Randy’s Rebuild Is Well Underway

Terrace Talk

Twenty-six years ago Alex Ferguson was appointed manager of Manchester United. Despite winning the FA Cup under their previous manager, United were largely considered to be a club in decline, and Mr. Ferguson was the man selected to get them back on track.

After a difficult three years, still Man Utd were somewhat in a similar state to when he arrived—things actually got so bad that after a poor run in the league a banner declaring “Three years of excuses and it’s still cr*p…ta-ra Fergie” was displayed at Old Trafford, and many journalists and supporters called for Ferguson to be sacked!

Rumour is that Fergie even went cap in hand and offered his head to the board, they declined, and stated that they believed in what he was doing. Later on that season Utd. went on to win the FA Cup, and Fergie and the board have never looked back; probably the most impressive honour role bestowed to any manager in the game is now Fergie’s legacy, one that includes 12 league titles, five FA Cups and two European Cups.

The point I’m trying to make is that managers need time (unless you have a spare billion behind the sofa). Lerner’s resolve has been tested lately, fans over the last two years have questioned his interest in the club, and rightly so. However, I do feel that Lerner has been dealt a bout of rough justice as people have mistaken shyness for a lack of communication and therefore little interest.

Let me assure you Lerner is committed; you don’t invest over £250 million into something if you’re not interested in it. Proof of this lies within the infrastructure of the club. We can now point to the country’s highest-rated academy—surely this itself is proof that Lerner is here for the long haul, and is building for the future.

When Randy rode into B6, he, with Martin O’Neill, tried to do it the quick way by throwing a lot of money at it. We all had fun and enjoyed a relative amount of success. The goalposts moved with City’s billions and the emergence of Spurs: suddenly we found ourselves as one of three or four competing for the much-coveted fourth spot and Champions League competition. Randy found he could no longer compete financially.

What happened to Villa next is actually quite a common business strategy, especially in the US of A. You set a goal as a company —if you miss it, you streamline and clear the deadwood and then reassess your strategy. After O’Neill’s departure we found ourselves with a number of issues, primary of which was an astronomical wage bill, reaching as high as 90% of the club’s turnover, as well as an aging squad of players who by all accounts had received an easy ride.

We’ve had a few years of pain, torture and unrest now; this was the streamlining and cutting of the deadwood processes I mentioned. Now comes the rebuilding.

Having had his fingers burnt by throwing money to try and buy us that fourth spot I doubt we will see that strategy again, think about it, where have we seen progress and investment?

As I mentioned before we have just been credited with the best academy in the country, which represents significant investment in infrastructure. The club’s commercial deals have been of increased value to the club (despite our fall from grace), we have signed one of the youngest and most highly regarded coaches in the British game, and the player signings have been of the same ilk as the manager. A European scouting network has been employed and headed up by one of the most respected names in European football.

This all points to building long term, building things properly!

We’ve seen how quickly it can be unravelled when its not built properly. Why would Mr. Lerner do that again? It makes no sense to me. I’m sure it makes even less sense to him, especially as it’s his money.

Solid foundations, continuity, and building brick by brick!

It’s not quick, and at this stage it can be painful, but evidence suggests that long term it works!

Some of the rhetoric from fans recently has pointed towards yet further unrest, some even calling for Lambert to maybe leave. Surely as a fan base, having done the moaning thing and still not gotten what we want, let’s try a bit of the other, eh?

  1. HaggisHaggis06-12-2012

    Good morning All.

    Ryan, a very good header and I too believe what you are saying. I know Steamer will be spitting feathers ( which as to be better than the sh1ts he as suffered recently ) but I believe Randy as our best interests at heart, I admit it would be nice to have more feedback from him but rather him than the chairman of Wigan. I have said before than when Man C and Chelsea’s owners get bored the clubs will fall in on themselves like what Leeds and Portsmouth have done.

    Do you spend all your money down the bookies hoping for the jackpot or do you work hard and invest that money.

  2. runtingsruntings06-12-2012

    well done Ryan
    very good summary of where the club is and where we are coming from.

    as the saying goes good things come to those who wait – providing we do the right things on route of course which i believe we are doing.

