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Would The Fergie Approach Work?

Its well documented that Sir Alex was apparently 1 game away from the sack back in 1990 when Mark Robins stooped to score a header against Forest in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, the rest as they say is history.

It had me thinking though as to whether getting rid of David O'Leary would be the best option for us or whether you stick with it and see where it takes you. After all we have had a habit of getting rid of managers for far too long now and it has rarely paid off in my opinion.

One of our longest serving managers that I can recall was Ron Saunders and he went on to win the league in the end as well as lifting the League Cup on two occasions and producing a team that went onto win the European Cup.

Now I'm not saying that DOL will necessarily take us to these heights but is it not worth while sitting back and letting DOL see out his contract taking him to 5 years at the helm to see if he actually gets us somewhere in the end?

Yes I know that the majority of the time the football has been poor, individual mistakes have been at a premium and the home form for the last 2 years has been nothing short of abysmal but as I say we have chopped and changed managers enough over the years to know that it isn't always the answer.

I'm up for giving him one more season to put things right and if nothing improves by this time next year then its bye bye.

People have argued that he has had money to spend and therefore should have improved us beyond doubt by know but I have another slant on it that may just prove that he hasn't exactly had the rub of the green when during his time at Villa Park.

Firstly he inherited a team who had just finished 16th in the Premiership winning one game away all season and only surviving due to their home form. The football was awful, the players average and the dressing room apparently split into several camps.

To sort this lot out the board give him 4m quid to spend. He tries to get Robinson, Phillips and Emerton but the board only allow us to get McCann and Sorenson from the worst team ever to appear in the Premiership(until this season that is).

After a slow start the football improves, everybody is happy and we go on to play some of the best football seen at Villa Park since the Big Ron days. The crowds are back and the place is buzzing with us missing out on Europe due to goal difference.

What do the board do? Back him - not a chance - £4m again allowing him to bring in Laursen from AC Milan and Berson together with 2 loan players. We recoup money by selling Crouch which everyone applauded at the time.

Injuries hit us right from the start of the season and results are naturally effected along the way. More and more kids are thrown in to try and steady the ship and in fairness Europe was still a possibility right up until the Spurs game was a bridge to far.

The January of that season the board showed their true colours again by failing to land long time target James Beattie leaving us with DJ-DJ to contend with because another defensive midfielder is just what we needed!

This summer a major overhaul of players was needed due to the small numbers. In order to improve both numbers and quality in my opinion 25m was needed but only £10m was spent on bringing in 8 players after recouping further money from the sale of Nobby and Vassell.

£10m on 8 players suggests that the quality of such players was going to be average at best and sure enough that has been reflected in the level of performance we have got out of these players coupled with the average players we already had on board. Injuries haven't helped again with everyone of the new signings having had a spell on the sidelines keeping them out of action for lengthy spells. Even more kids have been thrown in to help us out with 5 of the 11 against Everton being under 21 last week - is it fair to expect them to perform in the premiership at a high standard and get results - I don't think so.

All of this surely needs to be taken into consideration when you evaluate the managers time at the club. Had he had all his players available for longer and been backed by the board at the right times then I think we would have been in a much better position points wise and we wouldn't be moaning as much as we are now.

Its worth thinking about when calling for his head.

Would anyone else have done any better in such circumstances?

By WH Taylor

Our latest poll backs up this article to ask for a more balanced reflection!






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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday March 29 2006

