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Does Randy Lerner Feel The Same Way?

4.100) Hi General,

This isn't really a question, more of a view from me on what is going on at the moment, and granted I know very little about Randy Lerner and I'm now going to assume a few things.

Lerner came to the club and technically he inherited Martin O'Neill. Over the two years that following O'Neill (with Lerner's full backing) managed to take the side from 16th to 6th. Along the way, O'Neill has made some decent signings, Ashley Young being the obvious one, many on here complained the price was too high, in hindsight he has been exceptional value for money. And last season after being starved of European football, we finally qualified for the UEFA Cup again.

O`Neill did spend money in the summer, with some big money buys - Luke Young, Carlos Cuellar and James Milner, and a couple of players to bolster the squad - Shorey and Sidwell, plus 2 goalkeepers called Brad. Expectation was understandably high amongst Villa fans, and I would have thought Mr Lerner and his board also.

The season started well, the club launched a website promoting our return to the European stage, special collectors editions of the Match Programme were made for the Home legs (I have all 3!) and in the last game, a free flag was given to every supporter at the game, as a memento and dare I say it, it was a night to remember. O`Neill followed it up by making (in my eyes) the wrong call regarding 'resting` players for the big game, the resting argument falling on its face somewhat as L.Young, Knight and Davies all travelled. And as many on here predicted the side were out of the competition.

Now for me, Mr Lerner has plowed a lot into promoting this season`s UEFA Cup to Villa fans, and O`Neill took a gamble, probably getting some tentative backing from the board in the process.

We then throw away a 2-0 lead over Stoke, and after a below par performance from a usually reliable Brad Friedel, we concede 2 goals against Spurs. Meanwhile O`Neill refuses to start John Carew, a player that it was well publicised broke club rules. Yet despite being the clubs most prolific goalscorer constantly finds him low in the pecking order behind an out of form Gabby Agbonlahor.

So here comes the assumption from me, probably wrong, but I would consider Randy Lerner to be an ambitious and highly intelligent individual.

I assume Lerner has doubts, he has seen O`Neill practically throw in the towel in the UEFA Cup by putting out a ridiculously weakened side for a game against a side that are ultimately going to be playing Champions League football next season (to concentrate on the league), he then follows it up by attaining one point from the next three games. We fans are constantly assured, from your goodself in part, that money is available. O`Neill appears to have refused to strengthen the squad in January and get in the players to push on in the league (barring Heskey). O`Neill obviously has personal issues with Carew and in my opinion O`Neill needs to get over it, because he is costing us points, and WE, ASTON VILLA are far more important than O`Neill`s feelings towards our best goalscorer.

Lerner will be seeing all these things, the 6 players out of position yesterday, the lack of confidence being shown to our best striker from the management, the prioritising of the league (that has proven to be pointless) and O`Neill`s decision not to utilise Lerner`s funds (that we are assured are there) to strengthen the side further in January. Plus the ongoing lack of depth in our squad (3 years O`Neill has had to address this).

No doubt O`Neill has laid the foundations, but I assume that Lerner would have had high expectations for this season. And if O`Neill doesn`t deliver (there is still time for us to turn it around mind), I suspect that he may well be shown the door. American businessmen are notoriously ruthless, and I suspect Lerner is the same. 5th would probably be acceptable, but 6th is standing still and I doubt that Lerner is one for standing still, I would like to think he is one for moving forward.

Just me assuming General, and I have no doubt that if you do reply to me it will be to shoot me down, I do not expect you to agree with me, but I would like to think Lerner will do what is best for the club, and I have full faith in him which is more than can be said for Martin.

Thanks General.

