Aston Villa - McLeish Relieved After Safety Nigh On Guaranteed
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McLeish Relieved After Safety Nigh On Guaranteed

Alex McLeish has declared himself a relieved man after the toughest season of his career, yet he can't help talking himself into trouble.

scratching head

Speaking to the Official Site - and I am really going to try and stay calm - the Ecking failure said of the game:

'Relief is probably the emotion I have right now. Saying that, we have another game and we have to prepare properly and try to win. We conceded a soft penalty and then lost a wee bit of composure and they looked threatening, but we held our nerve until the end of the game. I thought the determination and attitude of the players was fantastic. They coped great and showed a lot of bottle. Overall, it's been a tough season, as tough as I've had. I knew the challenge I was taking on, but you have to experience it. I have stood up in the face of adversity all season, I am proud to be intact and not thrown myself off a bridge or something.'

Eck continues to say that when he assessed the squad he thought it would be lower half of the table quality - ROLLOCKS is it, top 6 no, but top 10 yes if you set them up right and don't play 25 defenders per game! - and he knew the back up of the younger and less experienced players wasn't ideal, but he thinks the experience the youngsters have had will set them up nicely in the future.

Now the bit nobody wants to hear, but I've bolded part for effect as that could be very telling and I'll leave that to you:

'I would certainly look to strengthen the squad for next season. Assessment has been ongoing, every week. We've got to start putting a plan of action in place. If I can go through that, I will have to have a crack at the big time and try and enhance the quality of the squad. I think Randy will be pretty pleased with today's outcome. He's been very supportive in text over the last few days. I'd expect to be here next season and hope to win over the dissenting Villa fans, but I need a consistent team on the pitch.'

We could also do with some tactics and a team being sent out to win, not to just not concede!

But what were the signings of Holman and Kello if we haven't yet put a plan in place?

Eck adds on this that meeting fans in general, he has found them excellent and believes that the majority know what 'he has been working with' and yes whilst it hasn't been ideal dealing with certain elements of our squad who seem to do their best to undermine every manager we've had recently, he can't blame lack of finances spending nigh on £20m in the summer so if he wants to use that as an excuse it won't wash.

Now the most unbelievable statement, and proof pudding of why he cannot continue at this club:

'I have taken a lot of weight on my shoulders this season. I was happy to take pressure off the players. I am not going to again next season though, they better get their fingers out.'

How exactly, other than on Planet Fricking Eck, has he taken the pressure off the players.

Tactics to park the bus, 1 upfront, players out of position, blaming the youngsters whenever they make a mistake, blaming Weimann for missing the target, blaming basically everybody and never owning up to his own errors does not equal 'taking the pressure on his shoulders'.

Maybe if he'd set the squad up to play to their strengths, not handicapped players by putting them out of position they might have been able to pull their fingers out already!

McLeish Thread - not for the feint hearted!

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday May 6 2012

Time: 7:44PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
wow, is he really playing the martyr now? Is he really trying to claim he went throught this hardship and now deserves big money to spend? ***** off you useless excuse making dickhead!
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 19:51:00

The bloke is deluded. I've never heard such a load of total rubbish from the mouth of a Villa manager before.
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 19:53:00

The board have been very Machiavellian in appointing McLeish. They knew that the financial policy would impact in sporting terms and they needed a fall guy and boy did they get one. He has been the target for all the ire and hate, the hate being often abusive and unpleasant. I think you're wrong to suggest we were top ten. This was a team always going to struggle, particularly if we had key injuries. The young players, untested at this level and in these pressure sitautions, have played well though the nagitivity and drama surrounding McLeish has not helped anybody and McLeish looked utterly lost in footballing terms as he tried to find tactical and resources answers to very trying circumstances. He has not helped himself though one bit with his negativity, lack of motivation showing at times a lack of tactical nuance. I would grant him that he has shown leadership in protecting some very apathetic players, sucking it up and taking it on the chin, conducting himself with integrity. Its not his fault the board appointed him and yet they seemed to have escaped largely unscathed. I think even if he's not right for us he should have personal respect because I think he's earned that at least. The 'McLeish Out' campaign seemed lost on most supporters today and a bit of a damp squib.
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 20:01:00

s---t not another season like this with .i hope not .get the f--k out of villa park and distroy somebodys team not ours
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 20:07:00

west from got rid of di matteo for doing a good job.... how possibly can mcleish keep his job by surviving with less than 40 points.. we stayed up thanks to albion not the manager. granted the players aren't good enough but we would have won more games with a better manager i have no doubt about that.
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 20:37:00