Time: 3:02PM

Your Comments

Certainly a very balanced view. We do get rid of the managers too often, but I'm not sure that DOL is the right manager. I'd rather a new group came in and would stand by their decision. I do think that it might be too late for DOL to turn the fans opinion now though, especially after this season. Surely most Villa fans know we aren't a world beating side, but Doncaster?
The Fear
Certainly a very balanced view. We do get rid of the managers too often, but I'm not sure that DOL is the right manager. I'd rather a new group came in and would stand by their decision. I do think that it might be too late for DOL to turn the fans opinion now though, especially after this season. Surely most Villa fans know we aren't a world beating side, but Doncaster?
The Fear
I'd love to see a 'Villa man' given a good decade in charge. But every day that DOL remains grates me up the wrong way now, so no he shouldnt be given another week, let alone another 7 years!
DeanoVilla
I'd love to see a 'Villa man' given a good decade in charge. But every day that DOL remains grates me up the wrong way now, so no he shouldnt be given another week, let alone another 7 years!
DeanoVilla
What about if he is chosen by the new owners (cough cough) would you be able to tolerate him and see what he can do with some money, or is it too late for you? I'd go back to the year dot and back the new board therefore the manager, although I would prefer martin o'neil!!!!
The Fear
What about if he is chosen by the new owners (cough cough) would you be able to tolerate him and see what he can do with some money, or is it too late for you? I'd go back to the year dot and back the new board therefore the manager, although I would prefer martin o'neil!!!!
The Fear
It is a good article by Mr. Taylor, but it does exclude certain issues: (1) that DOL has spent (I think) £22m net since he came, and I feel that losing Crouch for only £2m was bad business; (2) that Villa's current style of play seems to a suit a Crouch-like player, so why sell him? Enlarging on that, the manner of play is currently boring the socks off everybody, and has been for some time - perhaps 18 months. It's not the quality of play I would expect from a team managed by someone worth £1m p.a. And what about the performances in the cup competitions aginst lower league opposition? And of course there's (3) the PR factor - does it exist? In short, even though the spend in the summer was not greatly remarkable, with the rise of good youngsters through the ranks, I would still have expected Villa to be in the top-half. Nothing else - just top-half.
the_lergy
It is a good article by Mr. Taylor, but it does exclude certain issues: (1) that DOL has spent (I think) £22m net since he came, and I feel that losing Crouch for only £2m was bad business; (2) that Villa's current style of play seems to a suit a Crouch-like player, so why sell him? Enlarging on that, the manner of play is currently boring the socks off everybody, and has been for some time - perhaps 18 months. It's not the quality of play I would expect from a team managed by someone worth £1m p.a. And what about the performances in the cup competitions aginst lower league opposition? And of course there's (3) the PR factor - does it exist? In short, even though the spend in the summer was not greatly remarkable, with the rise of good youngsters through the ranks, I would still have expected Villa to be in the top-half. Nothing else - just top-half.
the_lergy
Totaly agree with "the lergy" but to be honest, yes I would like huge investment but it has been shown time after time that to be a good premiership side does not require this (ok more investment than at Sunderland, I'll agree to that). O'Leary has a team littered with internationals plus junior internationals and former internationals. So called fans contiually question the quality of Villa players due to poor performances but we have all seen them play excelently on occasions, thus they have the potential but lack the development, inspiration and leadership to perform at that high standard on a regular basis, these elements should come from the management team. O'Leary has shown that he can buy success but with the budget he had at Leads, who couldn't? He has also shown that, regardless of his footballing and coaching abilities (which are in question - he was a great player but José Murinio was not and I think we all agree that he's a far superior manager than O'Leary), he is not a communicator and can be difficult to get along with. If he really does know football and can coach, keep him on as a coach but being manager requires other attributes. I say that we should get a proven manager that is still hungry, perhaps someone from the lower leagues, if his coaching is not up to premiership standars, employ assistants who can do that and help him come up to standard. Being the manager of a football team is about pinking the right players, forming them into a team, being tactically aware and being able to motivate the players, O'Leary has not shown me that he can do any of this. Yes he has to be able to coach too but that is only one part of the job and well coached players, practicing what the manager has instructed, will always perform for a manager in whom they beleive, is tactically aware and can motivate. My personal choice to replace O'Leary, with or without new ownwers, is Tom Nordlie of IK Start in Norway. Just look at Start's recent history to see the miracles he has performed on what is peanuts in the premiership, and in addition they play exciting and attractive football. Of course the argument is that the Norwegian League is not the same standard as the premiership, but I can assure you that at leat the top half of the Norwegian league is as good as (if not better than) the Championship. If you want proof of this you should just look at Rosenborg's record in european competition, they never win anything but they manage to qualify just about every year, and Norwegian teams do not get automatic qualification like clubs from bigger countrys. That's my two-penneth worth anyway!!!!
Villain Of The North
