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The Villa Blame Game....

The Blame Game

As you read this article Aston Villa Football Club is currently looking for its 3rd manager in 2 seasons. The quick release of Alex McLeish is a clear sign that the club's hierarchy were massively disappointed with his services, and we yet again enter the summer with a period of uncertainty towards the future, both immediate and long term.

As McLeish left Bodymoor Heath this morning, I wonder what he was thinking.

Maybe I should have stayed at Birmingham; I wish Bent didn't get injured; I shouldn't have bought Charles N'Zogbia?? Perhaps it was all of these things. I know what I thought when I read the reports this morning, WHY ARE WE IN THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE????

As a student of only 20 years I know I don't have much life 'experience', but what I have learnt is that someone is always to blame in every bad situation. Someone has to take responsibility. People always look to blame others, it's a defence mechanism, and it doesn't apply any more often than sport. So who is to blame for this seasons mess?? It's clear most of the fans have looked to the man in the dugout, and so has the football club. He picked the teams; no one forced him to start full backs as wingers and persist to play defensively. He signed the players, some of which have been shockingly poor (Hutton, N'Zogbia.) others he didn't, but still picked to play.

It's all debatable, but what has happened? Who's to blame, why are we yet again in limbo?

Well Randy Lerner step forward and you need only but look into the dark mirror. Who knows why he did it, but he made the appointment regardless if he was advised by others on it. Just like McLeish picked the teams, Lerner picked the manager. I never believed that McLeish was the right man for the job. I wrote an email around the time of the protest to the club advising Lerner not to appoint him and to look at other free targets like Chris Hughton. I understood the clubs financial struggles and how we would be focussing on cutting the wage bill. But I still didn't understand why he thought AM was the man for the job. I remember thinking why is he doing this, does he not understand football?? I contacted some Cleveland Brown fans asking them what they really thought of Lerner and it's safe to say he's not a popular man among them. They feel he's too attached to his 'soccer' hobby and that we will one day find out what he's really like.

Well I feel like I learnt a lot on the 17th June 2011 and think I've learnt a bit more today. In his short statement, he writes that we have lacked 'compelling play' in recent years. Well how did he think McLeish was going to give us that? McLeish had to go, but he did do everything that was asked of him. He slashed the wage bill, bedded the young players in and survived relegation. But the main fact is he should never have been appointed in the first place and we should not be in this position we're in now.

He was left high and dry by the CEO and owner on numerous occasions to take a lot of abuse from the fans, some of it deserved, others not. The players were poor all season; whoever inherits the squad is going to have a tough time regardless of their age or what they've achieved. The squad must be strengthened and a few players must be pushed out of the club. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks. Our problems lie deeper than the manager. In my letter to Lerner almost a year ago, I wrote that his whole ownership will be defined by the decision he makes in the coming days. That was then; it's just a shame it applies, yet again. UTV


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The Journalist

Writer: VILLA 4 LIFE Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday May 15 2012

Time: 3:45PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Personally I think they should be afford the right to the odd mistake, it is how they correct it that is important. McLeish didn't fulfil whatever it was they saw in him ( he is a nice bloke and a good salesman for a start) ... MON was backed, we so almost got there and I think would have with a different manager. GH was starting to show signs, not Randy et al's fault he kept going on about Liverpool. This one? No, I have no idea BUT he didn't do what he said he would (to the fan delegation, he sounded so convincing)

Now our previous board had 25 years. They brought in some great managers, some good managers and some total howlers. Absolute stinkers. They got the time to change. This next appointment is the crunch one for me. The last one has stretched relations for sure, but after £220m put into the club (he'd not get that back if he sold us) I've got more patience and time for his leadership, but it is now leadership that we need to see for sure.
The Fear
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15/05/2012 15:49:00

faulkner wanting a vibrant manger - it screams of martinez really for me. cannot see lambert at all being appointed - MON best mate? the way MON left i hardly doubt thats going to happen
Report Abuse
15/05/2012 16:03:00

and lerner has made a bold statement and has shown that he does care about fans and not standing for really dull boring football. he has my respect now as i have said before - if he got rid of him then it proves that he won't settle for this kind of season
Report Abuse
15/05/2012 16:04:00

