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McLeish Myths

McLeish Myths

Simonbigron looks at the McLeish myths..

Since the Bolton defeat, Villa have attracted almost as much media attention as Chelsea. In scrutinising this coverage I have discovered 4 myths that have raised their ugly heads more than once.

They need challenging.

Villa fan's only don't like McLeish because of his Blues links.

I hear this all the time; often by quite notable Villa journalists and fans. James Nursey is still barking up this particular tree in his latest article in the Mirror. 'McLeish's Birmingham links ARE a problem because he has received less goodwill, support and backing from fans than any other new manager from elsewhere would have got.'

Nonsense. Football fan's reactions to a manager are directly related to matters on the pitch. Had we appointed any manager with a questionable record they would have been treated with caution until they had proved themselves. The prosecution calls Alan Pardew to the stands…

Even the most recent example is a testament to how wrong Nursey is. The Villa fans weren't brimming with goodwill for Houllier (and he had a good record!) until his unfortunate hospitalisation.

God forbid anything like this happen to McLeish, but I imagine if it did there would be similar good will shown - because Villa fans aren't psychopaths. Their feelings of anger and dislike towards McLeish are logical. Had he come in to post and got decent results out of our relatively unchallenging opening fixtures, rather than the meagre two wins from 11, this season would have been very different. Blues connections or not, McLeish would have had the 'goodwill, support and backing from fans' had he got the results.

Need more proof? Go back and check my pre-season interview to find out how naively supportive I was about his appointment.

McLeish possesses a capable managerial CV

Nursey again. But I have heard this on Talksport every day this week. It is false and there have been better articles written on VV about this than I am capable of writing.

In summary though: two relegations with Birmingham, finishing 3rd in two horse race with Rangers in Scotland, relegation with Hibernian, two relegation battles with Motherwell… It is just abysmal.

One League Cup win doth not a good managerial CV make. Just ask Juande Ramos.

But come on, McLeish got Rangers to a UEFA cup final?

The amount of times I have heard this from people paid huge sums to give their 'expert' opinion on football…

NO HE DID NOT. That was Walter Smith. Idiots.

Who else could Villa have got last summer?

Colours to the mast: I love Stan Collymore. What I don't love is his constant stressing that there weren't any other managers available this time last year.

It's rubbish. The idea that there were no better managers in the whole of world football than AM just shows what a terrible example of groupthink this appointment was.

The problem is that whoever does the 'scouting' for candidates didn't have a bloody clue what to look for and how to look for it. As usual with Villa, our scouting network seems permanently tied to this country, nay, the Midlands. Part of scouting is seeking potential and not buying into media-manufactured hype. Given this, had someone been willing to take a gamble, these managers would have come to Villa; all of them I believe would have done better than McLeish:

Brendan Rogers, Chris Houghton, Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew (yes! We still looked a better prospect that the recently promoted Toon this time last year), Paul Lambert, Ian Holloway, Martin Jol, Roy Hodgson, Mark Hughes (even though I hate him, I don't think he would have only attained 36 points)…

AND of course, Martin O'Neill. Who was available had Randy and co (who I now blame entirely for the mess we are in) eaten some humble pie and come up with a more reasonable alternative business strategy than: sell best players, cut wages, play kids, get relegated.


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Date:Friday April 27 2012
Time: 10:29AM


The reason MON resigned wasn't what most people surmise, there were fractions in the camp due to his favouritism and training system, he hardly used our world class facilities to their potential, Milner asked to leave he wasn't sold for profit, we just happened to make a profit. Players were complaining to Lerner. He was running out of control and was on a massive 'God trip' thinking he'd 'earned the right' to be the way he was. Even his wife changed the tie and blazer designs because she didn't like them !!! .... Lerner had to put stops on it and fast before we went too far into the red, he was a great manager for us but his style has its limits, in our case big wage bill and averaging 6th but year away from the 4th place spot.
27/04/2012 11:06:00
McLeish on the other hand is very very poor and should be removed in three weeks ........
27/04/2012 11:07:00
Brendan Rogers, Chris Houghton, Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew, Paul Lambert, Ian Holloway, Martin Jol, Roy Hodgson, Mark Hughes any of those..
27/04/2012 11:15:00
Great piece Simon! I personally, have decided to "walk out on Villa" as from today and have contacted my agent to discuss with the club my compensation package, having been a loyal and devoted fan for soon to be 50yrs, I am estimating a payoff of about £1 billion - obviously not taking into account the fact that they took money off me under false pretences this season, and the personal trauma and stress they have caused me during this time - that will obviously be claimed separately!
27/04/2012 11:44:00
The reason that the media keep droning on about us not liking him because of his small heath connections is because everytime its mentioned the denials are absurd. There are a huge amount of villa fans who disliked Mcleish for that very reason, there are a greater amount that cared more about his record, the point that should be made however is that even if we all hated him with a passion from day one his record has been so abysmal that he should have been fired weeks ago. Equally when discussing his managerial record we should give credit for what he acheived at Rangers, Scotland and the promotion he won with small heath. Its pathetically small but it makes the argument look balanced and reasonable and still points to the fact that he is utterly useless.
27/04/2012 12:01:00
Excellent article but I beg everyone to please look at the 2005-06 SPL table when Rangers finished 3rd. Hearts beat them to 2nd by one point and were ahead of Hibs who were in 4th by 18 points. Hearts had a worldie of a season!!!! Everything else I agree with.
27/04/2012 12:22:00
Brendan Rogers, Chris Houghton, Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew, Paul Lambert, Ian many of these 'choices' are based on the fact that they have done well this season? Would they really have been in the frame last year....I think not.
27/04/2012 12:32:00
errrrr mmlozza the point is why werent Rangers winning the title never mind competing for second behind Hearts. Do not bear the man any malice I am sure he is a hard working manager just do not feel his tactics work and if the players are not obeying his tactics then surely this is where man management comes in. At the end of the day I dont give a flying **** what he has done elsewhere he has presided over the worst home record Villa have produced that alone is enough without the dross served up along the way to earn him the sack.
27/04/2012 12:37:00
Thanks for the nice comments guys, I heard all of these things again repeated today on various outlets so I am glad we are balancing things up here at VV. Juddy - Just to respond to your point: Of course it is easy to mention these managers now they have done well this season, hindsight is 20:20. But, my article responded to the idea there were no better managers available. These managers were still good managers this time last year, it's just we didn't scout their potential. Why? Part of being a top notch club is taking a calculated gamble on potential. Appointing McLeish was a gamble but how calculated was it? He could only have be a success if he had done REALLY well. Plus his record was dodgy. Also, I dispute that all those managers "only" did well this season. Pulis had Stoke well established last year and got them to a cup final, Pardew had a good record at Charlton and West Ham, Houghton did well with the Toon, Holloway has a huge CV... It's only really Rogers and Lambert that fall into the bracket you mention and actually they should surely have been considered given the fact this time last year they'd gotten their unfashionable teams promoted.
27/04/2012 15:33:00
Fair point Simon, but this time last year they would not have been anywhere near 'contention'. it's only a sucessful current season that's elevated their profiles.
27/04/2012 16:30:00
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