In previous seasons, Dunne was often the saviour in a team going nowhere. His partnership with Sylvain Distin is almost solely responsible for keeping us from relegation in in 2006-07. When it became apparent that City could collapse both on and off the pitch, Distin joined for the 'brighter' prospects of Portsmouth, while Dunne stayed and fought for the cause.
Some interesting words from Richard Dunne in an article by the Press Association:
Well, Richard, you should — City fans certainly do.
Newcomer Richard Dunne is hoping his disciplinary record will improve at Aston Villa but insists he will remain "fully committed" in every game he plays.
Dunne shares the record for the most red cards in the Barclays Premier League with eight, alongside Patrick Vieira and Duncan Ferguson, but the former Manchester City player is looking for a change of fortune under Martin O'Neill in terms of staying on the pitch.
Dunne said: "Hopefully, my luck may change and I can stay on the pitch more. I'm struggling to remember the last one (red card) I had, but that's not a good sign, because it wasn't that long ago.
"Wherever I go and play I'll always be 100% committed. I don't like to lose matches and I hope that's one of my strengths and I'll always give it my all.
"I can guarantee that every game that I play I'll be fully committed. I've had loads of red cards. I think there is me and Patrick Vieira as the most red-carded players in the history of the Premier League, so I'm in good company.
"I don't think I deserve many of them, although obviously the odd one. But it's just the way it goes and I suppose, as a defender if you're making last ditch tackles and you miss the odd one, then you're automatically off."
The last one you had in the league was against Wigan, where you needlessly lashed out at Amr Zaki just seconds after Zabaleta's opening goal. What about the UEFA Cup quarter final against Hamburg, where we needed three goals (and all of our players on the pitch) to have any chance of progressing? And what about Middlesbrough away, where we were in danger of losing the Fair Play position that got us into Europe in the first place?
Rather than being the one thing keeping us from going down, he is now the one thing keeping us from going up... no longer is just being "fully committed" enough. Neither are the obligatory red cards and own goals. These moments cost games, and belong in the Typical City™ mentality of the past.
Yes it may hurt, but it is the right decision to sell a player that is surplus to requirements. It could have been handled much, much better, but like any break-up of a nine-year relationship, there is bound to be some ill-will.