What’s The World Come To – Can’t We Try & Play Like Fulham?

I have been saying it for a while now, that we should look at Fulham as an example for the fact that you don’t need to have superstars to play exciting and passionate football.

I wasn’t going to write anything about this until they demolished Wolves at the weekend, but steadily and quietly they are cementing their place within the top eight. They may well have only drawn with us at Craven Cottage, but it has been evident which team has been in the ascendency since, and which has been on the way down.

Player for player, Villa are just as good if not stronger that Fulham. What’s the difference? For me, it is is down to their consistency, and doing the basic things right.

Looking at Dempsey, Murphy, Riise, Dembele, as well as the recent arrivals of Pogrebnyak and Diarra apart, they are all solid and consistent players, going about their business on and off the pitch in a professional manner. I would personally have Dempsey at Villa Park in a flash – 12 goals from an attacking midfield position is an excellent return, and his link up play is also very good.

I’ve not come on here to just sing and dance about Fulham, but what I am trying to say is we should be looking at them and thinking why are we not up there competing with them? As well as them, what about Newcastle? Both of these teams are historically smaller and less successful than us, so you have to blame Alex McLeish for being the difference between us and them, especially when you consider, man-for-man, we have a largely better squad.

Looking at Martin Jol, he is a clever and very shrewd manager, but he also knows the limits of his team. I am sure he knows Fulham probably won’t go further than top seven, and may only finish tenth, but they are playing good football, have players playing together. and they are working together in a professional but exciting manner.

You see, with regards to McLeish, we don’t want or expect miracles, merely good football, and to be competing where we should be, not looming in 15th place. Are we seriously saying that, financial worries or not, that we should be surrounded by the likes of Wigan, Bolton, Blackburn, and QPR? Given the quality of our current squad, both youth and senior, is that really too much to ask?

Sometimes I think the manager acts as though he is being made to create miracles out of nothing, but all we really want is a team to be proud of, and some football we’d be happy to pay money to see. On the balance of it Mr McLeish, would you be happy as a fan given we have won only six games this season after playing 27 of them, and given we are “a big club”, something that you so proudly stated at the start of the season when given the job?

Big clubs don’t win less than 25% of their games in the league they compete in, do they?

  1. steamersteamer07-03-2012

    Hello Liam,
    Another good post. I totally agree with you, some of the so – called smaller clubs are leaving us behind with their product. What they have is leadership while we are literally lions led by donkey’s, no plan on or off the pitch.
    The powers at VP have made it more than obvious that the supporters are irrelevant and will continue to not only ignore but to openly dismiss any input from its fan base.
    Regarding the on the pitch situation, Martin Jol, as all Dutch football people do, enjoys watching an expansive game, that he can set his very limited team up to play attractive and successful football surely shows that Lerner made a major error in not going Dutch last Summer. Rijkaard, Jol, Van Gaal, Adriennse were all available and ignored. This is what we, the fans, are up against, ignorance. Every football fan in the country knows what McCleish’s philosophy is but the idiot who owns our club even describes him as ‘pure football.’ what a knob.

  2. B62 VillaB62 Villa07-03-2012

    Liam, I agree Fulhham are just one of many clubs who are showing us how to play good football, achieve results and progress without spending like man city et al.
    Jol was a name alot of Villa fans wanted to replace Houllier.
    Mcleish has little knowledge of the transfer market outside of his comfort zone, we obviously don’t have a great scouting network any longer and the fact Glenn Roeder is on the payroll emphasises this point, Fulham and others have looked further than the end of their nose to bring in players to improve their squads, all fitting in with a footballing ethos.
    Mcleish has no footballing ethos other than kick them early and they can’t score from row Z. From the first whistle it is keep it tight and sit back don’t over commit no need to attack, his half time talk against blackburn was criminal, rather than go for a second goal he made them give and and soak up pressure for 45 mins.
    Everyone agrees the squad needs an overhaul, but there are ways to do it rather than go online at rent a thug bosmans . Com and try and build a first 11 of over 35 injury prone has beens looking for a pension enhancer, every minute Mcleish and co spend at our club is a minute too long killing our once great club

