Whereas your Becketts, your Joyces and your Eliots are feted for their portrayal of the utter futility of human life, Aston Villa's reduction of the beautiful game to a yawning, soporific and stultifying arena of nothingness last season went unrewarded.
Watching Villa last season was a little voyeuristic, it was like intruding on a scene of public mourning on a mass scale. So bad were Villa, we felt a little dirty having watched it.
But, as Joleon Lescott made clear after Villa went down, relegation was a weight off the shoulders, and now the Villains are in the process fo rebuilding. They have a new Chinese owner, and have appointed Roberto Di Matteo as manager. They are also expected to overhaul the playing staff, and the Birmingham Mail are today reporting that one of those potential new signings could be Irish international Greg Cunningham.
Following just two senior league appearances and loan spells at Leicester and Nottingham Forest, Cunningham left Manchester City permanently in 2012, where he joined Bristol City. Cunningham spent three seasons at Ashton Gate before joining Preston North End a year ago. Having made 43 league appearances at Deepdale last season, Cunningham may be on the move to Villa Park.
Should he join Villa, Cunningham will link-up with fellow Irish international Ciaran Clark, who remains on the club's books. What is unclear is what exactly the transfer will mean for prospective Irish international Kevin Toner. Toner made his Premier League debut for Villa at the end of last season, and although he has played much of his youth career at centre-back, Villa deployed him at left-back in the top flight. With Lescott, Richards and Clark all still at the club, and Cunningham potentially joining current left-backs Jordan Amavi and Aly Cissokho, Toner may find opportunities limited next season.
Cunningham, meanwhile, is still only 25, and has made four senior appearances for Ireland. An international opportunity at left-back may yet present itself to Cunningham: Robbie Brady proved during the Euros he should never be wasted in that positon again, and incumbent Stephen Ward will be 32 by the time the World Cup comes around.