Villa fan Jack Grimse writes for fellow SBNation blog 7500 to Holte - who better to speak to about Joleon Lescott than someone that suffered through a Premier League relegation disaster with the former England defender in his side on a weekly basis?
RR: It's safe to say that Joleon Lescott didn't exactly endure a particularly successful time at Villa Park. What exactly went wrong?
JG: You're totally right. To put it shortly, well, everything.
Lescott was in the wrong place at the wrong time. While he can't be blamed for everything that went wrong last season at Villa, he certainly was a contributing factor to the shambolic play on the pitch and the toxic dressing room atmosphere.
RR: Lescott is a Villa fan, isn't he?
JG: Indeed he is, which makes the lack of effort he exhibited while wearing the shirt that much stranger. Lescott being caught ball watching when strikers like Jamie Vardy scored follow-up efforts from parried saves and things of the sort became a theme. This probably made it even harder for him.
RR: At which point did it become apparent that things weren't working out?
JG: Valentines Day, when Villa were massacred 6-0 at the hands of Liverpool. After the match, Lescott tweeted a photo of his expensive car without a caption.
As you can see, he still hasn't deleted it. This was the final straw for many Villa fans who had previously been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
RR: Do you feel that Lescott could have stayed and helped the club rebuild in the Championship, or are you glad that he left when he did?
JG: While he was probably still good enough of a defender to help Villa in the Championship, it never would have worked out. Everyone around the club seemed to be done with him, and his feelings appeared to be reciprocal.
That said, it's hard to judge how much his skills have declined.
RR: Do you feel that, despite his poor showings for Villa, he still might have something to offer a club like Sunderland now that he's apparently reinvigorated and wants to rebuild his reputation?
JG: That's a good point, especially under David Moyes. Villa have been tumultuous with regards to managerial changes, so having a boss he's comfortable with could go a long way toward Lescott once again resembling the solid Premier League defender that he used to be.
I'm not sure if he's overly concerned with his reputation, as Lescott really did have an impressive career, but maybe there's something he wants to prove to himself. Or it could be about the money.