Writer: Mike Field
Date:Sunday May 6 2012
Alex McLeish has declared himself a relieved man after the toughest season of his career, yet he can't help talking himself into trouble.
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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Date:Sunday May 6 2012
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