The Aston Villa Managerial Saga


It was evident from the day Gerard Houllier took ill, it was the beginning of the end of his reign at Aston Villa.

Naturally enough, the fans wished him all the best in his recovery, but it’s no secret they were unhappy with him and his negative football. This approach to football will probably have become a reality check to Villa having gotten to used to the style of football under Martin O’Neill.

So it was up to the board land a new manager, but the fans just seem to be far too picky. Some didn’t want Wigan manager Roberto Martinez because he’s not English, some didn’t want McLaren because they simply don’t like him and they certainly didn’t want Alex McLeish because of his managerial reign at rivals Birmingham City.

The latter is of course the one I will be discussing. Villa fans have discussed his two relegations with Birmingham City is one of the reasons they don’t want him. First of all, look at it this way, his first relegation, you can’t have any complaints, they were always destined to go down, but this time around it was different. This was a tough season as Brum suffered the dreaded 2nd season syndrome despite winning the Carling Cup – only the club’s second ever cup victory – and amassing a total of 39 points, which in any other season would keep you up.

      New man in charge

photo from footballfancast.com

Compare that to his record the season before, in their first season back in top flight football, they earned 50 points, finishing in 9th place and McLeish also managed to set Joe Hart on his way to being Englands No.1 and arguably the best goalkeeper in the Premiership. McLeish also picked up the December Manager of the Month Award.

Not to mention he has a decent record on the Cup and individual awards front as well. He’s won the Scottish First Division with Hibernian, the SPL and Scottish Cup on two occasions each with Rangers, the Carling Cup with Birmingham and was voted the SPL Manager of the Month 9 times during his time at Rangers.

Now, take his 4 clubs and his 10 game reign as Scotland Manager, put them together, and you’ve got a a Win% of 47.61 and the Villa fans honestly don’t want that ?

My next problem with this is that Villa simply aren’t thinking before acting. Their main problem is he’s managed their arch rivals. I’ve got news for Villa fans who don’t won’t him appointed for that reason – this man isn’t from Birmingham. A move from there to Villa isn’t controversial in his mind because he’s Scottish, a move between the two clubs is a crime in the fans minds, but not to a manager who has no affiliation with the city when he’s just looking for a bigger job.

The Villa fans protesting really aren’t doing themselves any favours. Breaching gates to protest and ripping up season tickets, all for what? A man who wants to take this club forward and is capable of doing so ?

One fan in particular has even said he’s prepared to lose his job as a Villa Park steward over the appointment: “All my security staff will tell you, I’m prepared to lose my job over it.”

“I’m a beloved Aston Villa supporter, and Aston Villa comes before the steward job.”

Making their feelings known

Photo from Birminghammail.net

Another man also stated Villa is too big for McLeish: “Aston Villa is simply too big a club for Alex McLeish too handle.” What, and Rangers wasn’t?

One man has also threatened to burn all of his Aston Villa gear and throw it on front on the Villa shop. What is wrong with this man, is he really prepared to burn the crest of the club he supports all because of a manager?

I hate to sound harsh, but the fans are delusional, they’ve been given a severe dose of reality since O’Neill has left and are simply being too picky. I firmly believe McLeish can bring back the attacking football to Villa and regardless of the backing he has from the stands, he’ll fight to earn it.

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