With Villa’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Faulkner, one day issuing a statement appealing to the Villa fans, stating that “it’s time for us all to pull together”, and the next bouncing into Bodymoor Heath to suspend assistant manager, Ian Culverhouse, and head of footballing operations, Gary Karsa, due to an impending internal investigation, he has made a mockery of supporters and highlighted the extent of the disorder at Aston Villa Football Club.
Does this spell the beginning of the end for Paul Lambert? The cracks have begun to show and situations such as this one will prove if he’s a true professional.
With Sid Cowans and Shay Given promoted to first team coaches, it is unclear whether Culverhouse and Karsa are to be given their P45s just yet; that will depend on the severity of their misconduct.
There have been rumours suggesting that Agbonlahor and Delph were involved in a row with Culverhouse and Karsa regarding the lack of opportunities made for Sid Cowans’ youngsters, which led to both senior players being dropped for the 2-1 defeat to Fulham – a game in which we created a new, unwanted record of ten home league defeats in a season. This is the first time this has happened in Aston Villa Football Club’s history and the defeat saw the side slip dangerously close to the relegation zone. However, these reports now seem wide of the mark. There has been speculation about bullying by both Culverhouse and Karsa, who were allegedly the subjects of official complaints by members of staff at Bodymoor Heath. Others suggest the pair conducted poor training sessions, which caused a sour atmosphere and deteriorating relationships between the staff and players. Other, less likely, rumours abound. Which one can we believe?
Regardless of what has happened, Aston Villa Football Club is a mess. Our club is a mess. It has been since May 2010 and there are more signs suggesting that Villa is spiralling into turmoil than indicators that it is re-emerging as the force it once was.
This summer really is a crucial time for us. Villa chiefs have to make their decisions with certainty because the wrong one could be very costly. Who knows what will happen? A new manager? A new owner? A healthier transfer kitty? I know one thing – Randy Lerner needs to release a statement detailing his plans. We all want answers.
He took a step in the right direction with his statement earlier today, although it contained no comments on his plans. His lack of communication with the supporters is something that needs to be corrected. I feel that all chairmen – across all English leagues – should release annual statements with their thoughts on the season past and outlining their plans for the near future. Communication between the board and the fans is absolutely vital and I am hopeful that the revitalised Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust will make some progress in that area.
I’m not sure that the real reasons why Culverhouse and Karsa have been suspended will come to light we can only hope that the amendments made to the coaching team will offer the lift that has been needed at Villa for quite a while. I hope that the presence of Sid Cowans will not only give the players a boost but will give the supporters a new lease of life, which will spur the team on to retaining our Premier League status.