How To Succeed At Aston Villa (Or Any Other Club)
A short step-by-step guide on how to win trophies, earn true success and be revered by the rest of the country....
Step 1: Appoint a manager who is adaptable, pragmatic and attacking in nature. He has a long-term vision for the club and knows that the success of the club is more important than any player and even himself. This manager knows how to motivate players and bring the best out of them in backs-to-the-wall situations. He will put his hands up and take the flak for getting it wrong, learning from his mistakes, and will also let the players know he's the one in charge while maintaining an approachable, amicable demeanour which won't affect individual performances. He also knows how to make astute yet competitive, ambitious signings of proven quality, equally as adaptable and creative as himself who can benefit the team and will stay for longer than 2 seasons because they have committed to the team cause rather than wages and individual glory.
Step 2: As mentioned briefly, the manager must assemble a team with a predominantly attacking nature and ability to score goals whilst still also being able to defend efficiently, especially from set-pieces. This will usually consist of 4 defenders, a holding midfielder, 2 wingers and an attacking midfielder who will link up with 2 proven goalscorers. Failing that, a system involving 3 centre-backs, 2 lightning-paced wing-backs and 3 central midfielders with 2 strikers has also proven to be productive.
Step 3: Take this team, invest an adequate amount of money to provide genuine strength in depth over the course of a season and attempt to win all 38 games in the domestic league, as well as any cup fixtures that the team has to play. Step 3 is the most important part of this guide, and should be persisted with at ALL times. Failure to demonstrate such efforts to the supporters will result in heckling, booing and diminished support of the team. This is nigh-on unthinkable after the marginal endurance of previous campaigns.
Step 4: At the end of the campaign, review the efforts made by the players and everyone involved, look into strengths and weaknesses, problems and solutions and rectify them as much as possible before the next campaign starts.
Step 5: Repeat steps 2 to 4.
'It's like the author knew what I've been thinking for all these years...' A. Ferguson, Manchester
'Amazing guide. I forgot how much I used to read this.' A. Wenger, London
'Ah, so that's where I've been going wrong...' K. Dalglish, Liverpool
'I might not need this any more!' A. Pardew, Newcastle
'Who wrote this? I think I'm having some trouble with Step 1.' R. Abramovich, Chelsea