Totaly agree with "the lergy" but to be honest, yes I would like huge investment but it has been shown time after time that to be a good premiership side does not require this (ok more investment than at Sunderland, I'll agree to that). O'Leary has a team littered with internationals plus junior internationals and former internationals. So called fans contiually question the quality of Villa players due to poor performances but we have all seen them play excelently on occasions, thus they have the potential but lack the development, inspiration and leadership to perform at that high standard on a regular basis, these elements should come from the management team. O'Leary has shown that he can buy success but with the budget he had at Leads, who couldn't? He has also shown that, regardless of his footballing and coaching abilities (which are in question - he was a great player but José Murinio was not and I think we all agree that he's a far superior manager than O'Leary), he is not a communicator and can be difficult to get along with. If he really does know football and can coach, keep him on as a coach but being manager requires other attributes. I say that we should get a proven manager that is still hungry, perhaps someone from the lower leagues, if his coaching is not up to premiership standars, employ assistants who can do that and help him come up to standard. Being the manager of a football team is about pinking the right players, forming them into a team, being tactically aware and being able to motivate the players, O'Leary has not shown me that he can do any of this. Yes he has to be able to coach too but that is only one part of the job and well coached players, practicing what the manager has instructed, will always perform for a manager in whom they beleive, is tactically aware and can motivate. My personal choice to replace O'Leary, with or without new ownwers, is Tom Nordlie of IK Start in Norway. Just look at Start's recent history to see the miracles he has performed on what is peanuts in the premiership, and in addition they play exciting and attractive football. Of course the argument is that the Norwegian League is not the same standard as the premiership, but I can assure you that at leat the top half of the Norwegian league is as good as (if not better than) the Championship. If you want proof of this you should just look at Rosenborg's record in european competition, they never win anything but they manage to qualify just about every year, and Norwegian teams do not get automatic qualification like clubs from bigger countrys. That's my two-penneth worth anyway!!!!
Villain Of The North
I'm torn on this one! I think one option is missing in the poll - "give DOL another year if Ellis goes in the summer". I don't think DOL can do anything under Doug - he's finally been ground down. But maybe (and it is a big maybe) with new owners things would be different. I don't think it's too late for DOL to turn the fans' opinion - a good run to the end of the season, and a good start to the new one would certainly see many things forgotton! But saying that, DOL still doesn't convince me, and it remains to be seen when the club will finally be sold and what that will mean. But apart from O'Neil who is there that could do better and would be willing to come?
Beovilla
I'm torn on this one! I think one option is missing in the poll - "give DOL another year if Ellis goes in the summer". I don't think DOL can do anything under Doug - he's finally been ground down. But maybe (and it is a big maybe) with new owners things would be different. I don't think it's too late for DOL to turn the fans' opinion - a good run to the end of the season, and a good start to the new one would certainly see many things forgotton! But saying that, DOL still doesn't convince me, and it remains to be seen when the club will finally be sold and what that will mean. But apart from O'Neil who is there that could do better and would be willing to come?
Beovilla
Its certainly a difficult one, with plenty of pros and cons. Personally I'd like to give DOL one more season, hopefully under new owners. I accept that I'm very much in the minority though.
glensider
Its certainly a difficult one, with plenty of pros and cons. Personally I'd like to give DOL one more season, hopefully under new owners. I accept that I'm very much in the minority though.
glensider
I think that all Villans agree with the fundamental point of the article. Changing managers every time Doug feels the heat is damaging the club. I think we all agree that the right man should be given as long as is necessary to revive the club. The debate is mainly about whether DOL is the right man or not. Personally I feel that he probably isn't. However, he's not the main problem at our club and we all know it. Until Doug is removed there is no point in changing manager. It's just re-arranging the furniture and pretending it's a new house. The other considerable problem that is usually ignored by irate fans is that if DOL gets the sharp end of Doug's boney elbow then who would actually take the job? I've heard Martin O' Neill's name bandied around but there is more chance of getting a ford escort into a thimble than of O' Neill accepting this poison challace. The best we could hope for would be an up-and-coming manager from Division 1 (sorry, the championship). Even then he'd need to ship out the Djembas and that lot and bring in his own players (which he won't have enough money to buy) and we'd be back to the same situation of proping up the first team with kids and struggling to get results.
ooahPaulMcGrath
I think that all Villans agree with the fundamental point of the article. Changing managers every time Doug feels the heat is damaging the club. I think we all agree that the right man should be given as long as is necessary to revive the club. The debate is mainly about whether DOL is the right man or not. Personally I feel that he probably isn't. However, he's not the main problem at our club and we all know it. Until Doug is removed there is no point in changing manager. It's just re-arranging the furniture and pretending it's a new house. The other considerable problem that is usually ignored by irate fans is that if DOL gets the sharp end of Doug's boney elbow then who would actually take the job? I've heard Martin O' Neill's name bandied around but there is more chance of getting a ford escort into a thimble than of O' Neill accepting this poison challace. The best we could hope for would be an up-and-coming manager from Division 1 (sorry, the championship). Even then he'd need to ship out the Djembas and that lot and bring in his own players (which he won't have enough money to buy) and we'd be back to the same situation of proping up the first team with kids and struggling to get results.
ooahPaulMcGrath
 

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