Aston Villa - Where Are We Headed?
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Where Are We Headed?

Even as I am writing this, my mind is boggling as to what is happening at Aston Villa Football Club. I am so frustrated, the only way I can get rid of it is to write something down.

So the questions is......where is Aston Villa headed?

Firstly, I don't have the answer!

We have had the 5 year plan, the updated 4 year plan and now we have the.........well it appears that we don't have any plan but none of us know do we!!

In my mind, a football club has two ways to go. Either 1) it has a vision set out by the owners and the board OR 2) it buys into a vision put forward by a potential manager.

In the first instance the board have to go out and actively recruit a manager who they think can implement their vision. This obviously has its limitations to the the type of manager and also their potential availability. How does this sit with our current hierarchy and the appointments of Houllier, Mcleish and now Lambert? 3 very different managers with 3 very different styles. Did the board have a clear vision?

Lets take Lambert. If the boards 'vision' was...Hello Mr Lambert, we will give you 20 mill or so for new players, however we do need you to cut the wage bill and by the way if we get relegated then so be it, then we have to put a big tick against Paul because so far he has fulfilled or is fulfilling this vision. That is what he signed up for!

If however it was you can have 20 million, you need to cut the wage bill but relegation would be a catastrophe, then why is he still here?? The situation we were in at the beginning of the transfer window was to close for comfort and it has got worse!

In the second case, a potential manager comes to the club with a clear vision of where he wants or thinks the club can go and how he thinks he can achieve it. Yes people and fans take the piss out of this....Mourinho's powerpoint presentation to Abramovich, Villa Boas and his methods, Brendan Rodgers and his 180 page dossier to Liverpool.....but why? All it shows is that a manager has looked into the club, applied a bit of common sense and knowledge and has come up with a plan to take the club forward. The board looks at the plan and buys into it if they like it.

So what was Lambert's vision. Yea no worries I will trim the wage bill, 20 mill or so should be adequate but by the way we might get relegated? Not really something I would be taking up as owners but if they did then again big tick for Paul.

If however he was happy to trim the wage bill, needed 20 odd mill and guaranteed survival then why is he still here?? Again, far to close for comfort after Christmas.

I guess what I am trying to get at is that this whole situation makes no sense to me. I cannot believe that the boardroom of any football club would advocate 'relegation' (that word has started to give me the shits) especially from the premier league. Even though Lerner is not the long term leader of this football club in my opinion, he should surely be aware of the long term damage that relegation will have on the club both from his business interest point of view and the fans point of view!

It all comes back to the question....where are we headed?

In my mind, yes we had an up coming young manager but sadly with old methods. The days of the old 'I will get the players up for this game' method of management has gone. The days of a coach standing on the training pitch coaching players is here.

Sorry for the ramble, it's hard being so far away from it all!

Forum Thread.

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The Journalist

Writer: Villa-in-Oz Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday February 6 2013

Time: 9:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
To the championship
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 09:32:00

More pointless negative comments!!! Im sure thats just what the team needs about now!!
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 09:44:00

Quite simple really, we earn around the 90m mark in revenues so the wage bill has to be 65% of this figure. It will go up a tad next season due to the increased Sky revenues available but the bottom line is we have to keep the wage bill at 65% of the revenues that come in. We still have Bent, Dunne and Ireland to get of the books which stands at around 9.6m per year for the three. We cannot continue to lose 30, 40 or 50 million pounds per season. Lerner has thrown everything at it yet attendances never rose much, sponsorships never came pouring in and the trophies MON obviously promised him never came. If you honestly think he is going to keep stumping up tens of millions of pounds to counter the clubs deficit and keep going gung ho chasing impossible dreams of CL football etc.... then you must be deluded, he would be broke in ten years time. QPR, Newcastle, Southampton, West Ham even Liverpool are living on borrowed money and accumulating debt to stay in the Premier League because of the so called financial benefits. The only people getting the benefit are players and agents and it will get worse when the sky money goes up. It is a plan for financial suicide. We have to put our house in order now and be shrewd in the market with players that are young and show promise,have a future sell on profit if they leave so we can reinvest into the clubs squad. The most important thing in all this is AVFC and it's continued existence. Yes they are taking a gamble and I think they are doing it with their eyes wide open. They know the club has to stand on its own solid foundations now and live within it's means for it's long term future. Over the next few years we will see the English game and especially the Premier League implode and only the clubs with the right financial footing will survive. That's if we manage to stay in it, if we do and lose the remaining deadwood and invest in up and coming players then next season will be something to look forward to. UTV
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 10:25:00

The team, I'm pretty sure, doesn't read this. Anyway, do you want honest opinion or what justsupport? If the team was good enough, they wouldn't need most comments - but they're not.
Pride of Lions
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 10:25:00

.............. plus Villa-in-Oz, we have a coach, his name is Ian Culverhouse.
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 10:28:00

Thats right aston we have a coach who made 432 appearances over a 12 year a defender. He has our defence purring doesn't he!
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 10:42:00

