Former West Bromwich Albion defender Gareth McAuley has revealed that his former side refused to play him during the latter stages of last season.
In an in depth interview with The Times, the 38-year-old Northern Ireland international wanted to play for the Baggies during last season’s relegation campaign, but was told the club would “look stupid” if they picked him to start over the high-profile centre backs.
McAuley stated: “My head and my heart were saying, ‘You have to fight and try and help the club.’ So I went and asked the hierarchy, ‘What do I need to do to get in the team?’ ‘Nothing,’ they said. ‘What do you mean nothing?’ ‘Jonny [Evans] is worth £30 million and we gave Ahmed [Hegazi] five years, so if we play you we’re going to look stupid.”
McAuley’s contract at the Hawthorns ended this summer, and the versatile defender is now a free agent.
Despite having been linked with the likes of Rangers, Aberdeen and Hearts, a deal is yet to go through at any of these Scottish Premier League clubs.
The defender continued, stating: “I said, ‘We’ve just lost four games in a row, surely you’re going to do something?’ ‘No,’ they said. I said, ‘OK, I need to play, can I go on loan?’ ‘No, you can’t because we might sell Jonny and you might have to play. We’re not going to play you but you can’t leave.
“I spoke to Big Mooro. He said if he got the job, he’d want me around. All the summer I was preparing myself to go back. Then I got a call from Big Mooro. He said, ‘Look, the club have a problem with your age’. I never really had a chance to say goodbye.”
West Bromwich Albion have started the 2018/19 Championship season commendably, but after Friday’s disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough, Darren Moore will consider making some changes to his defensive unit.
West Bromwich Albion may feel like they should have got something out of Friday’s loss at the Riverside, but they were outplayed and outclassed by their former manager Tony Pulis’ new side.
Gareth McAuley was a mainstay in the starting line-up for the Baggies under the Welshman during his tenure at the Hawthorns, but only managed to make nine Premier League appearances throughout last season.
West Brom could receive some backlash from McAuley’s comments, as the treatment the defender received doesn’t feel like it was handled all too well.
Thoughts, West Brom fans?