Writer: Mike Field
Date:Thursday June 25 2009
Former owner Doug Ellis believes there are plenty of reasons for fans to be optimistic about next season, despite the loss of Barry and Laursen.
Speaking to the Birmingham Mail Good Ol' Deadly (as he affectionately became known after the smile, giggle and handshake to that Russian fella) believes supporters should be optimistic about the forthcoming season, maintaining that he sold the club to the right man.
Being fair, nothing suggests otherwise currently, and three years on I'm not sure Randy has put a foot wrong in my opinion.
Anyway, Deadly is obviously still keeping one finger on the pulse of the club, and as ever, paying close attention to our youth teams as he explains that we are a very stable club now, with excellent staff and some very exciting prospects coming through the ranks like the 'younger' Gardner.
'There are grounds for optimism. I certainly don`t think anyone should be negative about the future of Aston Villa.'
He points out the obvious need to replace Martin Laursen and Gareth Barry and then looking further into the future, Ellis' eye for a youth player hasn't left him as he says he thinks Gary Gardner might end up a better player than his brother Craig who is currently on England U21 duty in the Euro Championships and has recently had a hands off warning put out to clubs circling!
Doug also adds that Martin O'Neill has proved if they are good enough they get their chance at Villa.
As for whether he has found it difficult to not poke the old head round the door for a little chat...I think the answer is tactful.
'I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't interfere once I had shaken hands with Randy Lerner, and I haven't interfered. By and large he has kept his promise and I am delighted I chose him ahead of the other four predators.'
'The other four predators,' Lerner definitely made an impression didn't he.
Date:Thursday June 25 2009
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