Villa boss plays down One Direction threats
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has played down threats sent to Gabriel Agbonlahor over his challenge on One Direction pop star Louis Tomlinson.
During a charity match at Celtic Park last Sunday, held in honour of former Villa and Celtic star Stiliyan Petrov, a challenge from Agbonlahor on Tomlinson left the singer unable to carry on and once substituted, he was subsequently sick on the sidelines.
The incident was the talk of Twitter with many football fans unsympathetic to Tomlinson, while fans of the 21-year-old’s band calling themselves ‘Directioners’, sent angry and threatening tweets to a Twitter account in Agbonlahor’s name.
The Mirror reports the England striker apologised for his challenge shortly after the match and said sorry to Tomlinson on the pitch. Lambert believes that the furore surrounding the incident is now over.
The former Norwich City manager was quoted by the newspaper as saying: “You’re taking someone out of their comfort zone if they are a singer and putting them in a football environment.
“Footballers can naturally do this kind of thing.
“But I don’t know if a threat from a teenage girl is much of a threat.
“The lad was really nice and my kids got a picture with him, there was no animosity at all.
“All three of my daughters – and my son – spoke to him. I think my daughters Kira, Nicola and Victoria are fans.
“The guy was really nice and Gabby gave him a pat on the head so there is no problem.
“Gabby went and spoke to him on the pitch.”
Former Villa captain Petrov had to retire from football earlier this year after battling through and receiving treatment for leukaemia.
The club launched a successful campaign in aid of their former player called ’Support Stan’ where fans would stand up and applaud the Bulgarian in the 19th minute in honour of his squad number.
The club play Newcastle United tomorrow afternoon.