Aston Villa captain or Liverpool bench-warmer?

Looking through the Soccerlens mailbag this week we came across a letter from a Premier League player who is facing a difficult dilemma. As always, Soccerlens can help.

Dear Soccerlens,


I am faced with an impossible decision at a crucial stage in my career. I don’t know what to do for the best and I am told that you are the people to come to for advice. I certainly enjoy reading Graham Fisher’s stuff, I really don’t think he gets paid enough.

I am twenty-seven years old and am a one club man. I skipper my team and everyone here likes me. I have played at centre-half, left back, left midfield and am now one of the best central midfield players in the country. I must be because I’ve got eighteen England caps to prove it. So put that in your pipe in smoke it.

I enjoy playing for my club and this season we have made a serious challenge for fifth place. Next season, I think we could mount a serious challenge for fifth place and in the medium to long term, we could have the potential to become the fifth best team in England.

My manager has made it clear that he wants to keep me at the club saying that he is ‘desperate’ and would ‘do anything to keep me.’ I’m afraid I’m just not that way inclined so he’d better not try it.

I have two years of my contract left to run and have already proved myself to be a loyal club servant. My word is my bond, so I shouldn’t go against it.

I have played over three hundred games for my club and the fans and players love me. They know how important I am to the clubs plans and ambitions to stay exactly where we currently are.

I get paid well at my club, but it is nothing like as much as I would get if I moved to Liverpool or Chelsea, for example.

So there is my dilemma in a nutshell Soccerlens, I just don’t know what to do. I have to make the choice. Do I stay or do I go?

If I stay, I will get paid OK, might get the odd England cap and if we’re incredibly lucky, might finish fifth and get to play against Buducnost Podgorica or HSK Zrinjski Mostar in the UEFA Cup.

If I go, I will get paid a fortune, could become an England regular and will win trophies and probably get to at least the semi-final of the Champions League.

It is such a tough choice. Help me Soccerlens.

GB, Aston, Birmingham, England.

Soccerlens reply – Dear GB,

You certainly have a tough decision to make there and I’m glad I’m not in your shoes. Anonymity in a quite good team or super stardom with potential European Champions? How on Earth can you choose between the two?

I think, if it were me, I would stay where I was and show a selfless loyalty, paying back the club for the eleven years of hard work and salary they have put in to you to get you to where you are now. I wouldn’t run off to where the grass is undoubtedly greener just to further my own career and set myself up for life.

There is more to life than success, happiness, health, wealth, excitement and adoration around the world, you know. Maybe you should also consider the possibility that if you go to the one of the big clubs you might not be very good and might not play much.

You should show the same sort of loyalty to your current club that I show to this website. When others have offered me a blank cheque to write articles for them, I have always said, no. I stay with Soccerlens where I get paid nearly a pound some weeks, because I am a totally loyal sort.

GB, you could learn a lot from me. Whatever you decide to do, you must choose wisely. Money, fame, success and a life of luxury, or stay where you are.

I just don’t know how you will ever decide.

Your problems answered every Monday at Soccerlens.

Graham Fisher writes at Views of a fan.