By Eck! What In Blue Blazes Are Aston Villa Doing?

Chris Wright

14th, June 2011


By Chris Wright

News is filtering through this morning that, even after Birmingham formally refused to accept his resignation last night, Aston Villa have asked their cross-city rivals for permission to open talks with Alex McLeish about taking over at Villa Park.

Any prospective move is likely to get very ugly very quickly (there are whispers of gardening leave and a hefty £5.4 million’s worth of compensation as McLeish still has two-and-a-smidge years left on his contract at Birmingham) but the main bone of contention, to my objective eye, is that it just doesn’t seem to make any sense from a footballing perspective.

During his time in England, Eck has only ever coagulated his sides in order to theoretically make them hard to beat, and has never really shown the propensity for encouraging the kind of attacking spark that marks out a top six/seven/eight side from the also-ran fodder that makes up the Premier League’s stodgy lower reaches.

In short, he’s the kind of manager that Birmingham should be presently looking to employ (if only his position at St Andrews wasn’t completely and utterly untenable now, eh?), not Villa – who foster an altogether more attractive style of play. What’s more, it’s nigh-on impossible to fathom that Eck’s appointment would persuade the Ashley Youngs and Stewart Downings into committing to another year.

Of course, nothing’s been set in stone as of yet and their has been no official word from Villa’s water-tight PR department, but this morning’s rumblings all seem to suggest one thing – after tossing Steve McClaren aside without an interview, shunning Mark Hughes and missing the boat entirely on appointing Martin Jol, Villa’s preferred candidate is the one that the fans least want to see installed – which is odd given that owner Randy Lerner is known to be overtly simpatico with the club’s support base when it comes to the big decisions.

Surely no right-minded Villa fan would want to see McLeish pitching up at the club, his appointment rendering him little more than a feckless mercenary on the blue half and a dour, relegation-mired ex-Brum on the claret.

It’s a lose/lose situation, and surely one best avoided from both points of view? Or am I missing something here?

Posted in Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Featured, Opinion

Share this article: Email


  1. kct says:

    Completely agree with this article. Villa missed a sitter by not appointing Martin Jol; a good idea would be going after Van Basten now. After this they should pull a fulham and start collecting the top-club leftovers

  2. Terry says:

    Hi lads, if this eejit is enrolled as manager of AV. I invite you all 7 days from such appointed for a ritual burning of the shirt outside VP. Wise up Randy, listen to the fans who put the Dollar in YOUR pocket.Terry

  3. Ben365 says:

    If Mcleish hadn’t come from BCFC, what would the AVFC opinions be????

  4. Terry says:

    The point IS that he did come from the PIGSTY

  5. Gibby says:

    I’m a Gers fan and he’s an ex Gers manager but there is no way in hell he would even contemplate such a move north of the border so why’s he possibly doing it here. Most managers try take some players from their previous club as well so for Villa fans it might not just be a manager that jumps the devide but a few players as well !!! Big David Caruso’s got this one wrong me thinks.

  6. AussieVillan says:

    fucking horrible idea

    what’s his relegation record?

  7. I don’t understand it all, fans will hate it, he’s just led their rivals to relegation. It also seems so strange having tried to conduct everything properly with Wigan why go all underhand and dodgy at Birmingham?
    Something is going on at Villa and it doesn’t make much sense.

  8. Spazz Monkey says:

    Any image of McLeish can you now use a picture of breaded ham instead.

  9. Fernando says:

    Surely McLeish must be popular at Villa….having just lead their rivals to relegation?

  10. Hirsty says:

    Even if you negate the fact that he would be coming from their hated rivals, he is a manager who took his team down last season. This makes about as much sense as appointing Gerard Houllier…

  11. Umer says:

    Villa hierarchy have turned the club into one big mess. Young, Downing want to move, apparently Dunne wants a move as well and they can’t even get a manager to sort out things.

  12. Solihull United says:

    mcleish is not joining villa. the villains dont want him there and neither do the legal restrictions. eck left villa because of two players leaving without him knowing. but i think it’s more then that, we just don’t know yet. i do know eck wont join villa and if he does its gonna be a cold day in birmingham, as a blues supporter id lose all respect if he joined villa.

    as for blues two top names are hughton and o’neil. but i cant see o’neil joining. hope things work out!!
    Keep Right On

Leave a Reply