It is fitting that the club that has provided more England internationals than any other is one proud of its achievement. While some Manchester United and Liverpool supporters have gained reputations for holding the England national team in something worryingly proximate to contempt, their Aston Villa equivalents revel in the reflected success of their claret and blue boys in temporary white.
Villa’s 71 England internationals vary in popularity – supporters of a certain vintage are almost only unified by their love for the club and their distaste for Steve Hodge – but as a collective they are the genesis of a sense of pride.
Many Villa supporters hold dear their club’s ability to supply a steady stream of England internationals over the course of more than a century.
It is a sad reflection of the club’s fortunes in the last couple of years that of Villa’s last six capped England internationals, three have since moved on.
Gabriel Agbonlahor and Darren Bent remain but have dropped off Roy Hodgson’s radar, and one could make a case for neither being at Villa Park by the start of next season; Stephen Warnock almost certainly will not be. Emile Heskey, James Milner and Stewart (…)