The speed Lerner acted has put a bit of faith back in him for me. For me though,it is hard tocompare previous board and this one as now football is even more money driven. This last mistake almost cost us our PL spot, another mistake like the last one will probably confirm our exit from the PL so it is imperrative he gets it right this time. You are right though JF, it was a VERY ODD mistake. Oh well, onwards and upwardsas they say.
Pride of Lions
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15/05/2012 16:12:00

With £220m invested, Lerner remains in credit with me. MON may have been allowed to blow £ms, but we have amazing facilities which might tip the balance with their target replacement. But Fear is right - this appointment is absolutely crucial: 1 mistake (Houllier) is an accident, 2 mistakes (McLeish) are careless, a third would spell grave trouble. UTV!
Report Abuse
15/05/2012 16:20:00

just spoke to the bookies and Mc Carthy has been backed into 11/8 favourite. Randy will have no credibility left if this happens
Report Abuse
15/05/2012 16:26:00

Judging by Randy's statement, it's got to be Pep!
Report Abuse
15/05/2012 16:26:00

If it's McCarthy or Steve Bruce, we're back in McLeish territory.
Report Abuse
15/05/2012 16:27:00

Good article. I think the statement issued by the club does admit their mistake and puts the blame squarely on their previous decisions. When I heard it I thought it showed some cojones. Randy has probably been on a very steep learning curve since he bought us. He might even be wondering what the hell he has bought himself into - bet he never thought he'd be in this position after spending £220m of the family fortune. As JF says this appointment is critical. I'm glad it's not me making the decision - should we go for a safe pair of experienced hands or should we be bold and imaginative (with all the potential risk that entails). When VOTH mentioned the rumour about Poyet and Zola I thought that should be the sort of appointment we are looking to make but then it ain't my money!
Cheshire Villan
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15/05/2012 16:29:00

Maybe if he was more hands on, or appointed someone who had some football knowledge to help with these decisions, Villa wouldn't have lurched from one crisis to another for the last two seasons. Forget the names of those concerned and consider these logically - 1) a man in his 60's who hasn't managed a club in England for 6 years. Oh, he also has a history of Health problems. - 2) A man renowned for terrible football for the length of his managerial career, with 2 recent relegations to boot. He will also cost £3million in compensation to get. In neither of these scenarios, when stability and cost cutting are meant to be at forefront of thinking, would someone with any knowledge of football hire the person in question.
heavy d
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15/05/2012 16:31:00

Settlement was paid to MO'N when he left - meaning he didn't simply walk out and if it went to tribunal it could be argued for constructive dismissal. Houllier's and his staff's contracts were settled when the inevitable happened, and now McLeish and Grant walk away well compensated for a job poorly done. Whoever negotiates contracts at VP wants their pants pulling down. If a conservative estimate for these payments is £10,000,000 I hope this debt is swallowed personally by Randy due to the ineptitude shown, and not passed on to the club in the form of a loan which he earns interest on. How good would it have been to have this money to spend on a player in Jan??????
heavy d
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15/05/2012 16:48:00

mccarthy and steve bruce... thats a sick joke by the bookies.. not one of them should even be thought of
Report Abuse
15/05/2012 16:48:00

This season was going to be a relegation battle whoever was in charge. Last season it was only a late surge, powered by Bent's goals, that saved us. So what chance did we have after selling Bent's supply line, ie Bent and Downing? The blame has to be laid at Lerner's door for poor management of the finances. Doug might not have splashed the cash, but managers knew what to expect, modest but solid investment each year. Lerner on the other hand splashed the cash in the early years, but then tried to claw it back with a fire sale when things went wrong. He should know that there is no point on spending £24 million a top striker one season if you then try and claw back £36 million by selling your two top wingers the following season. Finally, the I fear the fans who say nobody could have done worse than McLeish this season are being unduly optimistic. Get this appointment wrong and we could easily get relegated next season. Which is why I don't agree with all these fans who keep saying take a risk on an unproven manager. There is no margin for error with this appointment. None at all.
Mark from Dudley
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15/05/2012 17:22:00

To be quite honest i do not care anymore about blaming anyone anymore or who's fault all the mess was we have been suffering etc All that matters to me know is Randy and PF get it right this time round so we can all put this difficult period behind us and move forward all together from board to fans we need no more drama now here at Villa, im looking forwards from know on not backwards i think we all need to do this for Villa and have hope again for Villa!
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15/05/2012 19:39:00


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