Another season comes to an end on the 14th of March 2006 in a cold and wet City of Manchester Stadium. Am I surprised? No. Am I disappointed? Yes. Throughout all we have been through at Aston Villa over the last 23 years, I was devastated at another season ending, even though I knew what was coming.
Taking stock on the way back to Birmingham, I could find little or no confidence in the people who run the club, the management staff or the players and I can see no hope for this great club of ours while things remain the same.
This club is great. Our supporters are great. We deserve better. A lot better.
Going from top to bottom our club is a joke. Ellis's reign is coming to an end soon (by hook or by crook) so there is no point going over the past. However, whoever is now running the club or whatever committee is in charge, they have to push ahead with a takeover and work hard to achieve this goal, as while this debacle continues Aston Villa is a rudderless ship in need of guidance. While we wait for a sale, the club will float along going nowhere but down and something needs to be done.
If there is to be no sale, the club need to admit this and show supporters their strategy for getting this club to go forward. Sailing around aimlessly is not an option for Aston Villa Football Club.
The management team is also failing our great club with O'Leary as the most noticeable target. His biggest negative is his constant criticism of the club and its supporters. All we hear is Aston Villa is no Arsenal or Spurs or even a Charlton now. Well I'm sorry but Aston Villa is one of the biggest clubs in British football and you are in charge. We are not a Bolton, we are Villa and if you can not deal with being in charge of a big club then you should resign.
Also, I am fed up of the supporters being blamed for everything under the sun. O'Leary, it is not the supporters fault, it is not the pitches fault, it is not that the sun was outs fault, it is your fault. You have bought badly, you have no tactical sense and your buying policy is unbelievable. Furthermore, you show no way of possibly instilling confidence into the players by constantly putting down players abilities to compete and this 'honest bunch of lads' rubbish. Please, put a little bit of fight into your players David and stop mother cuddling them.
On the pitch, the record is a joke. Our record in the cups are not even worth thinking about, and our league record is poor. O'Leary is truly our worst manager since Billy McNeil (and as a Celtic fan too....I'm sorry Billy to compare you with such an arrogant idiot).
The playing staff too do not live up to expectations. As a squad, Villa do not look bad on paper but we don't seem to have the heart to battle. Has money ruined their desire? Or has O'Leary damaged their confidence? A bit of both maybe.
This season I would say only Mellberg, Davis, Philips and Moore have shown anything close to their ability. McCann gives 110% too, despite being poor.
Sorenson - Good shot stopper. Needs improvement in all other areas. Average goalkeeper.
Hughes - Good defender, I believe perfect for centre back. Poor at getting forward though and therefore is not made for right back.
Delaney - Can not fault. Solid professional.
Mellberg - Class.
Laursen - Good....when he plays.
Ridgewell - Good in the air. Poor on the ground.
Bouma - Another who is made for centre back as his performances at PSV showed.
Samuel - The complete opposite of Hughes. The perfect wing back.
Barry - Skilful. Knowledgeable. Too slow for being out wide though.
Davis - Could be great.
McCann - Gives his all.
Hendrie - Times up for him surly???
Milner - Gives 110%. Still young and can learn.
Baros - Typical over hyped foreign striker. Please prove me wrong.....
Angel - No fight anymore
Philips - Given his best. Thanks for that cracker at blues.
Moore - More strength needed. Great potential.
As said above, as a squad, Villa do not look bad on paper but we don't seem to have the heart to battle. O'Leary is just not getting the best from his players.
He must go.
Hopefully in the summer at the latest all these problems will be fixed and once again we can all look forward to a new season with Aston Villa in confidence.
Aston Villa have six players away with their countries in the October international window.
Midfielder Jordan Veretout hasn't just had to adjust to life in a new country, at a new club and with a new language, there was also the small matter...
Err. The Vital Villa man of the match v Stoke City...
Manager Tim Sherwood has given his normal Monday briefing, and goalkeeper Brad Guzan has also given his thoughts as frustration reigns.
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