Aston Villa - The Last Two Weeks #1
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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.

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The Journalist

Writer: CustardCream Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 10 2012

Time: 12:59PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Well put Sir. Fortunately the whisper within the club is that Randolph is looking to 'create' an escape route for McMuppet that doesn't embarrass either Randolph or McMuppet and certainly doesn't look as though the fans have got their wish. I have some sympathy for Randy on this as it is important that managerial appointments are not at the behest of the fans. But employing McMuppet will go down as one of the biggest mistakes in Villa history. We should just hope we escape with Premier League survival and then maybe Poyet and Zola can get us back to playing football next season.
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10/04/2012 13:25:00

Can I just say Martin Jol... He was available when we were looking for a manger and has got Fulham playing great now with much worse players than we have. They have seen 5-0 & 6-0 wins at home and 3-0 away. I am not sure how a team does that as surely when you go 1-0 up then you cant try to attack again until we have conceded due to putting ourselves under immense pressure!
Chelt Villan
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10/04/2012 13:46:00

Excellent article. Is the rumour that Chewalot is going to recommend MacLeish to Man City next!
sussex villan
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10/04/2012 13:52:00

After the drivel that has been on display for the past couple of months (I gave him until then to turn the ship around but no more....) there surely can't be anyone left that has support for Eck. I just don't think he has any tactical nous at all. It would be nice to go back to positive posts again, but until at least next season I can't see it happening. VOTH - that would be a dream to have someone with fresh ideas but I've been a villa fan too long so expect disappointment only!!
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10/04/2012 13:53:00

Good article Custard. VOTH, hope that you're right RE: Poyet etc. My fingers will stay crossed and Randy's only option to redeem himself.
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10/04/2012 13:54:00

Spot on and very funny in places, as well.
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10/04/2012 14:08:00

I thought Hercs was bang on when he said that "our policy of only 1 shot for each goal they score isn't working" lol. (That was after the arsenal game - 0-3, only 3 shots). THis season has been a disgrace, and lets hope to goodness RL is going to do something. I dont care how he does it, and what it takes, but all i know is that i'm definitely planning a "celebrate alex mcleish sacking day" thats for certain!
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10/04/2012 14:15:00

Why do I get the feeling that if he does go it will be a case of " It proved to much for the fans having an ex Small Heath manager and the bad feeling transmitted to the younger players so its better if I go" When the truth is I along with a lot of others do not care if he came from Timbuctoo Rovers so long as his tactics were reasonable and we saw a fair amount of attacking football yes I would agree the squad is short of some qualitity but not that short that our "impact sub" is Heskey.
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10/04/2012 15:04:00

Completely off topic (but it cheered me up) -- I've just been reading elsewhere that Pele played at Villa park (against Villa) in the 70's when he was at Santos. The same post also said that Cruyff also played at VP. Unbelievable. Never heard that. Also, if anyone is still looking for a 'club song' how about 'Live is Life'. There is some terrifc footage of Maradona doing keepey-upet to the song in 89' when he was at Napoli.
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10/04/2012 17:45:00

Mc has turned me into my brother... he use to be only slightly negative during the all eras prior to and during MON's but became a pessimist during Houlliers reign... I on the other hand was always overly optimistic.. always confident of a cup win... but now i just expect defeat... I also just want a good brand of attacking/passing football... He should be told to jog on its one thing playing rubbish football and getting results its quite another to play s/h/i/t/e for 6-7 months and be in a relegation scrap one win in the last how many...? Look what Brendan Rogers/Paul Lambert has done with supposedly inferior players
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10/04/2012 17:50:00

vwra - showing my age here, but was at the Santos game and got Peles autograph. Seen Cruyff at Villa. Geoge Best. But do you know what. I have seen Dwight Yorke in his pomp. Rimmer, Swain, Williams, Evans, McNaught, Mortimer, Cowans, Bremner, Morley, Withe, Shaw and Paul McGrath as well. And if I saw Lionel Messi at VP nothing will ever come close to seeing 11 men in claret&blue sweat blood and tears for the club. Vic Crows team in the early 70's and Ron Saunders teams until 1982 all gave everything for the shirt and I feel more privelidged to have watched them than any 'superstar' who has been lucky enough to play at VP. UTV The 19th minute. McMuppet Out.
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10/04/2012 18:02:00

lol, full on rant from our very favourite biscuit!
The Fear
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10/04/2012 18:08:00

@voth - Here's hoping we see Messi at the CL.
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10/04/2012 18:11:00

@ Custard Cream, The last sentence of your piece says it all. AVFC are extraordinary and they ('we') WILL rise again.
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10/04/2012 18:13:00

I think he was left in hot coffee for too long!
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10/04/2012 18:53:00

