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Calling Big Sam?

Things are not looking good at Villa and a relegation battle looks on the cards come early February, when shortly after playing Man United, Villa find themselves participating in a genuine six-pointer against Fulham.

The case against Houllier gets more convincing with every match and even judged on his own terms he is not doing very well.

Is he the right fit for Villa?

He has upset the fans with his faux pas at Liverpool and was not exactly very contrite when criticised for it: the guy who showed the empathy the fans thought was their due, was taken off forum duties because he had said something Houllier didn't like.

That Houllier ego keeps emerging but based on what exactly?

His coaching staff have introduced a fitness regime which Petrov described thus: 'If I was any fitter I would be dead!'.

His coaching methods have produced a rash of injuries, especially to older players.

He has publicly criticised a player who was suffering with low confidence and now that player wants to leave the club, which will result in a financial loss.

He has laid the ground for the departure of Ashley Young, with his 'if it was for crazy money' quote.

He has demanded that players move closer to the club, when they should be concentrating on their games not moving house and he has signed a player who is chauffeured from a long distance to the training ground (Pires).

He is evidently trying to recreate his Liverpool glory days by repeating the same things - signing Robert Pires, as a sort of Gary McAllister - but while McAllister was a revelation at Liverpool, Pires is obviously not at Villa.

He is playing young forwards (Defouneso) over experienced (Carew), as if he has Michael Owen & Robbie Fowler on the books. He has not.

He has moved a player who was one of the best wingers in the Prem last season, into the centre.

He has upset a player who was one of Villa's best performers last season and relegated him to 3rd choice because he objected to the way he was treated or the way the team was being coached.

The defensive unit which was the basis for Villa's success last year has remained intact and mostly injury-free, and yet they have gone backwards to such an extent that they have become a liability, under the guidance of Houllier's coaches.

Villa's first choice goalkeeper has lost form under the influence of Houllier's coaching staff.

He is telling us in as strong language as good PR permits, that he is not going to sign any players in January because in his words, he wants to give the young players more experience. While it seems obvious that several higher-earners are about to be shipped out and have been made unavailable for team selection, to fulfil the owners plan to reduce wages to below 70% of turnover.

He seems to have conveniently fallen out with exclusively high-earners.

Bearing in mind the fact that there seems little sign that he has managed to improve Villa in any way whatsoever and that it seems he is going to have to work with what he's already got, does he look like he's the right manager for Villa?

He certainly isn't winning many football matches.

Given that Villa are undertaking a massive restructuring of the club, as they bring wages down from 78% to 70% of turnover, is Gerard Houllier the right manager for dealing with such a situation?

Isn't the real problem, that Villa are living in cloud cuckoo land if they think they can live within their meagre means and play pleasing football? Isn't Houllier just a symptom of that self-delusion? And doesn't that delusion promise disaster, just as the Ellis delusion did when he brought in his first managers during his first austerity plan?

The same promise of exotic football, as when Dr Joe arrived - the same delusion.

Haven't the club and the fans got to face the fact that their peers in respect to turnover (Everton and West Ham) demonstrate perfectly, how under the constraint of similar budgets, the pragmatic battlers at Everton succeed, while the dreamers at West Ham have mostly failed?

O'Neill was an example of football pragmatism, whether at Leicester, Celtic or Villa.

Graham Taylor was one of Villa's greatest pragmatist, who understood what a club like Villa needs.

So surely, Villa need another?

Bearing all this in mind, should not Villa's owners and fans alike be seeking the services of Sam Allardyce, the biggest pragmatist of them all?

Not pretty but pragmatic.

Anything else just looks like sleep-walking into disaster.

Villa fans might see Houllier's football as pleasing to the eye but is it working?

Sometimes things can look rather better than they actually turn out to be.





