Former Aston Villa defender Habib Beye has admitted that moving to the club was a mistake, as reported by Sport Witness.
He arrived at Villa Park from Newcastle United in August 2009, linking up with a side that had finished 6th in the Premier League and competed in the UEFA Cup during the previous campaign.
The Senegal international had spent the two previous seasons at St. James’ Park but left when the Magpies were relegated from the top tier. Sam Allardyce had brought him to England from Marseille in 2007, after Beye had established himself as a promising young talent within Paris Saint-Germain’s youth set-up and then with Strasbourg.
During an interview with French publication L’Equipe, Beye was asked which club he should never have joined during his 15-year professional career. The former right-back didn’t hesitate to insist that his move to Villa in 2009 was a mistake:
“Aston Villa. I went there because of pride when Newcastle were relegated. I was a core player of the Magpies. I had my songs at St James’ Park. I knew that the club was prepared to go up but I did not want to be considered a player of division two. My second year at Aston Villa, it went wrong with Gerard Houllier. He behaved badly with me and he knows it. I finally went on loan to Doncaster, in… division two.”
Beye played under O’Neill during his time in the Midlands but it was his fractured relationship with Gerard Houllier that led to his exit. Houllier was appointed as boss in August 2010 and was quick to freeze the French-born defender out of his plans.
His short spell with Doncaster Rovers was quickly followed by retirement in 2013 and Beye now features regularly on French television screens as a pundit and commentator.
The club Beye regrets ever joining are now struggling in the Championship, with current boss Steve Bruce reportedly on the verge of being axed.