Gabby Agbonlahor’s former Aston Villa team-mate Stiliyan Petrov says he wasn’t surprised to hear about the striker’s off-field behaviour but doesn’t think he should take all the blame for the club’s recent relegation.
The Villa club captain has been suspended by the club pending an internal investigation after allegations he was pictured in close proximity to legal high nitrous oxide canisters on the same day his side were relegated from the Premier League.
Only a couple of weeks ago, Agbonlahor, was the subject of another club probe after being seen smoking a shisha pipe during a trip to Dubai.
Despite Agbonlahor’s recent problems, Petrov – who spent seven years at Villa Park – says the striker cannot be blamed for all of the club’s issues.
“That is Gabby’s type of life all these years, even when he was outstanding, when he was bad. He loves the club, he is always out there, he wants to perform,” Petrov said.
“Gabby is different and I don’t think it is Gabby’s fault what is happening. Yes, he is part of it, he should have dealt and acted better but I certainly think that is not the first time Gabby smoked shisha, that he has been out and had a couple of drinks, partying. Everybody does it.”
Dean Saunders, who made over 100 appearances for Aston Villa in the nineties, thinks it is unfair to single anybody out for criticism and believes lack of investment remains the biggest problem.
“When you get relegated and you are losing and you are a big club then everybody looks at everything and the finger gets pointed at everybody and every little thing matters and people go looking for things.
“I wouldn’t single out anybody, I just think over a period of four or five years there has been a lack of investment into the team with top players and, if you are going to get top players, you have to spend.”