The current Baggies and ex-Villa midfielder believes his former side are no longer top dogs in the Midlands.
Gardner rose through the ranks at Aston Villa but is now a regular first-team starter at West Brom, while he is also a Birmingham City supporter.
The 28-year-old can perhaps be argued to have a rather objective view of the Midlands, then, and he insists West Brom are just as used to the big time nowadays as former club Villa.
Indeed, Gardner is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror: "I don’t think they [Villa] are one of the main clubs in the Midlands. What’s wrong with West Brom? We have been in the Premier League five, six years on the bounce.
“Does having a bigger stadium and winning a couple of things make you a bigger club?
“I’ve played for Villa. I’m not having a dig at them. I speak from the heart. I have never had a bad word to say about Villa and I never will as I learnt my trade there.
“I am a Blues fan, that is no secret but now I am at West Brom. You can say Villa are the bigger club but it is West Brom that are used to being up there more recently.”