Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Villa making big mistake in McLeish move

The relationship between the second city's two clubs was frosty anyway, but relations between Aston Villa and Birmingham are now enveloped in a full blown arctic winter following the resignation of Alex McLeish from St Andrews.

Given the boards of major football clubs tending to have itchy trigger fingers nowadays it is unusual to feel sorry for them. But, on this occasion I do have some sympathy with the Birmingham board as they have been let down by McLeish after sticking by him despite Birmingham's relegation.

Yes he won them the Carling Cup but two relegations in three Premier League seasons is more than enough ammunition to fire him - chairman have done so to others for a lot less in recent years.

But, instead the board stuck with their man and even gave them funds to strengthen the squad - despite the relative financial hardship brought on by relegation to the Championship.

So for McLeish to resign via email - while one of the club's chief executives was abroad trying to sign a player - is bizarre.

Also what is bizarre is Aston Villa's desire to interview him for their vacant manager's position. Surely they realise how corrosive such an appointment can be? Plus he is hardly a Jose Mourinho-type inspirational figure either is he?

A graduate of the rugged, aggressive and direct  school of football, his style is not what the Villa fans are looking for (I'd love to see the train of thought that went from Roberto Martinez to McLeish) and his average Premier League record is not what the fans were hoping for when Gerard Houllier left the club last month either.

Randy Lerner has done a lot of good things since taking over Aston Villa, he has been fairly loose with the purse strings and always backed his manager 100%.

But I fear he is making a huge mistake in going after McLeish, and one he - and the supporters - may live to regret.

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