Aston Villa fans react as Gabriel Agbonlahor steps down as club captain in Instagram apology

Gabriel Agbonlahor

The Villa club captain is currently the subject of an internal investigation into his off-pitch conduct.

Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has published a lengthy apology to the club's fans on his personal Instagram account in which he confirmed that he has resigned from his position as club captain.

The 29-year-old, who came through the club's academy and made his senior debut in 2006, has been heavily criticised by Villa supporters on occasion in recent years for a downturn in the level of his performances.

The striker, who has found the net just 11 times in the last three years, intensified the scrutiny on him recently by being photographed partying in Dubai in the midst of the club's relegation battle and being exiled from the first team by caretaker manager Eric Black, who claimed that he was unfit to play.

He is currently the subject of an internal investigation at the club for his off-pitch conduct after he was photographed apparently drinking and having inhaled nitrous oxide on the night of Villa's relegation following a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

A debate has been ongoing amongst fans on social media since the latest incident about whether the club should sack the long-serving striker, but Agbonlahor has now issued a lengthy and apparently heartfelt apology on his personal Instagram account in which he confirmed he would be stepping down as club captain.

 

I want to begin with an apology to all Aston Villa fans for my actions in recent weeks, especially at a time when it is devastating for everyone involved with the club. I am stepping down as club captain with immediate effect as I do not deserve to carry out such a role anymore. This role was a huge honour to me and it hurts to have lost it. I have spent 16 years at Aston Villa and played some memorable games. My celebrations and passion, especially in games against local rivals shows my loyalty to Aston Villa. I am asking Aston Villa fans for forgiveness as I'm hurting as well despite reports and photos in the press making out otherwise. I agree my performances this season have not been good enough but I will be working hard to make things right! Up The Villa, Villa Till I Die! I would also like to add; numerous fake social media accounts and have been created using my name. This is my official Instagram and I do not use Twitter or Facebook.

A photo posted by Gabriel Agbonlahor (@ga11official) on

 

The 29-year-old wrote: "I want to begin with an apology to all Aston Villa fans for my actions in recent weeks, especially at a time when it is devastating for everyone involved with the club. I am stepping down as club captain with immediate effect as I do not deserve to carry out such a role anymore.

"This role was a huge honour to me and it hurts to have lost it. I have spent 16 years at Aston Villa and played some memorable games. My celebrations and passion, especially in games against local rivals shows my loyalty to Aston Villa. I am asking Aston Villa fans for forgiveness as I'm hurting as well despite reports and photos in the press making out otherwise.

"I agree my performances this season have not been good enough but I will be working hard to make things right! Up The Villa, Villa Till I Die! I would also like to add; numerous fake social media accounts and have been created using my name. This is my official Instagram and I do not use Twitter or Facebook."

Agbonlahor is Villa's record Premier League goalscorer with 73 goals from 323 appearances in the competitions, but has scored just once in 18 matches this season.

It's fair to say that if he was looking for sympathy from supporters after his statement, he shouldn't be holding his breath. Here's just a sample of the mood on Twitter in reaction...

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