Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday March 21 2006
Very little 'normal' news about. The main articles appear to be focusing on David O'Leary and a) his inability to get the results expected b) the constant moaning at the Villa fans.
Seems his time might be up in the not too distant future with reports in the Times suggesting he has until Easter to steady the ship or Deadly will wield his axe for what we would all hope would be one last time. With a game against Fulham, who found enough form and fight to beat Chelsea at the weekend, Arsenal away, two local derbies and then a trip to Wigan Athletic, he may well have his work cut out, especially as recent performances suggest - as do others - that the manager has lost the dressing room. Full Times article, Click Here
I've done an article on O'Leary yesterday, when I say article, I mean rant, so if you are interested it is here, there is no use going over ground in this issue of The Villa Times: Click Here
There is also a summary of the recent polls on O'Leary: Click Here including the latest one that has him voted as our worst manager with 32% of the votes. Graham Taylor (for the second spell as manager only, not for his heroics all those years back) came second with 30%. Billy McNeill was left trailing in their wake with 20%. Doctor Joe got 13%, Graham Turner got off very lightly with just 4% although to be fair, he was always going to be out of his depth and a great many fans have 'erased' those times from memory! Vic Crowe got just 1%.
O'Leary has been made favourite to be the next Premiership manager to face the axe. They were slashed from from 11/4 to 2/1
Gavin McCann has said he can understand why the fans are hurting at the moment and says the players are as well. In an honest assessment the player admits that the performances haven't been good enough. Full article: Click Here
O'Leary says that Milner has indicated that he wants to stay at Villa. The comments, that look to me like they should have stayed private, include 'wants to stay with me here. That is definite. He wants to sign here without a doubt. He has given me those indications. That is good news for us and he has done a great job for Aston Villa this season and will only get better and better.' So how does James Milner now go back to Newcastle and appease the fans if we don't buy him?
David O'Leary has admitted the season has been 'indifferent'. No David, it has been an insult to the Claret and Blue. 'I am disappointed with the season and you want to do more. There are certain reasons for it but we have under-performed. We are disappointed. We had finished in the top half of the Premiership for the previous two seasons and I was hoping to establish us in that half of the table again. I didn't want to be in the bottom half all season. We have been blighted by injuries but the season has been indifferent.'
Gabriel Agbonlahor told the Birmingham Mail after his goal: 'It was nice to score, but it's the result that makes the headlines not me scoring. When the gaffer told me I was playing, I thought: 'This is the chance I've been waiting for - grab it'. Hopefully there'll be many more chances to come. It was great to play and score, but I'm just disappointed about the result.'
Villa will give James Milner until Thursday before assessing whether he is over the virus that has kept him out of the last two games. He hopes to be fit to face Fulham.
Liam Ridgewell is looking to cement a place in the team on merit rather than because other defenders are injured. He seems to be getting some flak on the message boards etc at the moment, what people forget is that he is still young and learning his trade. He has been thrown in at the deep end and is learning by his mistakes in the full glare of the public. He'll do it!
Tickets for our derby double against West Broom (April 9) and Birmingham City (April 16) are now on General Sale to customers with a booking history.
Thought for the day: The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
Date:Tuesday March 21 2006
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