Think I'm not just going to have to give up a season ticket, I'm going to have to give up web sites and newspapers cos I just can't stomach the utter dross that he is allowed to speak on behalf of AVFC. Its so sad.
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 20:42:00

Lerner out. Mcleish out. Both know nothing about football at this level.
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 20:44:00

We havent stopped up because of Albion at all, we stayed up because we have more points than 5 teams below us. The table dont lie, we have been poor but them 5 have been worse, thats how a league table works! I think he has taken a lot on the chin and took the pressure off the players. Only the Gatecrasher incident has contributed to any stick for the players, they have got away scott free loads this season. Most the players on twitter have had their balls sucked by supporters when they have suggested they are fed up and AMc has taken the stick when they have been dire themselves. WTF was Dunne doing for that Pen today, no doubt McLeish's fault, NZog, AMc needs to hold his hand up on him and admit its not worked, the bloke aint fit to wear the shirt along with a fair few others who failed under GH as well as the current regine. Having stuck up for AMc on many forums, I do think his words today smack a little of DOL in his final season. He talked about planning and making things better and he was gone in the summer. Despite whats been said today, and I am sure AMc will be stronger because of this season, I still believe he will go. I believe he will go before next weeks game as well so everyone knows where they stand as early as possible.
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 20:49:00

RiF im feeling the same dude, i may also just take time out of supporting my club and football in general i am sick of deeing Villa rundown it hurts to see her in this state and our hardcore faithful fans deserve more im hurt.
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 20:54:00

I wonder if we have enough evidence to have him sectioned under the mental health act!!!!!!!!
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 21:08:00

In this horrible world of modern football, would McLeish be the same as SAF, when the axe was out for him all those years ago and he developed a team of bright young kids that went onto glory? That said, he sets out to play a team in a terrible fashion. 4m compo and next manager then?
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 21:17:00

If he stays Yorks, everybody will be hoping for just that....but I can't see it. There really hasn't been any excuse for how defensive we have been this season, if he'd have gone for games properly he'd have far more supporters.
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 21:31:00

If he does end up staying, he's got at least 3 big problems to sort out: Motivating the players, sorting the defence out for set-pieces and ATTACKING! When we attack we've got 2 players in the opposition half with everyone else taking a steady jog and hovering around the box. We had 5 defenders starting on the pitch today, and as soon as the usual decent first-half performance had passed we resorted to defending again. Also, as I've mentioned before, something needs to happen with regard to training because these lads need to get on the weights. Next year I want to see a team of claret and blue beasts with hearts like lions, and who concede goals because they're trying to WIN a game!!!!
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 21:34:00

empty seats my lord...........
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 22:10:00

There is no way in the world he's staying, words of a sad desperate man if you ask me!! Bye bye Eck
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 22:40:00

I 100% agree that our team isnt top of the table his assessment isnt far wrong... We have an extremely avg bunch of players on high wages... look at that team and tell me how many of our players would a team in the top 10 want as a starter... Given, maybe dunne, herd, ireland, bent thats it... and obv petrov if he was still motoring... our team is ***** poor... not relegation poor but very much lower mid table...
Report Abuse
06/05/2012 23:52:00

Average players, a well below average manager...... it all stems from "the board".
Pride of Lions
Report Abuse
07/05/2012 01:38:00

People constantly bring up the SAF thing as some sort of yardstick (Nathan) lol. But it isn't. SAF was NEVER disliked by the overwhelming majority of plastic mancs anywhere near as much as this prat is detested by villa fans.
Report Abuse
07/05/2012 10:30:00