Most of this season our defence has been made up of two or three rookie centrebacks as Dunne has been out all season which was never expected and then Vlaar who is adapting to the Premier League got injured for two months. The full backs we have are good prospects but were always going to struggle without experienced heads along side them. No one would have saw the injuries to Dunne and Vlaar at the same time coming. The main problem is midfield defence, there isn't any. Hopefully Sylla will give us something now, or are you going to write him off too without letting him settle ??
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 10:47:00

astonmilan i like you, nice to hear someone with there own thoughts backed up with info rather than just mindless bandwagon jumpers! hats off to you sir
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 10:56:00

@pride of lions they are young talented players and if people would stop only concentrating on the negative side of what happens and actually pick up on some of the good things that are happening at the club then maybe we might a few more results on the pitch...instead so called fans just want to slag them off over and over and over again!!!! If you put people down enough your start to think its so, and if that happens then your be in trouble!! In case you guys are struggling cause im fed up of hearing about our defence is rubbish here are some positives: 1.were scoring goals..Benteke,weimann,gabby all in great form and with n'zog starting to play like we no he can we will always cause problems. 2. Recent performances.....first half WBA....2nd half Newcastle both teams on the up who we totally outplayed and lets not forget Everton game who are going for top four. 3. A Top class manager who had to address our midfield issues with no money and has done so. So before everyone has ago at me for seeing positives and away forward comments from John Greg, brian L and Andy G have all said the defence isnt great but whos would be without people to protect it!!
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 10:59:00

I dont think i have written any player off on here. We knew that Dunne was going to be injured for a while but the management decided to go from the end of August until the end of December with 2 recognised centre backs. Vlaar got injured which i accept was unfortunate, we have since then paid the price and we have gone through another window with it not being addressed.....but.....that doesn't excuse some of the defending we have seen. It has been shocking! Mr Teale has it spot on for me....nobody wants to do the dirty work. Just watch Everton's equaliser....and no you dont have to be adapting to the premier to defend properly !!
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 11:03:00

justsupport....1. yes we are scoring goals but picking up very few points which i thought was the point, 2. a game is 90 mins for both WBA and Newcastle, Everton we threw a 3-1 lead away 3. a top class manager is based on what exactly?? Personally i feel that the people who have a whinge at the negativity on these boards have to produce a little bit more evidence, because the people who are completely fed up with how things are going at the moment have all the evidence we need.....look at the performances and the table!
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 11:10:00

justsupport. WHAT DO YOU THINK WE DO AT GAMES? After games we discuss. Look at the league table maybe? Fans have been fantastic this season but you can't just sit silently and say nothing about where we are heading. Or do we just blindly follow? If that is the case, then football is finished. It is the passion (and moans when things aren't right) that feeds football and makes it what it is.
The Fear
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 11:31:00

Clarkamus....I have my thoughts and I'm not on a bandwagon. I like to look at the facts and then comment. The info that I look at is a 90 minute performance every week along with those 2 boxes on the right side of this page titled League Results ( which by the way doesn't include a defeat to a league 2 side over 2 legs or a defeat by a championship side) and League Table showing us in 19th position with a goal difference of -26.
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 11:50:00

Villa-in-Oz ..... your findings are flawed. An article in the Mail show how we are actually one of the best teams at defending corners. The 15 goals from Chelsea, Spurs and Wigan came mostly from open play due to our midfield being unable to defend their back line which is one of the most fundamental aspects of football. Barry Bannan, Fabian Delph and El Ahmadi are well out of their depth in the Premier League. The issue of getting the right players in is also very very important now and from what I can see the wage demands were way too high from the players we were looking at. It's reported that Sissoko wanted 70k a week and Newcastle paid it, they now have him for 4 years. We can't afford those sort of wages and either can they the difference being we know what high wages mean in terms of losses. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the money we have lost over the last three seasons is more than it took to bump Rangers FC and way way more than it took to bump Pompey. This isn't a time for panic buying and paying silly wages through ransom to agents. Any player now has to fit the structure of young, hungry, lots of potential and with a profitable sell on value should they leave. No one likes being where we are but it will be for the good of the club long term. Lamberts training tactics are up there with the way European coaches work so where you get the 'get the boys up for the game' stuff from is baffling. Everyone has a place at the club but has to earn the right to play and this will become more apparent as his tenure continues. He has had 23 competitive games with a squad of which three quarters he inherited and has a rebuild to undertake ..... if you think it will happen in half a season then you don't understand football chap. And Mr Fear our support at VP has been dire since the O'Dreary days, players can feel the negativity from the pitch ..... and I have been told by an ex player who moved the very same. Our home form and performances even under MON have been poor to average season after season. Not sure what can be done about that though, Lambert seems to want a rocking VP and should in time get it. UTV
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 12:03:00

Got to agree with astonmilan re the midfield problem which I have been advocating as a problem all season,which is why I am still puzzled that we did not loan 2-3 experianced players early in the window. Surely there wages would have been paid by a league cup final appearance and good FA cup run,never mind helping us to safety. Yes I am aware that signing them would be no guarantee but I feel it in my bones we missed an opportunity that would have paid handsome dividends. As for supporting the team and having a moan I have never booed a player in a Villa strip and save my moans or as I prefer to look at it opinions for this site and disscussions with my fellow villa fans. I would also point out without protests we would still be stuck in the old third division.
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 12:51:00