YJ




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The Journalist

Writer: young_jonah Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 16 2009

Time: 9:56AM

Your Comments

He gave us flags, what more do you want?
Nimmo
Aquaducts would have been nice too Nimmo.
jonah
The MON is the Messiah battalion (it used to be a brigade but is shrinking rapidly) are going to love this.
jonah
I am starting to question whether he is indeed the Messiah. DOL also finished 6th, and being 4th in March is lovely, but will we remember that if we finish 6th in May? Well we will but it will count for f*** all, wont it?
young_jonah
Well written piece YJ, good points well presented, there will be interesting replies Im sure , far better to have reasoned debate like this than abuse.
Trekker
Yes Trekker, plus I think the Title of this article is somewhat misleading as I am sure not everyone shares my view, so its a does Lerner feel the same as YJ not ALL fans, because my opinion is just one amongst many.
young_jonah
I honestly can't belive wht I just read - absolute buffoon
AVNath
AVnath, lets see what the American Businessman does shall we. Besides if we finish 5th, it may be ok. But 6th would be shocking especially after we didnt take the CSKA game seriously
young_jonah
So are you seriously saying we should get rid of MON?? Have you never seen us lose a couple of games before. Just because we finish 6th one year doesn't mean we have a devine right to finish 4th!! Yes D'OL got us 6th, but the following season we nearly went down, even if we did finish 6th this season would still be progress to me as we are alot closer to the top 4 than ever before. We are moving in the right direction and the attitude of some fans worries me, lets bring in another boss and then he will make us finsih 6th - IT DOESN'T HAPPEN!!! It also amuses me the fact that people seem to think that had we sent our 1st team to Moscow not only we would we have definitely won, we would have won the whole competition - again we have no devine right for such a thing, two years go we were a nothing side, you can't expect overnight to just beat all comers and get everything your own way!!
AVNath
I think if there is an absolute buffon around here it isn't YJ. Rather it is the poster who resorts to abuse because someone has posted an opinion they don't agree with.
jonah
Most of these points have been addressed to death in the past, and responses we've heard a million times over. Have to say, I disagree wholeheartedly. A few bad results on the back of a season of general greatness is awesome. The seasons not over yet and we'll see where we are at the end of it. Every other person in the PL and associated with it thinks MON is great, we were and still are very lucky to have him. Who would you bring in YJ? It's been a few seasons! Look how long it took Fergie to build the squad he wants, same with Wenger, fans were questioning Fergie several years ago, look how stupid they look now. I've always liked you as a poster YJ, however I think this post, despite being your opinion is just idiotic.
Cubos
Thanks Cubos for restoring my faith some fans are still on the same planet as me!! I agree MON has made a few mistakes recently, but if you look at where he has taken the club from where it was, it has been fantastic and he said himself we never may get 4th but we will keep trying and I personally am having a great deal of fun on the way these past two seasons!!
AVNath
I'm sure Randy defers to MON on footballing matters, that's what he pays him for. Thus far in his reign MON has showed significant progress and over-delivered. I imagine Randy must be very pleased with how well things have gone thus far a won't be too bothered about the rantings of a few fickle plans. He's a clever man who will look to the bigger picture.
RoyalVilla
Randy and MON have a 5 year plan if you remember, To be realistic, we have been boxing above our weight this season but its still looking good. KEEP THE FAITH !!
fireblade1
Hey guys, I am meerly stating that I think Lerner could be questioning some of MON's decisions. I am not saying he is, it is just my opinion. As some have said above, sorry if it differs from yours. But being called 'idiotic' simply because I have SOME doubts, is abit uncalled for. I am a Villa fan like you, and I don't disrespect your views, so please if possible refrain from disrespecting mine. Its an opinion, we ALL have one. No two are identical.
young_jonah
fireblade1, please remind me of what the 5 year plan entails?
young_jonah
what was the back 4 that finished the game yesterday .....?
B6_COMPANY
B6_COMPANY, i am not sure even O'Neill and his team know mate.
young_jonah
Randy is chuffed and the Messiah's reigns supreem. Not too long ago we were talking about how it's going to be dificult for us when Man U or Arsenal come in to take our Marty away. Now we're talking about kicking him out ourselves? Shocked
PTP
No one said kick him out [i think] he will sort it out gabby should not have started the game simples ...
B6_COMPANY
No-one is saying kick him out, just implying that Lerner may be asking questions. I think its the Carew thing that narks me the most he keeps banging them in, but i doubt he will start V Liverpool. MON needs to get over that rocket club thing. The team need goals and Carew is currently the only forward capable
young_jonah
Gabby should have been brought down to earth weeks ago. Too much pressure on one young lad. He should have known that there were others who could score or do his job instead of him. MON is too stubborn and has too many teachers pets who are playing above their level and are running out of steam.
Villan444
i wouldnt call for his head, but what we have learned about oneill over the past month is that he is only human, he isnt bullett proof or infallable, he has and will make mistakes along the way. his tactics and decisions over the past weeks have been poor. along with heskey and gabby. as for booing agbonlahor yesterday, that was shocking.
