The Last Two Weeks #1
Monday 26th March
As if the insults from McLeish towards 'unrealistic` fans wasn`t enough, the bizarre comments continue to flow forward. Previously we`ve had some corkers, but today McLeish is quoted as saying:
"I`m used to, having not been the manager until this year, expecting Villa to be in the upper tiers of the Premier League
Yes - funny that, isn`t it, Alex? You become manager and we`re fighting relegation. I wonder why that is....let me think...oh yes, that`s right. You tell us....
"The loss of Jermaine Jenas at the start of the season was a big one.
'I recognised at the start of the season that we needed a player who could create from the centre so that has been a bit of a loss for us.
It`s the fact that we borrowed a player from Spurs for the season who has hardly played for years due to injury, and suprise, suprise - he got injured here too. And questions should really be asked about why Jean II Makoun was loaned out when McLeish wanted someone who can pass the ball in the center of the pitch. But looking at the u-turns from quotes he`s made in the past - I wouldn`t expect anything coherent from the bloke.
Put frankly, he`s losing the plot. He`s not wanted here, and surely the ever increasing bizarre quotes along with the pathetic performances and drop in attendances has to make the decision makers think about his position.
Problem is, they made such a mess up of it last time they probably don`t want to have to go through it again.
Tuesday 27th March
It`s announced that Villa will be going to Chicago as part of the pre-season preparation. Presumably it`s so Randy Lerner will get to watch us play for a change. Perhaps after watching the dross we`ve had to all season he might actually do something about McLeish.
Wednesday 28th March
Burton Albion is added to the pre-season list of games. I bet Lerner doesn`t bother with that one!
Thursday 29th March
Are we all looking forward to Saturday`s game against Chelsea? What? Why not? Surely our free-flowing, attacking football against in form Chelsea is going to be a cracker of a game. Yeah, alright. We`ll get thrashed.
There`s talk of a protest going on in regards to McLeish, but I imagine it`ll be as 'successful` as the first one. You need to do more to organise a protest than just say 'We`re meeting outside the statue to sing songs with swear words in about the manager, lads`.
Friday 30th March
Not really a day for deeply sarcastic complaints about Villa today as club captain Stan Petrov has been diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia. It`s a real bolt out of the blue and for the second time in a matter of days the footballing world is shocked at the sudden illness of one of the 'football family`.
Stan is one of the 'likable` ones of our squad - one of the ones with manners, grace and a true credit to the club.
Saturday 31st March
As expected, Villa get thrashed 4-2, but the game was a sideshow as Villa fans showed their good wishes to Petrov by all as one standing up on the 19th minute and applauding the captain. A clearly emotional Petrov saw Villa go 2-0 down, get it back to 2-2 then revert to type and try to defend a draw. Which failed, like normal.
Even Torres scored for goodness sake.
Sunday 1st April
April fools day. Which gives the chance for a number of incredibly hillarious people to try to fool others into thinking Alex McLeish has been sacked. No such luck.
Monday 2nd April
Petrov`s diagnosis is still very much in mind. He begins his treatment today - all the best, Stan.
Tuesday 3rd April
Stephen Ireland wins the Player of The Month award. Soon to be re-titled 'Least Crappest Player Of The Month` award.
Wednesday 4th April
The bad news keeps coming. Alan Hutton might be fit for Villa`s annual thrashing at Anfield.
Thursday 5th April
The Official Aston Villa website have put up a story advertising a 'Season Ticket Holder Help Session` taking place today. Presumably the help is to find them something better in their lives to spend £500 on.
Friday 6th April
Good Friday. No, McLeish hasn`t been sacked. It`s Good Friday - the in which Christians believe Jesus Christ was crucified. What makes that good I don`t know.
Saturday 7th April
Not quite the thrashing expected, but still plenty to get upset about. Sure, Herd scores a lovely goal but Villa then spend most of the game defending for their lives, with Suarez putting the ball in from about 5 yards eventually with only a few minutes left to go. Liverpool should have won it easily, even in the pathetic form they find themselves in.
Despite our inability to defend from set pieces, Andy Carroll doesn`t manage to get anywhere near scoring a goal. Results go our way and three points on Monday could see if being able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Sunday 8th April
Stan Collymore tells his Twitter 'followers` that investment from Lerner is expected this summer. Which will be nice after the last two where we`ve sold off anyone possible.
The problem is, with McLeish is charge it`s just a waste of money. The club needs to be at one with its fans, and under Alex this simply just will not happen. He`s had a season in charge and we`re balancing on the edge of relegation, with some of the worst football I`ve seen played by Villa - and the signings he has made have been poor. Hutton has been average at best, abysmal others. N`Zogbia played out of position indicating that McLeish should have looked at signing someone else and Given may be a decent shot stopper, but we needed someone who can command the box and this is one of the reasons we are conceding so many from set pieces.
The trust in the manager isn`t there, and as a result I don`t believe people will be willing to give any new signings the time to settle or get used to new surrounding as it`s expected that they will fail. It`s simply a waste of money.
Monday 9th April
A great moment of individual brilliant by Weiman, but one of the worst games of football I`ve ever had the mis-fortune to watch. Stoke were only interested in winning throw ins and free kicks, and Villa only interested in protecting the lead. Which, even this far into the season, they still haven`t learnt is not a clever thing to do when you can`t defend set pieces.
Huth makes it 21 conceded from set pieces this season, after climbing all over James Collins. The cross coming from a free kick in which Jermaine Pennant conned the referee into giving him. He did that last season too.
I`m not angry at the cheating. Just envious - I wish we could score from a set piece. That`d probably mean moving the ball forward though.
Tuesday 10th April
Frustration from yesterday`s game continues. I just can`t believe, that 1-0 up and needing the three points to steer us away from the relegation battle, instead of going for the second the choice was to defend at home for the whole of the second half.
Teams that do this deserve to go down. If you have no interest in trying to win the game then what`s the point in taking part? Certainly what`s the point in paying £40 to watch it? It seems that others agree - the attendance of 30,100 - is the lowest of the season so far. People are voting with their feet.
At any other club, a manager with one win at home in the last six months would have been sacked. And rather infuriatingly, it`s the lying that really annoys me. Only just before Christmas, in that begging letter from the club to like McLeish, Alex says:
"I am aware that the myth about me being defensively-minded has concerned some Villa fans who rightly relish seeing their team playing fluent, attacking football. However, please be assured that I share your desire to see Villa play dynamic, exciting football which entertains whilst, of course, securing the results we all want.
On appointment he told us that:
"'The players here, there is definitely scope for a fast, attacking team.'
It`s simply not happening. Put simply, we`ve either been lied to, or Alex is not up to the job.
Or shall we take a look at the rare comments of Paul Falkner?
I really do think, if we can put a good run together, we`ve got a good squad. I think this year is one where we want to be there pushing to qualify for Europe.
"With our strong squad combining the necessary virtues of experience and the exciting potential of our young players, our objective is to compete as strongly as we possibly can.
Or on looking for a manager:
"We remain focused and are working hard to secure the best candidate for Aston Villa who will complement the Club's commitment to be true to our heritage, competitiveness and passionate fan base
So going by the aims of Paul Faulkner, Alex McLeish has completely and utterly failed to get anywhere near to club`s objectives. Any manager who has seen such a failure, who has upset the supporters so much - would no longer be at the club.
But Aston Villa is no ordinary club.