  3. B62 VillaB62 Villa06-12-2012

    For me the jury is still out on Randys Stewardship, he has done something’s very well, but he has also lurched from one disaster to another.
    He arrived and Oniell was here as appointed by Doug , we all know what happened next, and little did we know our Billionaire owner was actually playing with the very future of the club through financial ineptitude.
    He is ploughed large amounts of money into the club, but has also taken large amounts out. The goal posts did change when City won the football equivalent of the lotto, and theirs and Chelsea’s owner plough in their own money without it needed to being paid back.
    We will never know the true financials and all the ins and outs, however depending on what side of the fence you sit on regards how well or not Randy has done, their are valid arguments for both camps.
    Alot of the infrastructure was put in place by deadly or at least started, by all accounts Deadly also gave Randy £20m for the transfer budget, Randy took over a club with a great business base, ground, fanbase etc for £65m and no debt. He backed Oniell handsomely , and fr a while the good times were back and we thought we would kick on, but it was miss spent and stupid contracts were handed out( which is still going on NOW!!!). We are not building brick by brick IMO, we have wasted around £12m at least on paying off dud managerial/backroom staff. Randy has had his fingers burnt and is now just trying to get by, recoup as much mney as possible, I believe the ambition and interest is severely watered down.

  4. B62 VillaB62 Villa06-12-2012

    The SAF argument is flawed as it was a completely different era, he would have been sacked in the modern money means everything era. Despite all he’s done for them when they go through a slump some still want him replaced.

  5. bibulusbibulus06-12-2012

    Nice write up – but the SAF analogy may be stretching even my optimistic outlook on the villa. So i am now fully expecting 12 titles and two more european cups before PL leaves us for a bigger club ;-)
    Good to see JC go a whole day without cursing on our blog yesterday.
    Ian – looked at that route on google and it looks beautiful, a lot of wilderness and national parks in canadia i’m guessing Glazier national park is not a place to be breaking down. My business partner goes to canada every summer to paddle the lakes in his canoe and reckons he sees no one for two weeks aside from the odd bear in the distance – i love a road trip myself and drive down to the italian lakes with the little fellas each summer. This year we took in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland before hitting Italy. My boys are 4 and 5 and they love the drive (no DVDs allowed in my car!)

  6. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil06-12-2012

    Morning Lifers

    Not getting into the DB debate,but just to add that he is officially up for sale now-according to some press reports.I think QPR,S1land,West Ham will be in for him,or maybe abroad.
    Blimey are all the writers on here named Ryan?

  7. B62 VillaB62 Villa06-12-2012

    That’s sounds an epic road trip, I’d love to ride around Italy on a Lambretta or even a more reliable Vespa. Canada does look amazing and I’d love a to go, the wife’s been and she raves about it, but as its an expensive trip , I try to follow a bit of sport if I’m spending that much, ie I took the wife to the last Ashes in Oz for our belated honeymoon, and would love to do a British Lions tour, preferably in NZ.
    Anyway to put things into perspective I’m just about to take the growler up Woodgate Valley country park, eat your heart out Canada.
    Off up the Cube to MarconPierre Whites gaff for my 40th tonight, if anyone’s been what’s it like?

  8. BatmanBatman06-12-2012

    Was this written by Villa’s PR dept?

    As far as I can see “Randy’s Rebuild” consists of having a s**t manager, selling the best players and players on biggest wages and replacing them with cheaper, less talented players with having a good manager, selling the best players and players on biggest wages and replacing them with cheaper, less talented players. Whilst still keeping your fingers crossed that we stay up!

    As a fan of the NFL, I would point out that Lerner has the worst record of any NFL owner EVER! His reign as owner was a continual hiring of a new head coach followed by a disastrous season and then a new season under a new dismal head coach which was no better than the last. He left the Browns in a sorry state and was hated by Browns fans. He seems to have brought the same ‘qualities’ to Aston Villa.

  9. bibulusbibulus06-12-2012

    B62 – there is a good book by Peter Moore about driving around Italy on a vespa “vroom by the sea” – i think he decided to do it as part of his midlife crisis when he turned 40!!!
    Have a good birthday – if your lucky Mrs B62 will by you a vespa and give you a pass for next summer!.
    Recommend driving to Italy you can take as long as you like or bomb it non stop. Some years we take four days to travel down this year we just had one stop in Luxembourg where you will find cheep petrol, booze and smokes.

  10. B62 VillaB62 Villa06-12-2012

    Cheers Blbulus,
    I’ll check that book out, iv got a a lammie and a Vespa it’s just getting the leave pass signed and the cost that’s the snag ;)

  11. Andrew PAndrew P06-12-2012

    B62, you ride a scooter and B62 is fairly close to me – do you ever use Read Speed in Stourport for scooter repairs and bits? It’s owned by a mate of mine who is Welsh but he’s ok other than that. He looks after the scooters of all the aging mods round here.

  12. Andrew PAndrew P06-12-2012

    You see Bibulus, B62 has got his scooters – everyone’s got hobbies away from football. It’s not just you.