Stig
I think we've been a bit unlucky, I don't see the problem with MON's subs, there's a problem with our numbers though no doubt and obviously people are going to point the finger at MON when we have to move players about. Martins a big boy and I'm sure he can take the blame but I don't understand why it's so dificult to see that he is trying to do what's best for the future of this football club. You're raising questions now about the size of our squad, but you would be losing your mind if he'd brought in 4 or 5 more Marlon Harewood type signings. Without Champs league, or the stupidity of West Ham/Spurs wages wise that's all we'll get for now. Champions league is the balls, for fans, a clubs name and their attraction acros the world, for tv money, for sucess. We gambled on getting the biggest prize possible for 16 of the Premier leagues teams this season and we're still close to getting it. I sit proudly on the MON the Messiah bandwagon and I'm not coming off for at least 4 more years.
PTP
4 years PTP? MON never stays longer than 5. 3 down...........
young_jonah
Good points Young Jonah but this is resorting back to the old days - the chairman gets rid of the manager because we "failed". Expectations have risen so high. If we finish 5th - that is progression. Yeah I know - next year Man City will overtake us cos they have all that oil money - who says they will? their away form is atrocious - they will buy big but buying big does not mean success - you have to have the right coach for that. Everton might overatke us but Moyes has had longer and he is a great manager, Spurs may overtake us - but I have no crystal ball - I cannot see into the future. For all we know we may improve next year - but lets get rid of MON and some of the deadwood - gabby perhaps, Marlon, Carew, Heskey. We have come so far so quickly that we all - sorry - not all - dare I say most fans expect 4th and regard a 5th place finish as failure. MON has made mistakes - everyone does - he gambled - and failed.At least it's been great to have oppostion fans who have a reasoned opninion giving us plaudits even if we fail. I will be disappointed but not downhearted. I can see the acorns being planted and a mighty oak growing. Let's see we may still finish 4th whose to say - if we draw against Liverpool (we nearly beat them last season) and perhaps gainst Man U then our run in might just make it for us. Not sayingit will but it might.
nazvfc
You never know, it's different these days and he could give us more time. He might feel he's close and that a little bit more time might see him involved in a premiership title battle. The number 4 wasn't so important anyway I'm just trying to say I believe he knows what he's doing and I'm all for him having however long it takes.
PTP
I agree with nazvfc, this is resorting back to the old days...come on mate stand by your manager...you say MON never stays longer than 5 years, well what managers do??? It's only a very select group, all of which have had success. To me this seems nothing more than a short term reaction...it isn't just about the last few games after all. Every team goes through a bad run, and I find it depressing to hear the fans in the ground react like they did over the last few games considering how quickly their opinions have changed now things aren't going to plan. You have your views on how it should be done...but what are they worth? They are fantasy..instead of discussing (in hindsight I might add) what you would have done, maybe you should think about the future? Because at the end of the day, it's easy to criticise when YOU don't have to make these decisions, and when the performance of YOUR team doesn't depend on them. I can understand why you are critical of people who refuse to accept your opinion, but for me it doesn't come down to opinion and who is right or wrong, because it's the attitude that counts...and right now your attitude doesn't suggest you are getting behind the team constructively, which I think is why you have rattled some cages.
Villa4Europe
You're a bit to close to the truth for some YJ, I wonder sometimes if the messiah brigade actually go and watch the dross we have had to see at Villa park this season or they just read the press hype regarding our league position and assume we must be playing well ? 5 home wins is the same as Albion and they are bottom !
Villan57
To me it's a simple matter really. We had success playing 451/443 and then we bought Heskey. Don't get me wrong, Heskey wasn't a bad signing as a squad player. However, MON decided to changed the system that actually worked in order to accommodate, dare I it, an old pal! It's the classic case of, if it's not broke then don't fix it. What's the odds of MON reverting back to 451/443 for the Liverpool and Man U? I think he will, which is too little too late. For me, it's about playing to your stengths. An extra player in Midfield means more cover for the defence and more freedom for wide attack minded players. Heskey scored one goal and became an instant hero for some, but when we played Portsmouth, we were lucky to win. I could see the signs then, which were evident against Everton and so on... In conclusion, MON needs to cut the cloth accordingly and play he right system to suit the players he has at his disposal. Not to mention playing players in the proper positions.
Nigel-not-Reo
Strengths*
Nigel-not-Reo
Good post Nigel-not Reo. I agree and have been saying much the same myself recently.
jonah
Villa4Europe, please check the forums, i have had my doubts about O'Neill all season, it didnt happen on the back of Moscow or Stoke. I go to every home game and as many away games as I can. And I can count on one hand how many times Villa have actually played well mate. Our Wimbledon style long ball tactics are being found out.
young_jonah
