Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Catalogue Of Problems = Long Road Back For Villa?

Catalogue Of Problems = Long Road Back For Villa?

Interesting article by Mat Law (one of the senior writers who sometimes also goes on the Sky show, Sunday Supplement) in The Mirror

It calls for some sort of director of football, but that aside, brings up a few very good interesting talking points.

You can read the whole article here:

A good few who know me will know I`ve said the same here as have others obviously, I'm not being a football sage here! The board does appear narrow (Randy as chairman, a CEO and a finance director + one non exec) and it wouldn`t hurt at all to have someone we identify as a 'football person`.

Trouble is, they decided on (or if you believe the manager and Ellis inherited) Martin O`Neill. He would never have accepted someone 'above` him because he knows everything, including how to spend madly on wages and leave a club .... sorry, I was going to get all bitter there, I`ll stop.

The article, and the bit I find interesting, suggests that Steve Stride, who was operations manager, was moved on because Randy Lerner agreed when taking O`Neill that the manager and the manager alone would be responsible for wages, transfer fees etc. He was very obviously a hands on manager and the board would, I would imagine, argue that the manager IS the football person at the club (ie you don`t need one on the board of directors as well)

The report says:

Faulkner took Stride's title, before becoming chief executive, but it was O'Neill who called the shots. O'Neill undoubtedly made good signings such as Ashley Young, John Carew, James Milner and Stewart Downing, but ultimately broke the bank in his pursuit of Champions League football. He spent £3.5million on both Zat Knight and Marlon Harewood, £8.5m on Nigel Reo-Coker, £10m on Curtis Davies, £4m on Nicky Shorey, £5m on Luke Young and £5.5m on Steve Sidwell. Habib Beye was another £3m signing from Newcastle and was handed a £42,000-a-week salary, while Gary Cahill was allowed to leave for Bolton for just £5m.

So there you have it, if true, it does show where it nearly went SO right and ended up going SO wrong. The manager choices since haven`t helped either.

O'Neill achieved three successive sixth-placed finishes, but never managed to qualify for the Champions League or win a trophy.

Mat Law adds By the time he quit over the sale of Milner to Manchester City, O'Neill was understood to be more than £20million over the budget he had agreed with Lerner.

He ends, People who work closely with the club claim Faulkner is very good at many aspects of his job and the support of leukaemia victim Stiliyan Petrov has been wonderful. So let Faulkner concentrate on what he is good at and bring in a sporting or football director to oversee the shift in policy in wages and transfers, and work closely with Lambert. Lerner must finally start to take the advice of football people who want the best for Villa. He must also accept that it has to be a gradual process and not an immediate sea change. Taylor rescued Villa, following the club's last relegation in 1987. Lerner may well need some one-on-one guidance on that particular scenario if he doesn't get it right soon.

Can`t argue with that. I get slated at times (poor little old Feario, and me a little cripple boy as well) for sticking up for the CEO but sorry, everyone apart from Randy Lerner are staff, they do what their boss says and it is the owner that has to look at the fact this is not working and make changes.

I know people call for Lerner to f*** off, or 'put up or sell up` etc.... Easier said than done. He HAS put money in (and yes, some is via the Lerner Trust and so does bear interest, the Trust can`t not charge interest but it is lower than bank rates) and he has seen near misses (a final and semi at Wembley plus at one stage so close to 4th) and total misses (bringing in the most unpopular manager ever, now fights in the bottom three for three seasons in a row etc) but for me, apart from the hiring last season, I can`t slate them. I can`t congratulate them either. The finger of blame points to more than one single person, one single incident. Whatever, the culmination is we are in a relegation dog fight and personally, unless something massive happens this January, I can`t see we are going to get out of it. I so hope to be wrong.

We reached for the stars, we missed. Now how or who will pick up the pieces and restore Villa to their rightful (or if that word is too arrogant, our historic) place in the top 6 of English football. It might be a long road back.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Tuesday January 15 2013
Time: 12:52PM


