Aston Villa boss Remi Garde questions Charles N'Zogbia's commitment

The 29-year-old playmaker has not made the bench for the past three games after briefly being brought back into the fold and now looks to have blown his last chance to revive his Villa career.

Charles N’Zogbia looks to have fallen foul of a third successive Aston Villa manager after Remi Garde told the likes of Sky Sports that the out-of-favour midfielder “could have given more than he has” in recent weeks.

N’Zogbia, 29, originally joined Villa from Wigan Athletic in July 2011 for around £9.5 million but he has since failed to live up to his transfer fee, having recorded just five goals and 17 assists in 93 total appearances.

Once a member of former boss Paul Lambert’s infamous “bomb squad”, the Frenchman was expected to leave the club ahead of last season after missing the entire 2013-14 campaign with a ruptured Achilles tendon, but he was instead granted a surprise reprieve along with Alan Hutton and Darren Bent.

The polarising playmaker failed to make the most of his opportunity, however, and was once again frozen out of the first-team in the months leading up to Lambert’s sacking after making 17 uninspiring appearances over the first half of the campaign.

The subsequent appointment of Tim Sherwood saw him brought back into the fold for the run-in due to his past experience of dealing with relegation scraps, but his performances were not enough to prevent him from being deemed surplus to requirements in the summer.

Unsurprisingly, though, the club failed to find any suitors for his reported £65,000-per-week salary and it was not until Garde replaced Sherwood at the helm last month that he would be re-introduced to the team, making his first appearances of the season as a substitute in his compatriot’s opening two games in charge.

However, the ex-Newcastle United winger has not been back on the bench since a subpar cameo in the 4-0 defeat at Everton and now looks to have blown his last chance to resurrect his Villa career, with the new boss going as far as to question his commitment to the cause.

"Charles could have given more than he has given to the team in the first two or three weeks when I came," Garde was quoted as saying by Sky Sports ahead of Saturday’s trip to Newcastle United. "Charles' story with Aston Villa is a long one, with some difficult stuff, and he is ending his contract soon.

"Sometimes it's not the best way to be fully committed in a football club in the situation we are in.

"Charles is not the worst person I have ever met. I am just here to try to pick up the players I feel who are the most committed for this very difficult task we have. I am not saying Charles is a bad person. Sometimes it doesn't work between players and clubs, players and managers."

Premier League SeasonGoalsAssistsKey PassesPassing AccuracyTotal CrossesCrossing AccuracyTotal DribblesDribble AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Charles N'Zogbia 2011-2012 2 4 49 75% 136 28% 123 27% 30 2,083
Charles N'Zogbia 2012-2013 2 4 22 80% 63 22% 43 45% 21 993
Charles N'Zogbia 2014-2015 0 2 17 81% 42 19% 57 41% 27 1,429
Charles N'Zogbia 2015-2016 0 0 0 100% 4 0% 2 50% 2 41

N’Zogbia’s five-year deal is set to expire next summer and Villa will likely try one last time to offload him when the winter transfer window opens next month.

However, if they cannot find any takers, the club could simply attempt to terminate his contract by mutual consent instead in order to make more room for potential mid-season arrivals.

“It's not only about Charles,” added Garde. “When you are wearing the shirt and defending the club's colours you need to be peaceful with everyone, the football club, manager, teammates.

"Sometimes it happens where the situation is not like that and there is a possibility, twice in the season, where you can go to the manager and say 'I'm not happy, I want to leave'.

"Then you have to listen and see if we can find a good solution for all parties. If that's the case I will listen to all the players."

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