  3. Steve HuntSteve Hunt07-03-2012

    Good point. Personally I think Fulham have a better squad of players than us but there isn’t much difference between us in terms of quality is there? Martin Jol has had his own problems, the main problem being his bad relationship with Bobby Zamora, but even that didn’t have much of an impact on Fulham. They’ve even sold him in January and gone on to shine without him! Martin has got his squad playing for him and for eachother. Alex McLeish however, doesn’t really understand what ‘playing football’ means, the man is an idiot! 6 wins! Yes, SIX!!! We’ve not won at Villa Park since 5th November, and the worst part is, I don’t even see a win this weekend! How long with this run go on for? Our season has been awful and results won’t improve this season or next until he’s left Aston Villa.

    McLeish: ‘Anything below a 9th place finish is a failure.’ – When was the last time we were in the top half? I’ve forgotten what the top half looked like!

    Faulkner: ‘I think Europe sits there as a goal and this year that would be our goal.’ – HAHAHA!!!! That’s Paul Faulkner there back in November showing just how out of touch with the game this muppet is!

    So, are we 9th? Are we on target for European football? Are we f***!!! Alex McLeish has lived up to the expectation and once again, proven that his reputation is as meaningful as ever. Alex McLeish – FAILURE!!!

    6 Wins from 27 games for Aston Villa? This is a never ending nightmare! Worst thing of all? I can’t see us winning another game this season! I bet on a draw against Wigan & Blackburn (I didn’t even win any money because other results on my accumulator didn’t come in ….. how did West Brom beat Chelsea??? Never mind….. but we have become predictable, not only predictable but predictably s***!). Why did I bet on a draw? Because I knew the approach McLeish would take, whilst we were thinking these are ‘must wins’, he saw what he always sees, the all important ‘must not lose’. The man is a joke! If he’s not willing to go for a win against such poor sides like Wigan and Blackburn, can anyone see us going for a win against Fulham (in great form) and Bolton (another must not lose)? This season is pathetic, it’s boring, dull and soul destroying! It feels as though we go to Villa Park now and watch the club die, week by week, and get charged £38 a game to see it!

    Fulham deserve to be where they are and sadly, with this idiot in charge of us, so do we. He bangs on about how ‘we aren’t getting the luck we deserve,’ well if he’s referring to some of the luck he was getting at Blues last year in that cup run (home draw every round and a flukey winning goal at Wembley) then he needs to wake up and realise that was a very rare piece of luck! The table doesn’t like, his win ratio doesn’t like and neither does the stat that Alex McLeish is the second worst Aston Villa manager in the last 77 years! (The worst is Billy McNeill, who’s win ratio is worse than McLeish’s …. just about!) He HAS to go!

    Yes we can be like Fulham, but not with Alex McLeish in charge. The sooner he is gone, the better!

  4. steamersteamer07-03-2012

    A lot of anger in your post mate. I shouldn’t really be saying this but i hope that Fulham give us a belting on Saturday. Heavy defeats and staying up by a gnats knacker is the only chance of Lerner even considering sacking ginger.
    I’ve also been reluctant to criticise fans who renew season tickets and even go to VP this season as i know how passionate they are about the club, but it has to be said that they are doing more harm than good long term. This club cannot progress under the current administration and surely it is better to stay away for a season and return when hopefully these vermin are gone, than sit miserable watching the club being sucked dry by carpetbaggers who have not one iota of affection for our club and regard it as nothing more than a cash cow. I know a lot of people on this blog would disagree with my opinions, but if we want AVFC to not only prosper, but actually survive, then Lerner, Faulkner & McCleish must be removed and the only way to do this is by boycotting the club and hitting them in the pocket.