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The Journalist

Writer: Steve Wade Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 27 2010

Time: 3:34PM

Your Comments

what an arse... sorry, I meant the video not you Steve! Big Sam would walk over broken glass to come to Villa. Although I hate to admit it, he'd probably do well and you may have a point about the need for a pragmatic manager. Think the suggestion will get slated though, but we'll see!
The Fear
NO! All i will say is ugly boring football and i would lose complete interest in villa due toe ending up with big horrible footballlers who can only hoof.
P.Avfc
There's better out there who would bring the same qualities that Sam does have, without the baggage that makes me dislike him as a 'football' manager.
mike_field
I believe we need to give him 3 seasons to turn it around, i think he deserves his chance just like the previous manager, i was never convinced with MON, but gave him a chance. I am really looking forward to what players he brings in this winter and in the summer, with the kind of connections he has, he should unveil some top players like Wenger has, He did of course spot Ronaldo before he went to Man Utd, and he did try and sign Van dar vaart twice when he was at Liverpool and at Lyon. I believe he will be given the money to change the club around and actually bring in some creative players which is what we really need. W
Villa 4 Ever
Move into politics Steve where your half truths might have more impact. No, I'm really not happy with our management team either but these are not Houllier's players. It all started going tit's up towards the end of MON's reign and surely, you must question many of MON's signings (just like Randy Lerner did). But Sam the Man as an alternative? Definitely not. I thought we wanted to move forward? It would be stupid to change the manager at this stage of the season for another who just as mediocre.
M5villa
And you have proof that "his coaching methods have produced a rash of injuries"?
jonah
We also need to remember of the emergance of Albrighton, Hogg, Lichaj, Bannan and even Delfonseo is getting more of a shot, this is all valuable experience while we are still floating above the relegation. Is Villa going to finish in the top 4 or 6 this season the answer if most likely to be no, Do i care ? Not really, This season is all about shaping for next season, think of it as an extended pre season, Once Carew, Dunne, Ireland, Warnock, Petrov have gone, it will allow us to replace them and get players in who will actually play with their heart on their sleeves. We want nothing less, we don't want to see a Petrov who is moaning about getting fitter or going missing in games, we don't want to see a Carew who turns up one day and goes missing that much the next you would think we are down to 10 men, we don't need an Ireland or Dunne who just aren't trying hard enough to give their best for Aston Villa or a Warnock who just seems to be lacking that bit of Steal, infact bring Bouma back.
Villa 4 Ever
Big Sam at Villa Park....that will put bums on seats with free flowing lump it up football... i agree with villa 4 ever....you have got to give the guy a chance. it was always going to be a transitional season after MON left us in the poo. Once he gets rid of the hangers on, the players earning huge amounts of money for turning up and taking the *****, and brings in his own players judge him then....but pray the lord, never, never, ever appoint someone like Sam....a poor mans MON.
imavillan
No proof, just opinion!
Steve Wade
big sam for Villa, hahaha
krisvilla
you all keep saying what players Houllier will get in the summer! if our current form continues i can't see many players wanting to come to a Championship team!! HOULLIER OUT
One Ian Taylor
Houllier has brought on a rash to the players Jonah seriously? Right, Houllier OUT! lol
The Fear
trouble is the Jan transfer window is so bad getting in top players One Ian Taylor... but agree with the point, SOMETHING has to be done for sure... It will be... won't it?!
The Fear
he would probably be capable of getting us to 6th. I doubt Houllier can do that this season.
simonbigron
Surely not!
HuddersfieldYiddo
There is an awful lot of supposition and opinion being passed off as fact there and when people do that I switch off to them and their ideas.
Villan Of The North
I think that steve wade has had too much brandy sauce over the festive period, what a load of bull poo he talks. I'm not saying that its going to work out with HOU, time will tell, but i am willing to give the bloke a chance, how can anyone ask for his head when he has not even had chance to put the same team out twice in a row. Give the man at least a chance and get off his back.
shandy-bass
Well that seems conclusive then. The Houllier mandate is still intact and according to our straw poll, apart from a few naysayers, the project should procede undaunted. That's all I wanted to know.
Steve Wade
Well said villa 4 ever, at least there are still some villa supporters out there with some sense, and who are not panacking jibbering idiots. Big Sam for Villa- dont make me laugh, and when he starts loosing i suppose it will be the 'Wally with the Brolly'. GIVE HOU A CHANCE-GET OFF HIS BACK
shandy-bass
We are in free fall shandy-bass. When do you suppose this post isn't bull*****? when we're in the championship! please read up on Leeds Utd, Manchester City, Newcastle Utd, all ending up being relegated after doing well seasons before, it's not beyond the realms of possibilities that we could be next in line, everthing's in place NO MONEY, NO POINTS, NO FORM, players lining up to leave, players not happy with the manager, fans not happy with the manager, empty seats, doesn't look good to me.
eltoro
 

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