Just seen on Sky that MON has NEVER won a game in March in charge of Villa. Maybe thats why he took them to Dubai and maybe he needs to give them more time off or more time training. Most likely is that he needs a bigger squad but thats obvious. Agree with Nigel-not-Reo entirely too. Why does Heskey deserve a starting place when we were winning without him. Even if Carew was injured we still didn't need him and he should only be a plan B. Heskey has upset a dressing room where everyone knew their place until the Head Prefect turned up and jumped to the front of the dinner queue.
Villan444
Im Villa Till i die... That does not involve booing or jeering my own players and manager. I dont follow blindly but i am a realist. Villa are having a season better than anyone expected. If we can finish in the top 6 again, we are making progress!
Hitman
This is crazy, 3 years ago what would we have all given to be in the position we are now?!! We're still joint 4th! Like Cubos said, it takes years to build a club to break to monotony, sorry monopoly of the 'big four'. Granted O'Neil's made a few mistakes but overall his record at Villa so far is fantastic. For the 'fans' moaning on here and who want us to buy instant success, go and support Chelsea!
MrZeus
Fickle as *****. We're all frustrated about dropping points but Mon knows what he's doin. He'll address the squad issue in the summer and Randy will back him, for the good of our club.
medzy
interesting replies to the above post i must admit, but we are a work in progress think back 3 years what would we rather have , i know what i would choose also martin has stuck to his same formation all through his career think of the leicester and celtic teams then look at ours ,as i mnow live north of the border , fans are still divided about how good he was up here , but i do know one thing , in my opinion we are getting better yes we have slipped up lately but wasnt this likely to happen due to our early kick off to our season due to our need for european experience, i think that 2 or 3 years down the line we shall see the benefit of martins decisions , none of us have a crystal ball to see the future or the errors of team selection or signings since january , martin will never spend 20 million plus on players to take us to champ league it is simply not his style , he will do it his own way , and all through his career he has more right than wrong so please all you villa fans lets get behind them and see where it takes us , and before the abuse of maybe mine or young jonah posts continue think back to the last regime and look at the differance !!!! up the villa
highland villa
I don't agree with this article at all and I am glad that MON (probably) doesn't read articles like these. I just hope to god that MON and Gabby realise that the booing was from a minority, and that the majority of Villa fans appreciate what we have. If they don't feel appreciated they will leave and we will be much worse off for it. For the record I think Heskey is rubbish and has had a real negative impact on the way we play. No goal threat, doesn't run or contribute, and is nowhere near as good as Carew. I worry that MON is cutting off his nose to spite his face. However MON is a legend and I hope he stays at the club for many years to come!
el_rooneyo
We have been punching above our weight for 18months, now a blip in form has seen many "fans" doubt our direction. We are undoubtably improved on when MON arrived and I think consolidating a top 6 place for a second season is genuine progress. Everyone should put things into perspective.
keithlees1978
I'm 100% behind Martin O'Neill. Nuff'said.
PiperUK
some seeds of doubt being sown?
merlin
For those who dont believe in MON then you just dont share the passion the guy has for the club and for the game. MON is human and entitled to a bad day at the office as we are as fans by either moaning or booing. I think most posts to this article are just a reaction to IMO an untimely post on the back off some poor results and displays. A poor run doesn't make us a poor team! We are in the fight for a top 4 and not a bottom 4! Villa til I die. Thankyou MON for doing what you have so far but lets kick on now and finish on a high please.
holte ender 1969
i think what seems to be most confusing about mon is that when some players are off form ie davies,knight,carew,he drops them to the bench,then there are the untouchables gabby,ashley,petrov that no matter how badly their form suffers no matter how many mistakes they make they will start next week,they will play 90 mins there places are always guaranteed,there is no competition for there places and there is no consiquence for failure...can i just add that no-one booed gabby we cheered ironicly the fact that mr o'neil took off one of the untouchables.. i'm a big fan of mon he is a great manager he has his faults we all do,but what we are debating on here is why do we need to play certain players even if it means them playing out of position is it to keep them happy?or is our squad so very poor after the first 15 players? lets hope we go back to 4 5 1 next week friedel,shorey,young,knight,davies,young,barry,petrov,reo,milner,carew,that has to be our best starting 11 surely?????
avflell
i think young jonah is fine with what he has said. he has not said lets get rid of MON! he merely has put forward some comments for debate, and worthy ones as well. the uefa decision was very average. the players out of position is amateur league stuff and not helping us. MON does seem to hold a grudge against players that don't conform strictly to club rules. the use of long balls. these are facts fellow villans. villan444 hits a nail on the head i reckon regarding heskey - we were winning without him and now we are not. the formation changed to suit him and it messed things up.
leftfoot
some people have short memories. have we all of a sudden started playing bad football?! and MON is all of a sudden a bad manager?! we are a victim of our own success, we are halfway through a 5 year plan and ahead of schedule. if we end up 6th and strengthen again in the summer then that is success for us for now, if we end up 4th and CL, next season will be a disaster because we are not yet ready for it. We need to be patient, build slow and sure and our time will come.
