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A commonly-held Villan's view on McLeish


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When Ulver was asked what his misgivings were about the seemingly imminent appointment of Alex McLeish, this was his response which seems to reflect a lot of the sentiment amongst Villans at present.

His woeful managerial record, pure and simple. The fact he's come from the dark side is not high on my list of reasons, but you can't expect it not to have some bearing on the stance.

But my real beef is the total lack of respect the board have shown the supporter base on such a HUGE decision.

We've just pissed one season up the wall due to them appointing a man we all feared wouldn't last the distance (we were proven right) and now they've decided a man with a third rate CV is the man to take the club forward on their ongoing quest to be pushing for the Champions League places. It makes no sense at all. You could analyse it for a hundred years and still come out scratching your head.

You then look at the fact they wanted to speak to Martinez before McLeish. Two managers who play the total opposite kinds of football. Just that alone has to tell EVERYONE they don't know what they're doing. How can they want to continue the football style started under Houllier, based on good football and a youth set up, then appoint a man who is well known for precisely NEITHER of those qualities as a manager ?

It's one stupid decision after another, made by people who clearly don't really understand football. We get the same old PR fluff we've always had, 'heritage' this, 'passion and commitment' that, but it's just hot meaningless air blown out to calm the masses.

When you stand back and look at the big picture, what do you really see ?

Have we really progressed as a football team at all in the last 5 years?

On the pitch, where it matters we're no further foward than we were under Doug if you are truly honest. We've spent loads and had all the goodwill gestures. But in the cold light of day, we are no further forward at all.

Sometimes you can accept the 'well at least they tried' stance. I have for the last few years.

But as with any business (and don't kid yourselves that it's anything but a business) once you start ignoring your customers, they will stop coming through the gates. There was a downfall last season probably due to some folks thinking the Houllier appointment was a sign of dementia creeping in at boardroom level. And throughout last season the General heard everybody's concerns on the managerial situation. Did he listen? Did he pass them on to the board? If so, did they listen?

Nobody will ever convince me that the board of Aston Villa Football Club sat down last month and said to each other "There is a man that can bring this club back together, a man that can unite the fans and bring harmony back to the club and his name is Alex McLeish".

Never in a million years would that have happened in any boardroom of any football club of our stature. NEVER.

There is a whole world full of football managers out there. Some in work, some out of work and the best our board can come up with is Martinez, McClaren and McLeish. Were they just spinning the 'M' wheel and plucking out random names? If so, landing on Moyes would've been ideal.

It's a complete and utter farce. Then to appoint the one manager on the planet that they clearly knew would cause the most hurt and uproar amongst the paying supporter base is just ... well...

It tells me all I need to know about what the board of my club, Aston Villa FC, think about me and my hopes and dreams for it.

I wasn't even this dejected when McNeill took us down in 1987.

That's all I've got to say on the matter. You don't have to agree and I don't have to agree with you.

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A brilliant well thought out statement from Ulver.

I don't think anyone on the current board have the Nous to appoint a really good manager, by that I mean someone who would need prising away from a club and persuading to come to Aston Villa.

McLeish is, quite plainly and simple the wrong man to appoint ... my predication is that he lasts less than a season ... and this will ultimately see the beginning of the end of Randy Lerner too.

All this stuff about I'm only the custodian of the club it belongs to the fans rubbish Lerner spouted on his arrival has now well & truly been tarnished and forgotten about by him.

Sad days ahead for my club ... the club I supported well before Randy Lerner became owner .. and still my club long after he's gone !

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Must admit, I have held off commenting on this journey into the black hole, though I have been trying to keep up with the pace of the 'Next Villa Manager Part x' threads. I agree fully with this post. It just doesn't add up and I fear the circus currently doing the rounds - all the mindless pontificating and protesting (vandalising club property FFS?) just reminds me of Newcastle and the mess they got in. Maybe that is what's best for us until we get over the hype that we were spun by the Bright Future ethos.

This appointment will set Villa back a decade when we are already years behind in the race for 4th.

I will be there and I will support the team come kick off - but Eck will be on to a loser before he has kicked a ball, whether rightly or wrongly. He will have no benefit of a honeymoon period because the fans (Sky Sports saying we've all changed our tune and become more positive???? Have we bugger...) hate his CV and hate the club he has just dumped into the Championship again. Why would the club set him up to fail like that? It's inhumane... Why give a new manager the stress of having a fan base that hates you and is unlikely to warm to you?? It's madness folks.

As Graham Taylor said when he took over for the first time - the club smells all wrong at the minute. Maybe MON was right to walk after all...

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We are back to where we started before MON signed, and before Randy's tenure began. Thanks for the investment Randy, but sadly its appears the excitement of the past four years are over, and I can only see a gradual erosion of the team personnel and Aston Villa's standing as a football team.

I can only wish Ashley Young well, and I fully expect Downing and Bent will depart shortly for more ambitious teams, and I can't blame them. This is our lot now.

Over the past four year, despite our fall-out of love with O'Neill, Aston Villa was on the up: exciting youngsters, biting at the heals of the top four - not quite there but not far away, always maybe next season. Not any more.

I feel properly deflated because I didn't think in a million years they would appoint McLeish - and not because of Birmingham City FC, but because I don't know what he stands for as a manager, he has a poor track record. While it isn't yet official I will hope and pray Randy and the board are having second thoughts....

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It's easy to criticize the appointment. Who would you all have appointed instead? And, please, don't say Frank Rijkaard or Louis Van Gaal.

Why not say Frank Rijkaard or Louis van Gaal? Both have managed smaller clubs than ours. They are unemployed. I would have hoped both would have been approached, they could only say no.

