It is fair to say that our great club has been in a state of transition for the last three years now. We have seen a succession of managers come and go and all of them have been faced with the same issue. How do you modernise the club? For me Houllier’s time at Villa was similar to that of Venglos. Both of them were ahead of their time. With Venglos he tried to bring in a lot of practices which are now common place in Europe, and at the time Villa weren’t ready to make that change. With Houllier I think he tried again changes things from bottom up and the Villa team weren’t prepared for that. With AMC he always was a stop gap so lets gloss over that period and move over to PL.

I was genuinely delighted when he became manager. He had a good pedigree in that he had training methods that were gleaned from outside of the UK and he had successfully applied them to the teams he managed, but again are Villa ready to embrace a sense of change.

A common theme for me is that the club is very UK centric and a quintessential English club. However they haven’t moved with the times. MON took the British approach like John Gregory and with both we saw some limited success. However when we try to move away from that we have a very mixed time.

The Past is in moving away from this sort of mentality and embracing true change within the mentality of the club. (A lot harder said than done). With PL I see someone who is facing that same challenge. Trying to change the way the club is run, but we have had the old guard there, and for me a lot of them have simply under performed. We have had a limited budget and so it is no surprise we are in the state we are. PL is trying to push through change but the club has dragged its feet.

IF we survive this season in EPL then I do fully expect the purse strings to be loosened. I think Lerner has been caught in 2 minds. He knew he had to give some cash to the club to appease the fans, but he also didn’t want to over commit just in case we do go down. So maybe Lerner DOES realise what needs to be done and has been a bit smarter than we gave him credit for. Although he will be just as dissapointed at the results as us. The club literally had to be dragged from the MON era and it has taken 3 years to pull the club back to a more sustainable model.

The future for me is the current crop of youngsters and the likes of Drennan and Burke coming through the ranks. It has been a very very painful experience this year, but I think we will stay up. I think potentially a draw against Arsenal, a stuffing from Man City and then two close games against Reading and QPR will be a great building block to keep us up.

At times as a fan it is very frustrating and lets face it sometimes damn right embarrassing, but as a club we couldn’t carry on as we were. I think PL needs to be given a second season and lets see what can be really done at the club. We have plenty to be positive about but we are having to look at the longer term plan. Lets get through this season and I think we will see a different club.



  1. The attitude and demeanor of the chairman concern me. In fact let’s cut the crap, we have an absolute disaster of a chairman who has absolutely no idea how to run a sports club successfully. Until he leaves I don’t think we’ll ever see real change. He has made poor decision after poor decision. These are not little things, they are the key decisions you need to make when running a football club.

    We will be rid of the vast majority of the high earners in the summer, which is an important step for us to move forward. There will be a good base of young players who will work hard to succeed at Villa. But as much optimism as that gives me, I just don’t trust Lerner to run the club. I fear he will continue to make poor decisions and that will prevent our progress.

  2. I find it really hard that everyone is on RL back and can’t see that PL tactics and buying policies are the main factor here. He has approved and pushed through a policy of buying inexperienced players from lower divisions etc. and so far he has been caught out. Even his latest purchases are players who are not yet capable of playing in the EPL, unproven, uncut diamonds or glass? He is happy to sink with this as he will blame financial constraints or something else for relegation as I see him as a totally arrogant manager who will put down any player who may question his tactics. Which have proven to be poor given the number of times we have lost a 2 goal lead to either draw or loose and when was the last time we came from behind to win an EPl game?
    Our displays on dead ball situations are amateurish, school-boy football teaches how to defend from corners and free kicks, villa don’t appear to know how to do this.
    For an expat who can only mostly read internet comments on games and unfortunately I only get to see maybe 4-5 games per year live due to time difference, I tend to read all the match reports from various journalism sites.
    From most of the independent reports each week and from what I have read about AV v WH, and I admit I did not see this game it was one of the worst advertisement for EPL football with both sides being incapable of showing any real flair or ability to win the game with style and if it was not because of the fact that WH tried to play their usual boring long ball game it could have (or should have) gone either way. So let’s not stare counting our chickens like after the pool game.
    I did get to see the Liverpool / Villa match live (ok on TV) and although I was really happy with the result I honestly think it flattered us rather than being a great display by Villa it was a very poor display by the pool and they were taken apart by a couple of pieces of brilliance which are not too often seen.
    Savo Milosevic comes to mind, did some brilliant things but not often enough.
    I also can’t understand when I read all about the dead-wood etc. at Villa. This is a team that PL has built; at least its backbone is pure PL.
    I feel his treatment of the experienced players (however well paid they are is arrogant and belittling).Whether or not Warnock or Hutton (and now Ireland) were good enough to play for the first team they should have been given some respect. Not treated like crap and made train with the youth team. I really feel that any manager who treates people like this is not gaining respect because he is incapable of giving it himself.

    He has more support than any other manager it the EPL giving our position and keeps going on that he picks a team to win. (I believe he has really been shown up here)
    He is claiming great accolades by parading Benteke as a Villa savior, but the fact is we still have the lowest goal scoring record in the EPL and from what I read CB will jump ship whether or not we stay up.
    I really feel PL is incapable of coming up with a formula that might make AV a force again and possibility he jumped ship last season not because he was lured by a better team but because he had no idea how to bring NC forward.
    If Villa gets relegated and I really think they could I do not believe they will have a team capable of bouncing back, even if we have a “great championship manager”?(NOT)

  3. I totally disagree with Brian on his point about Warnock, Hutton and Ireland, In my opinion they are exactly where they should be as their perfomances on the pitch were average at best only Ireland gave a few glimspes of what he is capable of. Has the structure of the club too fast? possibly yes, however its a building process that dont happen overnight,even Citeh for all their riches took a year or two to get right.

    Villa dont have that luxury but i think we are going the right way about things for a longer term stability rather than a short term temporary fix. Am i happy at the moment ? No but i do believe RL and PL will get it right.

    When Mr Lerner and Mr Lambert succeed in taking our fantastic club forward it will be for a sustainable period of time that should help put this famous club in the running for a Top 5 plus finish season after season.

    Remember we tried it the citeh way with MON till the money ran out and failed with no plan B.


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