Aston Villa - Oh Dear Alex You've Out Done Yourself
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Oh Dear Alex You've Out Done Yourself

Personally I think Alex McLeish has out done himself in his after match interview today.

We've all experienced the gems like 'I know Gabby is not a winger' and 'I play four strikers' this season, and no doubt there will be a slightly more sensible after match ramble on the official site later, but some of you are going to love this.

Speaking to Sky Sports McLeish said:

'I'm not disappointed from the view of the young players. They gave everything.'

Fine so far isn't it...

'United are a world class side and we've got a lot of young players out there that haven't played half a reserve season before now.'

Erm hold on just one second.

scratching head

'...a lot of young players that haven't played half a reserve season...'

Shall we look at that? I really don't want to because I know what the answer will be, but sometimes I suppose you have to force yourself.

We started with:

Baker, Lichaj, Clark, Bannan, Weimann and subbed in Carruthers.

For fairness I suppose I should mention we also had Johnson and Delfouneso on the bench, of which, Johnson has not yet made his first team debut.

Let's look at that claim again, 'haven't played half a reserve season'.

So go overkill, let's go back to 2010, specifically January 23rd when we played Brighton in the FA Cup.

Who do we find in the first team, Delfouneso starts the game and we know that season he was a regular in the second string at that point and we also find that Clark got on the pitch again from the substitute bench.

I'm pretty sure Clark was a regular in the second string that season because he was the sodding captain!

So that's two players down.

So let's look at the continuation of the reserve season in 2010.

Now I can't find the stats for the Chelsea match, but the prematch article on Feb 1st lists the team as being:

Bevan, Lichaj, Clark, Davies, Bouma, Roome, Hogg, Collins, Weimann, Delfouneso, Hofbauer.

Subs - Carruthers, Roberts, Williams, Simmonds.

Now lets' jump forward a few days to the stats for the Wolves game on Feb 16th.

We again see Clark and Weimann in the starting line up, and Carruthers on the bench.

Now clearly Clark, Lichaj, Delboy and Weimann are regulars at that point. We all know this, I don't have to prove it.

Now if anybody is wondering why Baker is missing, this is because by now he'd already gone on loan until the end of the season with Lincoln - Lichaj also spent a spell at Lincoln alongside him that season.

Carruthers meanwhile, in the 2010/11 season, was in his second year of his Academy Scholarship, making I believe 11 appearances for the second string (not including the games he remained on the bench).

So it's a bit of a stretch to even say Carruthers hasn't 'played half a reserve season'.

Leaving firstly, just Bannan, who if memory serves was on loan at Blackpool that season. But it doesn't matter much because Bannan was turning out for the second string in the 2007/08 season and then secondly Johnson.

Now we knew about Johnson as he caught Houllier's eye last season and made the bench, but that season he also made 13 appearances for the second string, so just like Carruthers, you can't even stretch the claim to him.

So ultimately what can we deduce from this...Alex has Ecked up again. The press might fall for it, other fans might fall for it...but anybody with half a knowledge of the youngsters coming through can see right through it.

Had Eck chosen to say this a few months ago, maybe at the start of the season, maybe he'd have been close because of Carruthers and Johnson and maybe I'd have let it go. But in April 2012 having gone back to January of 2010 and looked at our reserve match stats seeing all those players involved...not a chance.

Must try harder really should be his catchphrase and it's a shame really, because the interview started so well.

Just for completion, he also rambled:

'We've got three cup finals now at home and one away at West Brom and the players have to bare their teeth. If we play as we did in the last couple of home games we've got a chance. I'd like to get six points, at United today we always believed we could get something, as we believe at any club, but it was a bridge too far for us.'

Just like those other clubs where McLeish also said we shouldn't expect anything from.


Man U Match Thread - every caveat has to apply for sensitive eyes!

