Villa's David O'Leary Talking Sense
Don't get me wrong, DOL has to go in the summer, he has forged a gap between the fans and himself that is to great to bridge. I wont even highlight the complete Blarney that continually emanates from his mouth, but he said something on Saturday that sums Villa up completely in my mind and made me think - long and hard. When questioned on fans calling for his head he replied: ''What's the point in sacking me?, you can sack me if you want but whoever takes over from me will be faced with the exact same problems I have been for the passed three years''...(Playing a dangerous game here, I don't think I need to state the obvious).
I remember Gregory going down this route and it cost him his job, but you have got to admit it, for once O'Leary is not that wide of the mark, or the truth. He went on to mention how he was in for players like Robinson, (Phillips - first season), Carrick, Kronkamp, Carson, Smith, Distin, Vidic, Bakke, Beattie and so on. But the stumbling block was always the same, wages and backing from the board and OBE. I wont detract from the fact that he has had money to spend, and hasn't spent it as wisely as he probably could of, but then you look at what we have brought over the past three years, and we have being shopping at the footballing equivalent of Matalan. Excuse Solano, Laursen, Bouma, Baros, even if the Laursen has been out for the season, he is a quality player and like the rest they are players all caught in the Malay that is Aston Villa Football Club.
As fans we are lazy and got tooooo fat on prawn sandwiches living the dream in the early - late 90's, and now the prawns have been changed for curry pies at half time, we don't like the taste left in our mouths week after week when walking the streets of Aston reflecting, in often complete disarray of what we have just witnessed, wondering where the blame lies. But as proud/lazy Aston Villa fans should we accept this bargain basement approach to rebuilding our club. O'Toole has done exactly what was asked of him, clear the decks and flatten the pay role and we will move forward...but we are still standing still. I even remember missing out on Robbie Keane for the sake of £250k, and Ellis pleading with Southgate to stay stating he had just bid £10m for Frank Lampard & Joe Cole, I wont even bother explaining what was wrong with that, and the reason and overall decision maker in Southgate's mind for leaving the club. (As stated in his biography).
Can you imagine how different our lives would be now with this starting 11???
Kronkamp Mellberg/Vidic Distin/Laursen Bouma
Solano Davis Smith/Carrick Barry
Need I say more?
Although he talks rubbish, and although I wonder every day where the press officer (Phil Mepham) for the club is and why no one is working with him on the PR side, it dawned on me, he is Ellis's escape goat yet again. Why would Ellis give him a 'media man' or 'press officer' to proof his interviews, or brief him on the PR side before addressing the fans? Because O'Leary is yet again the vessel in which Ellis will escape the wrath of the fans. Sir Alex Ferguson has his own personal PA who is with him whenever their are cameras or reporters near him (look out for the attractive blonde woman), she is the PA and Press officer for Fergie/Quiroz, they don't address anyone until she has briefed them on their current 'stock' in the media and with the fans. As for Ellis, he will leave O'Toole to his own devices and let him hang himself, very much as the face of the club, clearly with no support from ''Steve go-hide Stride'', and as for Ellis, you will find him where you normally would have found him over the past decade - hiding under the board room table in his incontinence pants counting his £$£$£$£$£$£$£ and fooling himself he is doing a good job, and he can still fulfil the role of a Premiership Chairman...and probably chuckling to himself at how stupid Aston Villa fans are.
As fans we should not detract from the route of all evil at our club Douglas Ellis OBE, do not be swayed by O'Leary's in inability with the media, because I promise you one thing, that is exactly what Ellis is banking on, and if your not convinced ask Atkinson, Taylor, or Gregory.
By Michael Bakewell