Here here fear!! I'm sick of being told to stop moaning & support!! I've paid my money & supported now I'm voicing my opinion!! How anyone can put up & shut up when the club is dying in front of us is beyond me.
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 13:07:00

gdav .... you make a fair point mate, but why not try and understand the situation and how they are dealing with it ? basically if you earned 2k a month and spent 2450 per month who long would you last in your domestic situation at home ? the masses never came to fill out VP, the big money sponsors either .... basically we aren't as big or as glorious as some of our fans appear to think ....... I think the penny has dropped with Lerner and he can't keep bankrolling it. We have to take two steps back before we move forward, we have to do it how Everton have done it. It's the only way this club will survive, no Oil rich sugar daddies are going to come to The Midlands and the UEFA FFP rules should stop ridiculous transfer spending. In the transfer window we haven't seen many outstanding deals from the top to the bottom of the Prem. I'm glad we are getting our house in order, may be painful and distress me for a while but the club I love will still be there at the end and hopefully in good nick and competing again. UTV
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 13:38:00

I havent given up on the oil rich sheiks astonmilan have you ever been to Manchester and seen the place lol :)
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 15:22:00

Merlin ....... Manchester and London with their clubs and haunts offer far more glamour and night life to the players and staff at their clubs. The Midlands isn't in the same bracket to these 20 odd year old's earning tens of thousands a week and the need to display it. Even Merseyside has more pull (that hurts to say it) The oil rich Sheiks have probably never even heard of Birmingham. Face facts, we were lucky to get Lerner and his family wealth. Just unfortunate that he was so naive about English football. I live in hope he has learnt his lessons, takes no more notice of letters from unscrupulous whisky drinking managers from up north and gets the plan in place for Lambert to fulfil his and the clubs ambition. You don't become a bad manager overnight I have trust he can do it. If not we're f***ked. UTV
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 15:38:00

........... and yes Merlin I have been to Manchester and I had a very disturbing experience in a nightclub with a transsexual ! luckily I came out unscathed .... but that is a story for another day ;) lmao
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 15:48:00

The thing i have with Randys big plan is hes not telling us about it.If he does have one i reckon it is along the lines of 'Theres only 20m for players and get the wage bill down,we dont wanna go down but if we do so be it'.If thats how it is then ok ,but at least we can see what you are trying to do, and what Lamberts got to work to.Sitting quiet in the USA and letting Lambert take all the brickbats isnt what a chairmans supposed to do at times like this.
fc bongobongo
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 16:43:00

Lerner was happy to show his face, even call press conferences, when the media were giving him praise. Now he has been shown to be reactionary and naive, and basically lacking in knowledge or a plan, he refuses to front up. A fair-weather Chairman isn't what we need, we need a General (but not a General Krulak lol). He will be even more absent next year when we are stumbling round the Championship. He had the chance to prove his mettle and commitment in January. What we got was a cut and paste statement that bore considerable resemblance to the ones issued supporting Houllier and Lambert - infact it looked like only the names of the managers had been changed. People's true colours are shown during crisis and I'm afraid that Lerner is a coward who stays in his bunker and leaves others to take the flak. Maybe that's why likes Faulkner so much, who refuses to do anything other than talk about carbon neutral, VMF, buy your reduced matchday ticket bull****. It must be like looking in a mirror for Randy although, admittedly, like looking in a funfair mirror.
heavy d
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 17:16:00

Heavy d got it spot on. Lerner is the problem not lambert & that's not me jumping on the bandwagon. if anyone dared speak out against the regime a few months ago they would of been removed and reeducated!!!
Report Abuse
06/02/2013 19:31:00

aston......i think we could keep his going for a while but i think we will have to agree to disagree. Just so i am clear on what you are saying though is that we are actually good at defending corners even though we have conceded what...17 odd goals from that situation, its the reason we are not going to Wembley in either the League or the FA cup and why we have a -26 GD.... We have some of the best coaching methods in Europe along with a manager who is Mr Motivator, a shewd tactition and a dab hand in the transfer market...Everybody has a place at the club except Hutton, Warnock, Makoun, Ireland and Bent......and to top it off the fans support for the club has been 'dire' since August 2006! Words fail me!
Report Abuse
07/02/2013 01:43:00

Time for the excuses to stop. We're going down because most of our 1st rate players have been sold, and they have been replaced with 2nd/3rd rate players. As it stands, we are headed for the 2nd Division.
Class of 82
Report Abuse
07/02/2013 14:09:00

lol@astonmilan, think we'd best not ask for more details re: your manchester experience eh!?

On the single point I think you are wrong heavy d in fact quite the opposite, the press have been driven mad by the fact he won't do press conferences and won't show his face. Not being pedantic, there is plenty to criticise at the moment, but don't think that part is correct at all!!!
The Fear
Report Abuse
07/02/2013 14:26:00


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