johnmurphy3112
Great post which certainly stirred the emotions around the site.
col8
An interesting article and point of view from YJ. Personally I am still a believer but it is clear that MON has made some mistakes. 'Throwing' the UEFA clearly backfired when we failed with the next 3 games. However, I still believe MON is the right man for the job and can't think of anyone else who I'd prefer to be in charge at this stage. Someone willing to take those sorts of risks in order to potentially reach the ultimate prize has got to be a good thing surely? In response to the question of whether Randy is questioning MON's decisions; the BBC Sport Monday gossip colum reports that the News of the World is saying: "Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is in line for a 1m-a-year pay rise. Villa owner Randy Lerner is determined to tie O'Neill down on a three-year deal." (if true and thats a big 'if'!) that's a clear indication that MON has Randy's full backing wouldn't you say? Finally I'd just like to say how pleased I am that we are all now expecting (rather than hoping) that we should win every week. I think that really shows how far we've come. UTV
AVFC4ME
Well written piece indeed YJ. Something had to be said about players out of position and having no strength in depth. We didnt have a single player that could come on in midfield and change a game! Were missing that in a big way.
mattyslost
So is nigel reo-coker a better left back than nicky shorey is luke young a better center back than davis and millner a better right back than L young ? but i am 100% behind the club mon and lerner just wondering ? (i am really not ironically i am)
B6_COMPANY
leftfoot, thankyou. some just come on here and call me an idiot, but as you say I havent said lets get him out, I am just posing the question giving ALL the reasons i have stated, does Lerner have confidence, we threw away a cup, we have decided not to bring in enough players to maintain a challenge for the top4, i have been saying all this about O'Neill for months, it HAS NOT come of the back of the Moscow/Stoke thing, just most fans are catching up. Villa's long ball football has finally been found out, and we are soon to be in free fall unless we utilise the players with have and play some decent football. This summer is scary should we finish outside the top4, how many players will want out?
young_jonah
holte ender 1969, I have been a villa fan for over 50 years. How dare you tell me that because 'I don't believe in MON', I don't share his passion for the club. I was a villa fan long before he ever stepped foot in the place and will be a villa fan long after he has left it.
jonah
Unfortunately, Jonah, I don't think your "MON is the Messiah battalion" helped - all that comment does is drive wedges between Villa fans. I've supported MON all along and I still do, but I don't and never have believed he's a superhero without faults. A lot of my own posts on here have been in reaction to the lop-sided rantings of one particular "fan" whose views are well known. IMO, the whole "MON is the Messiah" thing is a result of reactions to those attacks, which started the minute he walked through the door, and are driven by who knows what history.
BobTheBuilder
Problem is Bob, if someone (in this case me) asks a question, would Lerner be unhappy with anything less than 5th, i get told to **** off and support the scum or told I am mad for wanting him out. I would only want him out if we didnt improve on last season.
young_jonah
I care about this club as much as anyone on here, if people like the manager then great!! But as I have said before I am a Villa fan, and they are what is most important to me, not some bloke with grudges against the only player currently scoring goals and on a one man mission to drive down prices in the market (which is on a hiding to nothing)
young_jonah
I think every manager makes good/bad decisions. Every team has good/bad form. Every club has good/bad luck. Sure MON has made some mistakes but he has made most decisions correctly IMO. We had a bit of luck earlier in the season and now we are experiencing a bit of bad luck. Some players had some good form and now they are out of form.... it happens to everyone and I think Lerner will see it this way and give his full support to MON and the team.
supermansfoot
YJ: I hasten to say that I wasn't suggesting that your posts were lop-sided rantings - I think most will know who I'm referring to lol! I don't have a problem with your posts, although I may disagree with many aspects of them. My only concern is that we don't undermine our own club by a lack of appreciation of what we have achieved so far. Booing players should simply not happen, full stop. As they say in the forces, you don't salute the man, you salute the uniform; any Villa player on the pitch gets my undivided support. As for our manager, I don't believe he's the Messiah, but I do believe that chopping and changing brings nothing to a football club but grief, as seen in Newcastle, North London and many other places.
BobTheBuilder
By the way, one of your complaints is that MON has a down on Carew. I don't think you can assume that. There have been many posts on this board knocking Big John and his 'lack of effort'. Many have complained that the 'wrong' JC frequently turns up and fails to put himself about as he undoubtedly can. It is your opinion that MON should play him, but many disagree with you. I happen to agree that JC adds to the team, but I don't deal with the players every day in training, and neither do you. I don't think you can build a case against MON by making such assumptions.
BobTheBuilder
But Bob, many say the same things about Gabby.
young_jonah
 

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