  13. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil06-12-2012


    Have a great birthday,enjoy your meal.

    Agree the jury is still out re RL,but he is attempting to “fix” his mistakes and has stuck around to do so.Yes he takes £££ out of the club but at a lower rate than any bank or financial institution.Don`t forget Ellis gave him self a hefty salary and a pay rise every year.3 points on saturday.
    Welcome Batman.

  14. steamersteamer06-12-2012

    Happy birthday mate. MPW’s place calls eggs oefs, taste the same but 5 times the cost.

    The children of the 60′s don’t age mate, the Stones are still doing shows and Jagger and Keef only look ….. sorry, your right.

    Welcome to the site Batman, do you know John Clark ?

    Ferguscons legacy shouldn’t be measured in tainted trophies won by intimidating match officials, this only became prevalent when the lowlife began winning games and didn’t exist in the game before he took over at the theatre of BS. If you want to know about his tricks read the autobiography by Newsnight political correspondant and Untied fan, Michael Crick, he mentions the opinion of the SFA on Fergies version of ‘fair play’.
    As Frank Carson would say ‘and there’s more’ and plenty of it.
    Untied aren’t really a club to admire, they had an owner who made his ££ by selling rancid meat on the black market to the families of soldiers returning from WW11, nice people.
    Regarding Lerner, if he cares that much about AVFC then why doesn’t he take the trouble to watch the team, why can’t he employ someone who knows how to run a football club in charge and why didn’t he take the trouble to research his previous managerial appointments, especially the one with ginger freckles. Of course this may be down to the fact that he’s a plank as Batman alludes to. Its only my opinion and that’s not important but anyone who inflicts the last two seasons on the clubs supporters doesn’t deserve any praise from those same fans. AVFC is now in a far worse position than when Lerner arrived, both playing wise and financially, he has done, IMO, a lot of good by appointing PL but can we actually trust Lerner not to make any more potentially fatal, for AVFC, blunders in the future. There’s nothing we as supporters can do except continue giving our backing to the club but i find it difficult to give RL and ginger undeserved credit.
    I honestly enjoyed your leader and you do raise a lot of good points and agree that the future lies at BH and that PL is the man to take us forward, its just that red nosed tw@ who gets up my bugle and chubby too.

  15. B62 VillaB62 Villa06-12-2012

    Andrew P,
    Yes mate iv used readspeed, I got my last Helmet from there a black open face cafe racer with the Italian flag as a stripe down thd middle, they are pretty good price wise. For repairs I use a bloke a bit nearer he’s really good a one man band. Stourport is a nice little rideout in the summer, iv been there a few times and Kiddy.
    My mates father in law lives down there in what can only be described as a giant shed with all mod cons

  16. B62 VillaB62 Villa06-12-2012

    I get the feeling whilst reading your piece, that your holding back a touch.
    I think a large number of fans just want Randy to take us forward so much , they are either very forgiving or are blinded to the damage that him and his sidekick have caused. Does all the good things they have done outweigh the bad or vice versa.
    I’m hoping for a big crowd sat, iv had my leave pass stamped for a real all day session and aim to be in the boozer for lunchtime. Stoke always bring quite a few gobshites and will fill their allocation, we need to match them both on and off the pitch, I don’t wanna hear ‘Delilah’ when there winning

  17. SuperBoxSuperBox06-12-2012

    Ryan – I think it was published the other week that in 2010 Villa wage bill was 103% of turnover one season, but even 90% as in the Guardian is ridiculous.

    As mentioned above, in today’s game, he’d be Sir Alex Fergus-gone!

    However, I agree with the sentiment, we tried it one way and failed, lets try it another way that has a chance of providing a legacy. It’s worked at Swansea and Norwich to an extent.

    Trouble is, patience is a little found commidity these days, even less so in the football fan and football club chairman.

  18. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil06-12-2012


    That`s a well reasoned argument againt RL,and as for Fergie well,scum of the earth doesn`t cover it really.
    I hold my hands up a sticking up for Lerner,he`s made huge errors,but he`s the only owner we`ve got.Better the devil you know argument.An argument with a lot of holes in it I know,but that`s my stance.

  19. Graham O'GaraGraham O'Gara06-12-2012

    Randy’s biggest mistake was coming in and trying to get us to 4th quickly.

    I always use the same analogy…

    That Lerner allowed MoN to Build a Grand Country House on Sand with the understanding it’d be underpinned when the job was complete… however MoN was the original rogue trader… Since then we have had a succession of pikeys knocking on our door offering to to complete and tarmac the drive but disappearing with the money.

