Aston Villa’s Gabriel Agbonlahor is once again caught up in a scandal when he was meant to be on a fitness regime.
This follows Joleon Lescott’s continued foot-in-mouth comments, with the experienced centre-back saying the squad were relieved to be relegated and it is clear all is not well at Villa Park.
Life in the Championship will be difficult for the already-demoted outfit and the likes of Fulham, Cardiff and Wolverhampton Wanderers show former Premier League sides can struggle in the second-tier.
Getting rid of the bad apples in the dressing room is a must for whoever takes over, but that begs the question of whether anyone is worth keeping.
Jordan Ayew is likely to command the most interest from other teams, but it is a midfielder that the Villans should be most keen on making sure stays put.
Idrissa Gana Gueye averages more interceptions per game than any other Premier League player this season, breaking up the play 4.4 times a match on average.
Furthermore, N’Golo Kante, who is second to the Senegal international in interceptions, is the only player who has more than 20 top-flight outings this term to better Gueye in terms of tackles, averaging 4.5 to his counterpart’s 4.2.
Clearly, the two defensive midfielders are of a similar mould and if the Villa man had better teammates around him, he could have a Kante-esque impact. Therefore, above all others, the Villans have to retain the services of the 26-year-old.
Of course, keeping a player who has shown ability in the Premier League when you drop down to the second-tier isn’t an easy task, but it has been done before.
Furthermore, midfielders seem more willing to ply their trade in the Championship than strikers who have impressed in the top-tier and there is precedence to suggest Gueye will stay.
Tom Huddlestone, an England international, remained with Hull City after being relegated last term, while Scott Parker, voted the Three Lions’ best player in 2011, is still at Fulham despite dropping down a division in 2014.
Looking to another claret-and-blue-clad side should also give Villa encouragement that they can keep the midfielder.
Mark Noble stuck with West Ham during their 2011/12 Championship campaign, but of course as a fan of the club since childhood this is understandable.
Yet, Michael Carrick also remained with the Hammers despite not having the strong ties Noble had, while Kevin Nolan joined the second-tier outfit in, deciding to remain in the Championship after sticking with Newcastle United before.