But discounting those 2 I would have gone for Sanchez Flores.

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It's easy to criticize the appointment. Who would you all have appointed instead? And, please, don't say Frank Rijkaard or Louis Van Gaal.

We don't know who they approached/discussed it with other than McLeish BUT if they couldn't find a candidate better than him then I believe that says that they do not have the ability to sell the club and their vision and, if this is the case, something desperately needs to change in the Villa hierarchy.

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It's easy to criticize the appointment. Who would you all have appointed instead? And, please, don't say Frank Rijkaard or Louis Van Gaal.

We don't know who they approached/discussed it with other than McLeish BUT if they couldn't find a candidate better than him then I believe that says that they do not have the ability to sell the club and their vision and, if this is the case, something desperately needs to change in the Villa hierarchy.

What if the vision has been changed? What if Mr. Lerner has started to think about cutting and minimizing the losses, and getting back as much of his investment as possible by selling the most priced assets and cutting the cost of wages? I remember Pauladonya saying "asset stripping", and I thought he was out of line. But we have now sold our best player three summers in a row, and with an unpopular appointment, it will be easy for Bent and Downing to follow and give some serious money next summer. Bent was a good investment, Lerner saved 40 mill when we did not get relegated, and he has some serious value.

I'm not sure, but I don't like what I'm seeing at the moment. I felt there was something wrong when MON walked, and I never bought the blame card he was dealt.

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It's easy to criticize the appointment. Who would you all have appointed instead? And, please, don't say Frank Rijkaard or Louis Van Gaal.

We don't know who they approached/discussed it with other than McLeish BUT if they couldn't find a candidate better than him then I believe that says that they do not have the ability to sell the club and their vision and, if this is the case, something desperately needs to change in the Villa hierarchy.

What if the vision has been changed? What if Mr. Lerner has started to think about cutting and minimizing the losses, and getting back as much of his investment as possible by selling the most priced assets and cutting the cost of wages? I remember Pauladonya saying "asset stripping", and I thought he was out of line. But we have now sold our best player three summers in a row, and with an unpopular appointment, it will be easy for Bent and Downing to follow and give some serious money next summer. Bent was a good investment, Lerner saved 40 mill when we did not get relegated, and he has some serious value.

I'm not sure, but I don't like what I'm seeing at the moment. I felt there was something wrong when MON walked, and I never bought the blame card he was dealt.

Firslty, I wouldn't say Young was our best player, he played a few minutes for england and wanted more.

Second, why as a chairman pay up to 24 million for 1 player if you want to cut your losses.

Third, by all accounts Lerner hs always thought McLeish is the dogs ballericks, so maybe it was his first choice. Lets not pretend we know what goes through any ones head. Even though the whole idea of it is quite sickenning in my oppinion, there are other factors. only time can tell and we all know time is a harsh mistress

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I'm not sure, but I don't like what I'm seeing at the moment. I felt there was something wrong when MON walked, and I never bought the blame card he was dealt.

Likewise.

I'm still holding out a little hope, based on the fact that there has been no official appointment announced. There could still be a twist in this tale. But if it's true, then... wow... one of the strangest decisions in football I've ever seen. The whole thing has made no sense to me. All those decent managers out there, and we tapped up McLeish? Or alternatively, McLeish suddenly became available and we thought "quick, get him in, he shits all over these other candidates"? Who were we originally interviewing, Ian Dowie and Roy Keane?!?!

Or maybe Randy was so appalled at the McLaren backlash (surely a much sounder appointment than AM) that he just lost it and thought "**** you fans, see how you like this one!"

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Neatly worded but pointless post as all it does is criticize what has happened without making any effort to suggest what should have happened. Fact is there were few, if any, choices and like it or not, McLeish was the best option we had.

The notion that every manager in the league would want to come here because we are a huge attractive force is blinkered nonsense as proven by the handful of managers who we dropped hints for but who immediately hid under the kitchen table from us.

MON did a lot of damage to this club by the timing and manner of his departure, Houllier was the wrong appointment to pick up the pieces and what we need now is a guy who can unite the undoubted talent that we have and start to put the team back into the talented roster we have.

I don't know that McLeish is the right guy to do that but I do know that those who are beating their chests have no basis for condeming him either. What he did elsewhere at a club that has no parallels with what we have here is obviously irrelevant and the fact he was a "nose" for a few years is even more irrelevant.

Keep your doubts by all means but give the guy a chance because I'll gaurantee he will give 110% to make things happen here and, at the moment, that demands respect and tolerance in my books.

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without making any effort to suggest what should have happened. Fact is there were few, if any, choices and like it or not, McLeish was the best option we had.

Horse hockey. There were many perfectly viable choices that the board ruled out explicitly with their "Premier League experience" criterion. And a ton of ink has been spilled here and elsewhere suggesting what should have happened. The selection process was an absolute farce.

"The notion that every manager in the league would want to come here..." Straw man. This isn't about Ancelotti. This about the contradiction between having a stated ambition to progress into the top 5 and appointing a manager who has presented zero, and I do mean zero, evidence that he is the man to take this or any club there. McLeish is a conservative choice, a guy who keeps your team afloat, not one who advances our possibilities.

"What he did elsewhere at a club that has no parallels... is obviously irrelevant" This is an absurd comment. I don't think that McLeish is a bad manager, and the out-of-hand condemnations of him as incompetent are uncalled for, but what he has done at other clubs is absolutely relevant. Very few managers play one style repeatedly at several different jobs and then change their stripes completely. We have just committed to ugly hoof-ball. Stop kidding yourself that we have done otherwise.

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