Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday April 9 2009
Phew....! Must admit when I first saw an article on Setanta I thought Martin O'Neill had gone off on one and had another go at the fans, however it seems not, apart from him asking for more patience, which is fair enough!
Maybe all 'sides' need to take a step back and just relax a bit, enjoy the end of the season, the challenge is still there, 4th is still possible albeit tough and there is still 5th place to play for.
Looks like the press might try to spin this as the Villa having another go at us but from the quotes I've read in the Mirror, I don't think that is really the case.
It is never a good thing to see the boss have a go at fans, especially loyal and long suffering fans like the claret and blue army. Fans do pay a lot of money and have a right to have the odd whine don't they? This shouldn't deflect from what the manager is doing and there really should be little to no reason for the manager to react. Just look where having a go at fans got David O'Leary. Whatever is 'he' doing now!? But when there isn't a major issue, it seems a shame when the press want to make one.
Speaking in an article in the Daily Mirror he says that the club was 'unbearable' under Doug and remembers it wasn't that long ago fans were 'putting up all sorts of signs (against the regime). I’m not saying everything is absolutely right but we’re trying to improve the team.'
Again in the The Mirror he adds whilst talking to the 300 at the Moscow 'apology' meal:
'We want to bring the club round to its former glory. It might not be fast enough for you but I’m hoping to try. And if I don’t improve it in a certain time, the chairman might hire me but the crowd fire me.'
I do quite like that sentence, he obviously is very aware who ultimately judges a manager although I do think in this case Randy is likely to be a chairman much in the Steve Gibson (Middlesbrough owner/chairman) mold where he backs the manager and gives them plenty of time. Then again, if a crowd turn, that is usually that for managers. I can't see the fans or chairman turning yet though, MON surely - despite some criticism mostly centering around the Moscow situation - has time? I've not seen anyone in our forum suggest he needs to be sacked, that is for sure.
MON spoke at length at the meal and mentioned our former Chairman Doug Ellis who to be fair some (very few though?) are starting to imply wasn't that bad! MON is yet another manager who shows that he was THAT bad (and those behind the scenes know he was THAT bad AND MORE!)
'I remember seeing Mr Ellis on the Monday after that Arsenal game. He asked me to explain why Martin Laursen came off the bench in the last couple of minutes. I was taken aback because no chairman has ever asked me to explain a decision, as they know they would get short shrift. I was taken aback but knowing he wouldn’t be there much longer, I was very gracious. I said I would never explain as long as he never ever asked me again.'
Just shows, even though it was Doug that brought MON in, there was no way he was coming without knowing the end was in sight and if a takeover hadn't happened, I'm not convinced MON would have lasted long before walking in indignation!
As far as I can see fans are fans, some think he's doing an ace (love that word!) job, others a mixed job and many are just enjoying the ride hoping at some point for things to click in the transfer windows and for us to be able to really cement a top 4 place. There are always worries - and when you've been up and down as much as Villa fans that is bound to be amplified by so much promise this season seemingly just ebbing away isn't it? But I think the club is pushing forward, we've certainly never had it so good off the pitch and the infrastructure has been built to a fantastic level now, just look at Bodymoor Heath training facilities, they match the very best in the world.
Things are positive, whether MON proves to be the messiah only time will tell, I'd say at the end of NEXT season we'll truly know if he is the man and I would imagine - as he seems to be his harshest critic - that he will also know.
Time is never what we want to hear, we all get caught up in the passion and the here and now.. lets hope in a few years time we are all where we want to be...!
Date:Thursday April 9 2009
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