    Finally Randy has bit the bullet and realised the only way to build in on firm foundations with a trusted builder who can work to a budget…

    As always with a building site… it gets worse before it gets better… The walls are no finally down and Lambert is starting to dig out the foundations… fingers cross Learn will give him the budget to buy a few more building blocks in January….

  20. runtingsruntings06-12-2012

    Many happy reurns btw B62 have a good un

  21. Graham O'GaraGraham O'Gara06-12-2012

    Lerner Perfect? Hell No!

    Would I want to play the lottery of getting a new owner in and finding the Venkys competitors buying us? Hell No!

  22. runtingsruntings06-12-2012

    returns even )

  23. Ian GibsonIan Gibson06-12-2012

    Hopefully Lambert is keeping Lerner under control and is pushing all the right buttons for the re-build. To me re-building is not a big deal as I see all variety of clubs do it here. Fans here are generally patient when they see effort is being made to better the team. The fact of relegation makes building from scratch dangerous. It’s what makes bags of money so important too. I’m sure it would be a different environment around teams here if relegation stared them in the face every year.
    Bibulus, my daughter and boyfriend just spent 2 months doing almost the same trip you do down to Italy. She loved it. I have broken down in Glacier National Park. Luckily in late fall and not winter. A 6 hour trip turned into 20. Two kids under 10 made it a trip from hell. Had to go back 10 days later to pick up the car.
    B62, what’s this about a leave pass? Are you in jail and can only get out on week ends? Happy bday and remember every day over 40 is a bonus. This is the year that nature turns on us. Look after yourself. :-)

  24. John ClarkJohn Clark06-12-2012

    Happy Birthday, B62…

  25. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson06-12-2012

    surprised frem hasnt come on screaming for experiance!!! the likes of david beckham or giggs, guys well into their late 30s! he’ll want them to start. lol

  26. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey06-12-2012

    Interesting article Ryan.

    Even with a billion to spend, it took time for City to get to any silverware so money itself can’t offer instant success.

    I think the problem is that a) fans have come to expect instant success or face their wrath and b) the board have made some poor choices.

    Who in their right mind goes for Houllier then McLeish then Lambert? Why did it take them three attempts to actually get a guy who fits?

    Still, that is in the past and we move forwards. It isn’t going to be quick, but we’ll get there. As you imply, patience is the key.

  27. Ian GibsonIan Gibson06-12-2012

    In general I think the clubs are too quick to put players into the top side and also too quick to kick them out when they turn 30 32. It’s all about instant success.

  28. HaggisHaggis06-12-2012

    Happy Birthday B62.

    Your only as old as you feel and I always feel like a 21 year old atractive blond woman with big breasts.

    Steamer. I’m shocked I thought you was going to be today’s JC with this header.

  29. SuperBoxSuperBox06-12-2012

    Ian – Why is your boyfriend going away with your daughter??…

  30. TrinityTrinity06-12-2012

    Happy Birthday B62.
    Enjoyed reading your leader Ryan.
    Patience, as said, is a virtue. Fortunately, most Villa fans have enough of it together with enough common sense to give PL a fair go. Hopefully, RL, as Graham says, provides a few more “bricks” next month.
    Vacation time is looming. I’m off to Rome, Krakow and Old Blighty. I’ll take in the Southampton match while in Birmingham and visit me Aunty Janet in Oldham. It snowed heavily here last night-good conditioning for January weather in northern Europe and the UK.
    Those Lion’s tours in NZ are awesome. Lion’s fans have a great reputation there. They like their ale, but don’t seem to cause any trouble. They just enjoy themselves and do what Tourism NZ wants them to do, spend.

  31. steamersteamer06-12-2012

    Ryan always talks sense, he’s probably right in what he says but i tend to object when Lerners managers give me 20 or so near fatal heart attacks in two years, i haven’t got that much longer as it stands anyway.
    I’m actually finding our predicament more interesting than the semi success we enjoyed under MON, not as enjoyable but trying to work out the twists and turns is fascinating.
    This weeks results made a lot a people happy, all that money spent and both Chelski and Citeh depart. I read somewhere that Platini wants 6 teams from England in the CL, the lunatics are running the asylum.

  32. steamersteamer06-12-2012

    Nearly went over my head, brilliant, you can’ get away with anything on here.
    They reckon Krakow is really lively for a hol, don’t take in a Cracovia v Wisla derby though, bandit country.
    The nephew goes to the sevens tournaments and says their a real up P-up, i find Union a bit weedy compared to League, remember the Wigan v Bath games ?

