing the deal which banked the club a fee rather than walking away for nothing, although, in hindsight, a release clause as meagre as £8 million is a tell tale sign of an exit strategy already in place.

Instead, fans were misled into having 'Delph 16' printed on their spanking new tops, misled into believing you really cared.

To give you the benefit of the doubt, we do not believe you intended to cause the hurt you have. We understand you battled with your conscience the way you have waged war with midfield rivals over recent seasons.

But the fact is the twists and turns which were were your trademark on the park will no longer be your claret and blue legacy.

Instead you will be remembered for the twists and turns which resulted in you doing the exact opposite of what you twice promised.

It didn't have to be like this. You could have still pursued a quest for medals and millions with a move to the Etihad without this bitter exit.

You didn't have to be the most reviled former player since Steve Hodge, but that is the fate that awaits you when you return to Villa Park with Man City.

Let's hope for your sake that you are in Manuel Pellegrini's first XI rather than warming the bench because sitting in the Trinity Road dugouts will not be a pleasant experience.

Yours faithfully,

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