Writer: Mike Field
Date:Wednesday July 18 2012
It was inevitable that Alex McLeish would eventually re-tell his story of his time at Villa Park, but I never quite expected him to claim we remained competitive! Although I did guess it would be the fans fault.
Speaking to The Mirror four Ex intimates that the majority of Villa fans were against him from the start and that was why the club struggled as he tried to cut wages.
'There were a few difficulties, but I don't think the Villa fans totally accepted me being in the job.'
A minority never accepted him because of a mix of his Birmingham ties and the fact his record at the point consisted of two relegations in three seasons. The vast majority, like we do for every manager or player, were prepared to give him time...and time he had. More than an ample amount and nothing at all changed.
'It was a massive challenge for me and made even more demanding because of the fact that I worked with the club on a project to reduce the wages.'
Yet it was under Houllier that big earners left. Under McLeish's time he unexpectedly lost Stuart Drowning after he proved to be the mercenary Boro fans told us he was, and he actively sold Luke Young. John Carew and Brad Friedel were out of contract, and he had the already planned transfer of Ash Young after he gave us the final year under Houllier.
Hardly really trimming the wage bill as he tries to claim here. Especially when you factor in the signings of N'Zogbia, Hutton, Keane, Given and the total disaster that was Jenas.
So you could argue he not only failed at reducing the wage bill but he failed on the pitch aswell.
'Not every Villa fan will agree I did a marvellous job, but I did manage to reduce the wage level and at the same time remain competitive.'
Eck off did you you, deluded fool. The choices of wage reduction were nothing to do with you with players out of contract and wanting moves and you spent shed loads on Keane and Jenas.
1 win in our final 16 matches.
2 points above the relegation zone.
4 home wins all season.
Worst ever points total in the league.
Were there more? I'm pretty sure there were but I'm doing this from memory.
Non of that references our performances, or lack thereof, our tactics, or lack thereof, our lack of fight, effort, battle and self pride - which yes the players equally bask in the unreflected glory of - and at no point does that even reference the fact he lied blatantly to fans in pre season, and during the season with gems like 'I always play four forwards'.
'But I must say that a great number of young players came into the game and they had great education - maybe not ready to play every single week but they fought a really good fight and managed to finish above some more experienced teams.'
Yes the youngsters did come in from the reserves, they were played out of position, told to play in a way world's apart from how the played in the reserves and yes they probably did learn a lot, and yes the youngsters were the only players to show any fight last season.
But the squad wasn't littered with them, unlike McLeish rewriting of history he still had plenty of senior players to call on and he did in every single game. Had we led with the youngsters we might have won more bloody matches, but to finish that off by saying we finished above more experienced teams...who?
QPR, Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves.
Really Alex...are you that desperate? Can you take the blame for anything you did during your tenure here?
Do you lack the humility and honesty to even do that after all these weeks.
Sad and pathetic - the majority have accepted it simply didn't work out for a wide variety of reasons, wished you well and wished you good luck for the future as nobody deserves the vitriol you suffered as the season drew to a close.
And that's how you repay them, disgraceful.
Crawl back under your rock, and enjoy your pay off you abject failure.
Still look on the bright side, you've now only got a 50% record of relegating teams in the Premiership, so it can't be all bad.
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Date:Wednesday July 18 2012
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