  33. SuperBoxSuperBox06-12-2012

    Steamer – You find out all sorts on here!

  34. TrinityTrinity06-12-2012

    Never saw the Wigan v Bath games. Outside of greater Manchester, NSW and South Auckland, league is still looked down upon. It’s an obvious example of classism and snobbery in sports. League has some of rugby’s best footy players. Look at Sonny Bill Williams, mercenary that he is. He went from playing league for the Bull Dogs in Sydney to playing union in France then in NZ, made the All Blacks and then won a Super 15 title with the Chiefs. Now, he’s playing a union in Japan ($$$$) then he’s playing league for the Sydney City Roosters next season. NZ Union will welcome him back with open arms. They even let him box on the side.

  35. FremFrem06-12-2012

    Just watched memory match of villa v stoke 3 seasons back when we won 1-0. It was the game after we just beat man u away

    We had Young, Milner, stan and downing playing in midfield and we played some lovely football

    And as you cant beat good old wingers, Young whipped a lovely ball in for big john to score, just like he did for gabby the week before

    God i miss those days when i watch it back. we need wingers back at VP. we have such a wide pitch. Get another beast up top with Benteke in jan and add players like Young and downing. Maybe even get Milner back before MON does

  36. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson06-12-2012

    frem- move on,
    ur hole post was about the past… thats the past!

    MOVE ON. we dont have mon, we dont play like those days anymore.

  37. steamersteamer06-12-2012

    Read this week that MONS only got £6m to spend in Jan, whether that ££ coming from us i don’t know but it looks like Sunderlands American owner, who uses RL as an example, is drawing in the purse strings like RL did.
    I don’t think we would go for Milner even if City wanted to give him game time, but i’d have him back like a shot & Barry. SWV seems convinced that Altidore is on his way to VP, whats your opinion ? I know i’d like Bony here.

  38. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson06-12-2012

    altidore has done great since he moved away from england, been scoring a lot of goals, big guy, reminds me of benteke.

  39. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson06-12-2012

    age:23, played 44 games for AZ alkimar, scored 23 goals, before that his rate was not as good.

    he’s played a 165 total games, with 50 goals to his name,

    at 23, he does fit all the ticks of PL’s list, young, hungry, has lots of games from a young age viewpoint.

  40. Ian GibsonIan Gibson06-12-2012

    The English language, what can I say. Funny.

  41. Ian GibsonIan Gibson06-12-2012

    Thanks Ryan for an upbeat leader.

  42. bibulusbibulus06-12-2012

    Understand something has clicked with Altidore the last 18 months he has been banging in the goals which is a relief when you remember his time over here before. Although he is no Benteke off the pitch, mind you the biggest bust up he has had was with Klinsman!
    Looking forward to hearing Ians explanation about his boyfriend.
    Also agree about Ians point with players ages often getting too much focus, if they are playing well and have a good injury record then get them in.
    Trinity – Rome is cracking – something to see on every corner and good food – no syrup on the bacon there mate. Check out the catacombs under St Peters if you get a chance – they believe its really st peters bones they have found under there!

  43. bibulusbibulus06-12-2012

    MON is rumored to be in for Warnock for £2 mil – its the least he can do considering he spunked £8 mil on him.

  44. steamersteamer06-12-2012

    If he’s like Benteke now there gonna be some scared CD out there.
    No need to go to Rome to see old bones mate.
    £2m, blimey thats a bonus, i thought he’d go on a free. We won’t get a lot (any) back for Mutton and Dunne either, the money that’s been wasted is shocking as you said we’ve got to be a bit sharper in the market and i think PL is perfect for that task.

  45. bibulusbibulus06-12-2012

    £2m might get someone like Cresswell in from Ipswich for LB.
    Frem – i read we had scouts looking at a winger on Wednesday night at old trafford – whatever next?

  46. FremFrem06-12-2012

    Mbia diouf, altidor or bony would be great to add up top. There is a guy for anderlet who is class as well. We need to improve up top and with more creative players

  47. Ian GibsonIan Gibson06-12-2012

    Bibulus, hahahaha.

  48. Ian GibsonIan Gibson06-12-2012

    A few years ago the Calgary Stampeders wanted to trade a player. There were no takers as this is a small league (8 teams). A week or so goes by and then the mother of all trades takes place. They traded him to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for an old school bus. The stories in the news were quite funny. They player didn’t think so.
    So getting 2 mill for Warnock is a great bit of business IMO.

  49. Ian GibsonIan Gibson06-12-2012

    Regarding old bones and Rome, all I need to do is look in the bathroom mirror.