On Saturday, Aston Villa will host Liverpool for the first time since February 2016, when the gulf between the sides was arguably just as big as it is today.
Sure, Jürgen Klopp’s team weren’t the dominant force they are now, having twice lost a lead to draw at home to 19th-placed Sunderland the week before, but Villa were the only team more hopeless than the Black Cats at the time.
Liverpool entered the game ninth in the table after one win in six games, and Villa actually had a better record over that period with two wins in their previous five under Rémi Garde – bringing their total for the season up to a massive three. However, any suggestion they might win the game at Villa Park was dashed within 25 minutes when Daniel Sturridge and James Milner put the visitors two up.
Four more goals followed in 15 second-half minutes, leaving Villa seven points adrift at the bottom of the table and prompting Garde to admit to feeling “humiliated”. That’s not the worst of it, though.
After the game, Joleon Lescott – who played the full 90 minutes at centre-back – tweeted a photo of his expensive car in what some interpreted as a middle finger to the fans who were hurling abuse at him.
Lescott claimed he accidentally sent the photo by pocket-tweeting while driving. While this would entail having a photo of the car saved at or towards the top of his camera roll, pocket-unlocking his phone, pocket-opening the Twitter app and then pocket-hitting send, we want to give him the benefit of the doubt.
And besides, he could have tweeted something worse. Not sure how? Well, we’ve got a couple of ideas.
No, not that. Get your mind out of the gutter.
A photo of the scoreboard
Villa fans knew they’d lost 6-0. This much is evident.
They knew what the score was on each and every one of their first 15 league defeats too, and the 11 which followed in the last 12 games of the season. Yeah, when you say it out loud it’s even worse, huh.
We somehow doubt an excuse of “I was only stating the facts” would have worked in such a situation.
A private jet
An expensive car is one thing, but the implication of travelling back from the game by plane feels far more egregious than doing so by car, however fancy the car in question.
This is even truer when you consider Villa were at home.
A grinning Kolo Touré
Touré scored his first (and, as it happens, only) Liverpool goal in the 6-0 win, so we bet he was delighted to get off the mark.
Still, probably not the time to feel happy for your fellow centre-back and former Manchester City team-mate. At least not so visibly.
Maybe leave it at least a week, yeah?
A grinning Joleon Lescott
Even worse, somehow.
A pile of money on a bed
Has the same impact as the car, and yet the optics are even less forgiving.
Strange, really – it shows a willingness to save the environment by lowering one’s carbon footprint, and leaves open the suggestion Lescott travels to and from home games on public transport to be amongst the fans.
He doesn’t do that, obviously, but it should really be the thought that counts.
— Joleon Lescott (@JoleonLescott) February 14, 2016
A video clip of his own performance in the defeat
Lescott tweeted the photo of the car at 5:05pm, roughly an hour after the 2:05pm match drew to a close. There’s no way he could have absorbed his entire 90-minute performance before tweeting, because that’s simply not how time works.
Oh, and how do we know the time of the tweet? Because, at the time of writing, HE STILL HASN’T DELETED IT!