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday April 15 2012

Time: 8:39PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Good to hear Dwight saying that this level of performance is, ' ... not good enough for Aston Villa.' Can't understand why no reporter ever has the balls to ask McLeish how much responsibility he takes for the dross served up as 'football' by his team. Dear, dear, dear.
chocolate teapot
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15/04/2012 20:55:00

The bulls**t and propaganda from him, his mates in the press and the club is second only to the nazis ( ok perhaps third after spurs with talksport, bbc and all media sources.) He must be held accountable for this and Randy must realise that we are not this stupid and act very soon. Didn't even wait for the post match interview as there was another game on and I knew that I'd enjoy it much more than watching us bend over for Eck's master. I assume there was lots of umming and erring and head scratching. I'd rather have hope Powell managing us and she's a Doris FFS!!!
Report Abuse
15/04/2012 20:57:00

The line that got me was 'but there again im talking about kids like gary gardner going up against a world class player'. Way to motivate and inspire and make them think they can take on anyone eck. After today i think a bloke in row zz of the holte could get more out of our players.
Report Abuse
15/04/2012 21:04:00

THANK YOU for putting this up! Lets not forget Lichaj had a spell at leeds playing in the championship too, clark is an international! Plus he had cuellar and nzogbia on the bench. HE CHOSE those "youngsters" he was not forced through lack of options as he makes out. LIAR!
Report Abuse
15/04/2012 21:13:00

just proves the man knows nothing about AVFC and has no interest in our very good youth system, sure he played the youngsters but whats the point when he only uses them as his eckscuse after the game? and basically tells them their not good enough, I mean why embarrass them? this guy is not a good manager he's not even decent, the only thing i look forward to now is him being sacked!
Report Abuse
15/04/2012 21:46:00

Doug Ellis would have sacked the plonker months ago.
Report Abuse
15/04/2012 21:51:00

Doug Ellis would never of employed him in the first place...
Report Abuse
15/04/2012 22:01:00

When will this tripe end?
Adam Deuce
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15/04/2012 22:18:00

He's either a bloody liar or completely stupid, I'm not sure which.
Pride of Lions
Report Abuse
16/04/2012 01:46:00

@Pride of Lions Both!
Report Abuse
16/04/2012 06:22:00

All about results, if we were winning nobody would care what he said after a game. MON spoke a load of crack at times but nobody said a word. Results are poor so he is there to be shot at but do we really need this sort of dissecting of every word he says to pick holes in it every week? Johnson, Carruthers are the 2 he is referring to, as well as Gardner I would have thought. Maybe not to the letter that they have not played half a reserve season but the logic of his comments are correct, inexperience against top top players!
Report Abuse
16/04/2012 08:15:00

Why do we not play a proper 4-4-2 formation? interesting to hear boyh Yorkie and Ray ask the same Yesterday, surly they should have some idea about football. Gabby has been very poor lately, he does not look happy (I mean before the game not a 4 down) I wonder is it because he is out on the win? I would have taken him off Yesterday not Ireland. COTVABU
irish villa
Report Abuse
16/04/2012 08:38:00

Agree with teapot - Yorke showed his class and spoke true of our dire pathetic season.... truly a villa great. "I'm not going to sit here on live national TV and say as a villan i'm happy because i'm not" - we're 100% with you Dwight!
Report Abuse
16/04/2012 08:43:00

Strange quote on official site under news - "McNaught described the defeat as a harsh lesson for villa's young players" are they referring to his season total 'win' column, or season total 'goals for' column LOL
Report Abuse
16/04/2012 09:12:00

Did anyone else think Carruthers looked like Messi for the 1st 5 mins he came on? I have to say I think our kids are better than our established pros! I would back Weimann to score ahead of Gabby who I thought after Hutton was our 2nd worst player yesterday. Lichaj did as well as Warnock would have. If Collins had cut out the cross before Baker then he wouldnt have been able to make the mistake for 2nd goal. Irelands passing was very sloppy at times. Baker was my MOTM for Villa by a distance! My worry is that we have the talent but it will never come to anything whith such bad tactics. No player is showing for the ball and in midfield they are all 30 yards from each other, very worrying!
Chelt Villan
Report Abuse
16/04/2012 09:57:00

Our reserves have won their division in 4 of the last 5 years. If these lads were not part of that . . . . . . . then who was and why haven't they been used. McMuppet out now. There is never a wrong time to do the right thing. Fortunately word from within the club is that an exit strategy is in place.
Report Abuse
16/04/2012 09:59:00

Is that by use of the Championship trap door VOTH?
Chelt Villan
Report Abuse
16/04/2012 11:59:00

Chelt Villan, 100% right, the youngsters have talent but need a plan and leadership. They have won stuff as a group, which is more than can be said for some of the seniors. What is the matter with Gabby??? No passion, no confidence, looks a shadow of his former self.
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16/04/2012 16:21:00


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