Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday March 20 2006
According to the Birmingham Mail 'David O'Leary has rounded on the fans' AGAIN.
Well, from the posters on this and other forums, it appears to me that the fans are rounding on the manager.
Aston Villa have a joke of a Chairman, a joke of a manager and the only people left not laughing are the fans.
O'Leary has never been a Villa man, he has never tried to be a Villa man and he has done nothing to ingratiate himself with the fans. Managers of the other local teams, Steve Bruce and Bryan Robson, both under similar pressure, have taken time to speak with the press and talk with the fans. O'Leary has done nothing but deflect blame from his lack of ability and moan at how things are so very hard for him.
David O'Leary came to Villa to prove that he wasn't a cheque book manager, he has ended up doing quite the opposite. He tells us all of the 'ones that got away' but then, wouldn't that be the case for the 'smaller' clubs than Villa? West Ham, Wigan, Charlton, Fulham, Blackburn and Bolton would also like the players O'Leary wanted. They don't run on budgets any different to ours and all of them are above us in the league. Are we led to believe that not one of those clubs have suffered from injuries this season? Are we led to believe that all those clubs have better and more supportive fans than at Villa?
Ellis is a poor chairman. No further comment is needed. BUT O'Leary joined Villa knowing the situation, he says he will only take criticism from those who 'properly know the situation', so maybe that is why he has never taken any of the criticism himself? He appears like a spoilt toddler who has had his lolly taken off him, pouting in indignation: 'it's not fair', 'it's not my fault' 'it was him sir' 'they keep saying nasty things'. Grow up O'Leary.
He also says: 'The fans are frustrated and they want the club to do well, and I suppose if they can't take their feelings out on the chairman, then I'm next.'
At least we are up front and open with our criticism, the fans know exactly what the problem at Villa is, O'Leary won't even meet with the fans at a forum to speak to them and have some banter. What is wrong O'Leary, you scared we might - like the press - ask you to justify your inability to take us any further forward than when you took over? 8 wins, 10 draws, 12 losses. Bad record. He has even managed to turn 'Fortress Villa Park' into a 'nice' away day for teams.
He claims 'We're doing our best' and yet the other week he admitted Villa were budgeted to be a top ten club. So why, if he is doing his best, have Villa not worried the top ten in the league this season? I go back to my original point, are we to believe that the clubs listed above are better than we are? Have they better squads? Have they not suffered injuries?
O'Leary has so obviously lost the fans and the way the players perform, it seems that he has lost the dressing room. He has also managed - in his own negative way - to deflect blame from the 82-year-old Chairman. Believe me, for Villa fans that takes some doing.
A typical example as to why the squad is de-motivated: 'I like this football club and I know what it could be. I know what's needed, but I've got to get on with what I've got. I don't want to give the young lads as an excuse, but they're doing as well as they can.'
In other words I have no choice but to use them but they aren't good enough. Can anyone image Big Sam saying the same? Alan Pardew? Paul Jewell? Thought not. He might have a 'vision' but if that vision can't be done because of Ellis, then he should be 'backs against the wall' and a true fighting spirit. Instead we have a team devoid of confidence and spirit and looking totally de-motivated. Why? Coaching staff or fans, you decide.
There are very real problems at Villa, mostly caused by a moribund board and a truly awful chairman, but O'Leary has failed on all levels and this season the performances have been diabolical. Together with the board they have managed to decimate the attendance levels and if O'Leary and Ellis remain next season, I'd expect far more sub 30 000 attendances as many season ticket holders are already saying they won't renew next season.
O'Leary added: 'I haven't got a clue when the situation will change. I'd have liked to have done things in the January window. But we had to send Eirik back because of the finances.'
If O'Leary truly believes Eirik Bakke (and an injury prone Patrick Berger for that matter. Might also ask about Djemba-Djemba and Mathieu Berson whilst we are at it?) were going to be the answer for Aston Villa, then he truly has lost the plot, as well as the fans and the dressing room, and the press and with luck the board.
We don't need O'Leary at Villa, we don't need the fans put on any more than they already have been, I bet most fans would vote for Sid Cowan's or Kevin McDonald over O'Leary.
We have tweedle dee (Ellis) and tweedle dum (O'Leary). Between them Villa are once again on their knees.
You carry on criticising the customers of a business and you'll find you no longer have a business.
If you don't like it at Villa - sling your hook.
Date:Monday March 20 2006
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