Deadline day and the January transfer window as a whole were an embarrassment for Aston Villa Football Club. With the club rooted to the bottom of the table, January was an ideal time to bring in reinforcements to try to help the club avoid relegation. At the very least, fans expected to see the arrival of players who could help the club in the Championship next season. We saw neither. New chairman Steve Hollis and chief executive Tom Fox failed to back manager Garde in his pursuit of new players and have seemingly waved the white flag, forfeiting our Premier League status. The Villans are sinking fast and the 0-4 home defeat to Manchester City’s second string in the FA Cup was a low point in an absolute disaster of a season.
There was much talk late on Monday night over the future of the Aston Villa manager. Garde has been openly critical of the lack of activity from the Villa board during the transfer window after deals for many targets fell through. There was much speculation about Garde resigning from his position because of the lack of support shown to him by the board. It has even been suggested that those walking along the corridors of power at Villa Park may have misled him regarding the availability of funds in the transfer window. Some of the best betting sites have tipped him to walk away.
Would I blame Garde for resigning? I actually quite like Garde. He talks sense, particularly when compared to his predecessor, and I think he could be a good manager if given time and investment. He has been tough on underperforming players regardless of reputation or popularity, particularly the likes of Micah Richards, Gabby Agbonlahor and Jack Grealish. We look better defensively with Okore and Lescott at centre half, although our attacking prowess is still extremely limited. If Fox et al have misled him regarding the potential investment in new players, I wouldn’t blame him for going. The reality is that he hasn’t been given a fighting chance of doing his best for the club.
However, results haven’t improved much since he took over and one solitary league win in three months is still a pitiful record. We were bottom of the league when he took over so he must have had an inkling that this could have happened and that the job may prove more difficult than he first thought. We need players and managers to show fight and determination and to at least try to get some decent results between now and the end of the season. If Garde wasn’t prepared to fight then he shouldn’t have taken the job in the first place.