Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday April 2 2006
Yesterday at the Arsenal game put me in a dilemma. Most called for the heads of the worst manager the club has ever seen since Billy McNeil, Mr O'Leary. Some called for the head of Mr Ellis (the man who is still living in 1960). My head was exploding as I believe both have to go. So I sang for both to go.
The board is the biggest problem at the club. Until a new board come in with new investment and a new and pro-active plan to sell and promote the club, Aston Villa will always be a nearly club. Although the end is now in sight and hopefully in the summer this will happen. David O'Leary has said - there is stuff going on behind the scenes/something big is going to happen in the summer - which does sound promising.
However, I think O'Leary thinks when this new investment comes he should be the manager who benefits from it. This should never happen. For Villa to be successful again it needs a complete overhaul and both BOARD and MANAGER have to go.
First of all, David O'Leary only received the job because Mr Ellis did not want to pay compensation to another club for a new manager. O'Leary was cheap and easily available. Ellis said the club would look for the best man for the job, taking time to appoint the right man. He chose the cheapest man after less than a month. He was never the right man for the job.
A new board have to come in, relieve O'Leary of the manager position and take time to choose the right man for the club that can lead us into a new era.
Secondly, O'Leary's statistics show that he is failing the club. The premiership stats are: Played 108. Won 35. Drew 33. Lost 40. For 127. Against 142. He has failed.
Thirdly, he has played players out of position (for example Bouma is a international centre back who played in a PSV team that made the Champions League semi final last year) and has left other players out in the cold, many of which have went on and proved their worth elsewhere (Crouch and Berson for example). I believe that we have a team that is made for a wing back formation but O'Leary is to set in his ways to try it. If the players are behind him, like they and he says, then the formation must be a problem but does he change it? No.
Fourthly, I do believe David has lost the dressing room. Why else could we have performances that are just a form of capitulation? I don't believe that his style of putting down players in public help the players and I certainly don't think that putting down the club and its supporters work.
O'Leary is one of the worst managers in the Premiership and has to go. Hopefully with a changing board in the summer too, this summer will be the re-birth of Aston Villa Football Club.
By Matthew Lingard
Date:Sunday April 2 2006
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