I am hating every second of this season, and the ill-judged appointment of McLeish is obviously the root of all the turmoil. But frankly, does anyone trust Lerner/Faulkner to appoint the right person should McLeish go at the end of the season?? I certainly don't - the appointment of Houllier was an embarrassment, and the shenanigans with Mark Hughes resigning, the guarantees of a top-class manager with a proven track record in the Premier League (don't think relegation was on the checklist....) and ending up PAYING FOR McLeish (who supposedly resigned from BLues and was surely a free-agent ?). What a fiasco!! No better than Steve Morgan over at Wolves. I'm pretty sure MON was appointed by Deadly as a farewell gift to us, and a welcome present to Randy. So to cut a long story short, Lerner & Faulkner couldn't organise a *****-up in a brewery, and whatever happens next is something I am having recurring nightmares about!
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10/04/2012 19:24:00

so true voth, i sat on the running track for the santos game there were that many there (60,000?) but i went to see the villa. Watching vic crowe's team fighting for the cause was pure pleasure, as was the great ron saunders team(s) which makes what we are witnessing now so hard to bear. not having a team that's good enough is one thing but to not have a clue what they should be doing because of dire leadership and negative tactics is nothing short of scandalous. the aston villa we see today - the whole club - was born out of revolution against people who were dragging them down because they had no idea how to run a club......feel a spot of de ja vu?
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10/04/2012 19:48:00

griffgriff - I am with you there fella. vwra says he hopes to see Messi at Villa Park in the future. I would say it looks Messy every game at VP at the moment. Very blinkin Messy!!! However I still have faith in Randy. I still see it that he handed too much money (and we all demanded investment for years) and responsibility to M'ON. He was unlucky with GH who could have done good things had his health stayed good. As he tries to correct his financial imbalance he has made his first really big error of judgment with McMuppet. But the club academy is strong. The youth is good. The investment from external partners is good for a club that has struggled for a couple of years. Despite all of this we are still reasonably priced for tickets and the investment in to infrastructure is still healthy. He simply needs to correct his error on McMuppet and employ an upcoming manager prepared to let the youth shine and one that brings the best from experienced players who have his respect. I am excited by the rumours of Poyet and Zola. They might not work, who knows, but they have a similar reputation in the game as to that enjoyed by Lambert and Rogers. They are football men who have already forged a reputation of playing football the right way. We could be that club that turns that supposed potential into reality. What we don't need is the run of the mill candidates such as Hughes, Erickson etc
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10/04/2012 20:46:00

Good Article, how true it is that Randy and Faulkner have made such a calamatous appointment in Mcleish how can we trust them anyway to appoint a better manager even if Mclesih leaves which he wont IMO, this club will not go anywhere with Faulkner as CEO and Randy not having a clue about football and footballing decisions, im just counting down the days until Randy sells TBH, can't wait to see the back of the bloke the mess he has caused us.
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10/04/2012 22:07:00

Well said custard! I too wanted Jol when he was easily avaiable at the season start, always rated him since he took Spurs to 5th. Voice I too would love someone in the ilk of Poyet, I also rate McDermott very highly also but looks like he's on the way up. Can I ask you if we are getting Poyet and Zola who would be in charge? There can only be one clear leader. I'd be happy with either but not sure if they would want to take a backseat to each other. Also have you really heard something or is it wishful thinking? Because I'm wishing with you mate along with most Villans
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11/04/2012 11:33:00

villaWillriseagain Like VOTH I was lucky enough to see Pele play at Villa park for Santos and also Cruff.But for me the best football I have seen played at Villa park was Ron Saunders youngsters. not the league winning side strangley enough but the team before which included Little, Gidman, Gray, Nichol, Evans and had the priveledge of watching them tear apart the then mighty Liverpool 5-1 one wednesday night at Villa park the Liverpool team at the time were the champions and included the then England goalkeeper Ray Clements exqusite attacking football played by youngsters someone send Mcleish a dvd of what young players can accomplish if inspired by the right manager.
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11/04/2012 11:36:00

Merlin, remember the liverpool game well - welcomed out to a sea of balloons! VOTH i would love Randy to get it right, but up to now his record isn't good. Deadly appointed MON and he got on well with RL at the start, but cracks began to appear in their relationship ending with - supposedly - MON walking out on his job - which cost US millions AND we lost the tribunal. GH falls ill and is advised by doctors to retire from football and it cost US millions....and remember RL has only loaned us the money, he expects it back! North stand redevelopment, put on the back-burner due to the recession obviously, but we was earmarked as a venue for the olympics but it we refused on the basis that we would redevelop to get ready to stage the world cup? and now the monumental disaster of the latest managerial appointment (sorry can't even use his initials let alone name) a total lack of foresight into the consequences of their decisions at every stage since the takeover, and, from statements coming from the club, it seems they will continue to persist with their mistakes. I would rather pay millions to get rid of "our liability" than see investment in the team next season as i believe we have the players to do us proud with the right leadership
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11/04/2012 11:59:00

Agreed griffgriff what ever it takes.
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11/04/2012 12:08:00

Yes saw some great players - but putting them aside, the one that always epitomises real "fight" and passion - the fight we want to see in all our players - and a huge part of the start of Villa's rise from the depths was The God - Brian Godfrey. If he was injured I still wanted him in the team to spur everyone else on. And the atmosphere at Villa Park reciprocated the passion on the pitch. They fed off each other - brilliant days and nights at Villa Park. Please come back soon - and here's hoping for at least some injection of extra passion on and off the pitch against FC MON. Up the Villa.
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11/04/2012 12:34:00


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