To be honest I suggest that top ten is over egging the pudding. I would have been satisfied with anything between eighth (joy) to fourteenth (resignation) coupled with an attempt at playing football. Here we are fifteenth (so, perhaps not so far from what I hoped for) coupled with absolute dross on the pitch masquerading as football. Yesterday said it all. Six defenders, three midfielders and one forward. Get a lucky goal and then barely venture over the half way line. I shall be keeping my 600 odd season ticket money in my pocket until I see who is appointed as the new manager. McLeish's position is completely untenable. He cannot stay.
chocolate teapot
Report Abuse
07/05/2012 11:18:00

This is what McLeish said in August last year before the season started. "Would a top 10 finish would be okay? I think that would terrific. I think that would be an achievement for the players but we will try and aim higher than that." Does a finish somewhere between 15th and 17th count as success? As all failures before him have done he tries to re-write history.
chocolate teapot
Report Abuse
07/05/2012 12:00:00

I think its time we now started giving it to Paul Faulkner as much McLeish. What do we think?
Report Abuse
07/05/2012 12:41:00

I would say though that McLeish IS going to say I'll still be here next year. He isnt going to walk away is he? If he walks he gets no compo. The only way he was ever going was if the board sack him - we have to wait and see if Faulkner the ***** and RL do the right thing, or just stiff the fans. If they stiff the fans, then it needs to be NO season tickets renewal, match boycotts, and RL and Faulkner the ***** can ***** off from VP with McLeish as their driver
Report Abuse
07/05/2012 12:44:00

I suppose if Lerner shares the assumption of the fans that only McLeish's incompetence prevented this set of players from challenging for Europe, then all he has to do is find a new manager, not bother to replace Petrov, and sell off the likes of Bent and Dunne. All problems solved, success guaranteed.
Steve Wade
Report Abuse
07/05/2012 12:48:00

He's the root of the problem and by far the biggest barrier on an attempt at decent play Steve. We don't know if the rest of the players are any good as they haven't had a chance under this leadership. With Eck here, there's not even hope.
Report Abuse
07/05/2012 13:14:00

Ignoring the football side of things, from a business point of view it makes no sense to have in charge next year. Losses of 54 mil need to be recooped, and with a manager no one wants in charge, the loss of revenue through falling attendances - that being fans money, merchandise sales, sponsorship (who wants to sponsor a team with a half full, maybe less, stadium), new fans being turned off - could be catastrophic. From a footballing perspective, what I have seen of the Villa this season, when in possession we do try and keep the ball on the deck, but lack the quality to break teams down. The defensive aspect worries me, lose the ball and retreat. Against teams like Liverpool, Wigan, Sunderland, West Brom et al, we should be putting them under pressure as soon as we lose it. Maybe I'm mad, but it surely makes more sense to win the ball 30yards from teh oppo's goal than 80?!
Report Abuse
07/05/2012 13:24:00

This season has been nothing short of a dsaster. The only saving grace is that the relegator hasn't actually sent us down - although i suspect at least wigan will overtake us - probably tonight. This manager has tried and failed - miserably. There's now two clear choices that the board have to make. 1) Keep mcleish. Give him money to spend and see what happens. The result of this action would be a massive cut in season tickets, match day tickets and merchandise sold, more negative vibes around the club, and even more supporter dissent. Combine that with our current form, mind-knumbingly boring performances on the pitch, and next season could well be relegation. Option 2) Sack Mcleish. The dark cloud is lifted, and the club can start afresh - hopefully with a fan-backed manager this time LISTEN TO THE FANS. THis wuld get supporters 99% behind the club (there's always 1%), it would bring season ticket renewals back, and bring back a feel-good factor arund the club. It wuld also lift some of the vitrol from off Randy & PF's back, as fans would then wait & see what the future would bring. I think we can all see it's a no-brainer, but can the board? I think we'll know for certain maybe a week or so after Norwich.... ECK OUT.
Report Abuse
07/05/2012 13:58:00


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