Aston Villa put the English media (and fans as well) into a bit of a frenzy this morning when they announced “BIG PLAYER NEWS,” complete with caps lock, about an hour before kickoff against Bournemouth in their FA Cup match at Villa Park today.
The Twitter announcement told fans to be in their seats 10 minutes before kickoff and “fix your eyes on the stadium screens” for what the club made to sound like life-altering stuff.
Well…it wasn’t. It wasn’t even a new signing. Aston Villa instead announced that Fabian Delph, their prolific midfielder, had signed a new deal for 4-1/2 more years that would keep him under club control through the summer of 2019.
Let’s start with this: with Liverpool lurking, and rumors flying that he would be off to Anfield this winter, the contract extension is a must-have for Villa. The club should be praised for keeping one of its best players under contract despite an underwhelming season. Delph also deserves credit, having maintained he would sign a new deal the last few weeks, and he held true to his world despite clear interest higher up the table.
However, the club went HARD with this announcement.
And by hard, I mean they went all-in.
It caused the media, and fans, to get a little too excited. It felt a little bit like they were about to announce the transfer of Lionel Messi to Villa Park or something.
It’s a little unfair for Villa to pull such a highly-anticipated build-up to eventually announce a contract extension, no matter how big of a deal that extension is. Delph’s already a Villa player for pete’s sake. There’s nothing wrong with putting the exciting announcement on the video board, dropping it 10 minutes before a home game, and letting fans buzz around the news while the match is getting ready to kick-off. Go for it. But the anticipation wasn’t really necessary, and the club did itself a disservice by making what should have been an exciting moment feel like somewhat of a deflating letdown.
Kudos to Villa, though, for sticking to its guns and inking one of its best players in an otherwise drab season. Just spare us the frenzy next time, if you don’t mind.