Defence For The Defensive Manager
Every comment on every fansite I've been on lately I've seen the same two words, and after nearly a year it's starting to get a bit tedious.
If you want to blame people for our current position, blame Martin O'Neill and Doug Ellis.
Because Randy Lerner showed faith and trust to give Martin O'Neill £150m (plus whatever for wages) and 5 years (til he left) to build foundations for success at the club, and that was thrown back in his face when he suggested O'Neill be more resourceful.
Why blame Ellis?
Because, thanks to Doug's whimsical attitude, we have bred a bunch of supporters who believe that one or two seasons is long enough to win something. This would usually be the case at other big clubs with managerial and financial stability transfer-wise, but thanks to O'Neill we lost both of those and McLeish is picking up the pieces.
Not his fault. He's still a young, fairly inexperienced Premier League manager and needs time. He's also at an established Premier League club now, not like his previous employers, so give him longer than 5 minutes to try and build something.
Aston Villa FC is about more than one or two bad seasons. David Moyes was touted for the job last summer but he said he wouldn't come to us because our fans are fickle. Moyes, who joined Everton from Preston North End, has been at Everton for 10 years and finished 15th in his first season. He's also finished 17th and 11th, as well as delivering European football 4 times and a top 4 finish once in that time, not to mention the recent FA Cup semi-finals.
The point is, unless an oil tycoon takes over, everyone outside of the top 4/5 is potentially mid-table. Everton are mid-table. Aston Villa are mid-table. This is the reality at present.
McLeish isn't going anywhere and will have his own team next season instead of a bunch of prima donna seniors who graft when they want to. Give him a break. We can't afford Chelsea-style transfer fees or wages for players and managers so see that we've punched above our weight for years and give him longer than one or two seasons to try and rebuild.
Sure things are disappointing right now, but the only way is up.