Can't argue with this article, Taylor would certainly add great experiance and know how to advise Randy, PF i have no problem with, i know some claim he is to blame aswellfor the mess we are in but surely Randy is the boss? First things first we need some players now and then we can build back up but survivng yet another relegation battle is getting too close for comfort on our future now, Randy has to buy us players and then really take the bull by the horns and sort this club out we are a shambles on the pitch and lack quality experianced players but they cost wages not peanuts Randy!
15/01/2013 13:21:00
yes agree with quite a lot of it, I read it this morning before you put this up. I think a lot of people have said for a long time that its quite clear that PF and RL have little football knowledge - hiring the muppet last season clearly shows that!!
15/01/2013 13:29:00
I must say I thought it was a very good article, not sure Taylor would be a savour for us though. Sad to see what has happened to our great club, we are the laughing stock of English football at the moment. That being said we also have been unlucky, injuries, late goals conceeded, bad ref decissions and basicaly not getting the rub of the green. we will be playing Championship football next season as we will not win the 6 or so games we need to stay up. The way i feel i would much prefer to be in the Championship winning games than they way we are now as following the Villa is not a very nice at the moment. I still love my club despite what O'Neill has done to it and we will have glory days again. COTVABU
irish villa
15/01/2013 13:37:00
We can talk and talk about whoose fault and the history of it but end of the day its the here and now Randy needs to look at without a reasonable outlay of money on a 2-3 players albeit loans of quality experianced players we are in deep dung relegation would cost both Randy and Villa vast sums you cant charge premiership prices in the championship good players dont want to play in the championship and with the big rise in tv fees due its going to make getting back and staying there even harder in future as the gap widens. Cannot believe Lambert will go lamely to the slaughter when 3 good loan signings could turn us around. I like Lambert and he still has my support but lose the stubborness Paul pride comes before the fall.
15/01/2013 14:00:00
Read this earlier this morning and it seems to hit the right note for me. Sir Graham would make an excellent choice for that role and give PL the support that he needs at a difficult time.
cheshire villan
15/01/2013 14:02:00
Good, very considered article. Not sure whether Taylor is the man, be the right man to give advice, but he would be better than no-one for ****s sake. Whoever he does talk to (if anyone) Lerner needs to listen and act on what he hears. However painful it is.
15/01/2013 14:09:00
Yup good article.. I do believe Randy would love to see this club successful but has been unfortunate with the influences around him. There was definately a touch of naivety with the Houllier & AMC appointments & even perhaps the structure regarding transfers under MON. However he has done a lot of very good work too, albeit not so much with the playing side, which is of course the mainstay of any football club. I do think he will learn from this however & the wounds can be healed. Of course we have the urgent matter of relegation to deal with which is out of our hands now to a point, as was highlighted by the gifting of 3 points to Southampton by Halsey on Saturday. This is the biggest problem now. We have a reputation of being weak & in my experience officials subconsciously take this into account when making key decisions especially against the big guns. So i fear we will suffer this from now on in this season & will be victim to several more shocking decisions amidst our survival battle. This means we not only have to improve to a standard of getting enough points but we also have to improve sufficiently to be able to absorb those decisions as well as get enough points... this makes it a very difficult task indeed. For evidence of this just remember the much repeated line "when your at the wrong end of the table decisions always seem to go against you" This is what i am most afraid of now. I think with our injured players back & one or two additions we could make a fight of it however.
15/01/2013 14:15:00
I can't believe we are still moaning about Martin O'Neill. He left nearly 3 years ago. He made a number of questionable signings, but I don't remember too many people complaining about that at the time. We thought we had a sugar daddy in Randy Lerner to bank roll success for the foreseeable future, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. We are where we are financially. There will be no big signings this month and in all probability we will go down unless there are 3 teams worse than us over the next 16 games. Very sad and it hurts, but there's nothing any of us can do to change it, and blaming O'Neill for the mess we're in now is laughable. What about laying the blame on the peole who have run the Club over the last 3 years of stagnation since he left and, more importantly, the overpaid average players who let us down week in week out?
15/01/2013 14:17:00
The problem we have, is Lerner thinks he knows, I can't see any other reason for the constant mistakes.
15/01/2013 14:26:00
Agree with KevJoyBoy, sick to the back teeth of people blaming MON, but you all know I was a bit of a MON fanboy ;)
15/01/2013 14:30:00
Page 1/4
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Thug Paul Robinson Charged For Violent Conduct

If we did this, we'd be charged by the police, kicking and hitting out at someone. Not sure why they are allowed to do it in the name of sport?

Fans Do Villa Proud Despite Disappointing Season

By the time the curtain on the Championship campaign of 2016/17 comes down, almost 750,000 Aston Villa fans will have been in B6 for matches following relegation.

Four Generations Of Villa Fans Attending From France

DJFRRANCE attending the Villa v Blues with four generations including passing on this wonderful heritage to his grandson.

U23s - Blackburn 0 Aston Villa 0

Premier League 2 disappointment for Aston Villa following scoreless draw with Blackburn Rovers in our final fixture of the campaign.

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Mike Field
Editor email
Steve Wade
no email
no email
Turkish Penguin
no email
no email
Chris Heath
no email
M Calucar
no email
JuanPablo Angel
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Birmingham MotM
Suggested By:
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Brighton 44 28 8 8 92 35
P Newcastle 44 27 7 10 88 40
3 Reading 44 24 7 13 79 1
4 Sheff Wed 44 23 9 12 78 15
5 Huddersfield 43 24 6 13 78 2
6 Fulham 44 21 13 10 76 27
7 Leeds Utd 44 22 7 15 73 14
8 Norwich 44 19 9 16 66 12
9 Brentford 44 18 9 17 63 12
10 Derby County 44 17 12 15 63 2
11 Preston 44 16 13 15 61 2
12 Aston Villa 44 16 13 15 61 0
13 Cardiff 44 16 11 17 59 -2
14 Barnsley 44 15 12 17 57 0
15 Wolves 43 15 10 18 55 -2
16 Ipswich 44 13 16 15 55 -6
17 Bristol City 44 14 9 21 51 -6
18 Burton 44 13 12 19 51 -12
19 Q.P.R. 44 14 8 22 50 -12
20 Forest 44 13 9 22 48 -11
21 Birmingham 44 11 14 19 47 -22
22 Blackburn 44 10 15 19 45 -15
23 Wigan 44 10 11 23 41 -16
R Rotherham 44 5 6 33 21 -58
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Honda to hand McLaren duo more reliable engine?
Latest Vital Boxing News
Is Tyson Fury on the way back?
Vital Football Comment

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Apr 29 2017 3:00PM : Blackburn Rovers (a)
Sky Bet Championship
May 7 2017 12:00PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

2.Pride of Lions337
4.The Fear231
6.Melon Donkey163
Write for Vital Football