  5. Steve HuntSteve Hunt07-03-2012

    steamer, indeed, a lot of anger in my post! I’m a season ticket holder this year, I renewed after last year (my first ever season as a season ticket holder) but not next season, not if this continues. I don’t get any enjoyment at Villa Park anymore so I don’t see why I should pay £450 a season to cheer us on to an eventual relegation. I’ve had enough. I’ll go to the odd game, but nothing like this season. I’ve been to every game at Villa Park and even had my first ever away day at Arsenal. I wish I could get all of my money back, what a waste! I’ve truly enjoyed only 1 of the games I’ve been to all season like I used to (Norwich at home), the rest have been awful and painful to watch. I agree with what you’re saying. I have always said a boycott would damage the club, but with the owner, CEO & manager serving up this cr*p then surely the best thing to do is stay away, force them to change it and then return. I can’t go every week anymore to watch the club I love crumble at the hands of Alex McLeish. Very sad times and I blame the board completely for the mess we’re in! McLeish needs to go and changes are needed on the board!

  6. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil07-03-2012

    Liam,a short but excellent piece

    I was praising Fulham yesterday.The secret( (well it`s not a secret)
    A)being well organised
    B)Being well coached.
    C)Most importantly is getting the best out of what you`ve got

    C applies whether you are coaching an u12 in the Harrow Youth League or Ajax u19s.
    McTeflon fails on all 3 counts.Not well organised especially at corners,not well coached players look puzzled don`t know what is expected of them apart from get behind the ball and get rid of it when you`vwe got it.When players make the same mistake week in week out then this is an illustration that they haven1t had their problem addressed by the coaching staff.
    Finally C he has no idea of how to get the best out of players young or old.

    The prosecution rests it`s caes m`lud.

  7. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil07-03-2012


    I`m not sure about hitting RL in the pocket.Let me explain if out turnover is £100m this year and next year it drops to day £82m.As long as there is enough for RL to take his loans back,like the recent £25m over say a year and a half.Then the drop in turnover won`t affect him will it?Does that make sense or not?That`s how I see it,maybe someone with good financial knowledge can correct me.

  8. chiefychiefy07-03-2012

    No contract offer to cuellar yet, one of the best most consistent players of the season and yet they drag their heels on a contract offer, remember his contract is up in the summer and he can speak to clubs now

    Oh the joys, has anyone got a clue at B6 ?

  9. Andrew PAndrew P07-03-2012

    Chiefy, Cuellar is decent but not irreplaceable. At the risk of sounding like Randolph, is Cuellar really worth fifty thou a week? Anyway, the delay in offering him a new deal could be a good thing – perhaps we’re waiting to see if McClueless’ replacement sees Cuellar as part of his plans.

  10. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil07-03-2012

    I was looking at last seasons final PL table.West Ham went on 33 points.Blues and Blackpool went with 39 points.Wolves survived on 40.I don`t think 40 will be required thisy year maybe 36 will be enough,I hope so.
    Looking at our glorious manager`s last season at BCFC, they won 8 games all season we have 6 so far,can anyone see us winning again this season seriously.Perhaps Bolton or S`land at home?Ok we have a half decent GD compared to the teams below us so that is like another pint at the moment as we haven`t had any real spankings yet.Fingers crossed.
    We are so blessed to have him,hands off Chelsea and England!!!!!!!!!

  11. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil07-03-2012

    Meant to say point, not pint, of course!!!!!

  12. Liam O'DwyerLiam O'Dwyer07-03-2012

    Thanks for the positive feedback, agreed with everything thats been said above, I hate to say it but I was thinking the same thing about Fulham game on Saturday..first time in my life I have thought about defeat as a option, is it the only way to get the message across to the board??

    If for some reason we was in the bottom 4 and fighting for survival then of course I would be wanting all 3 points.

    From B6 to Brasil – Couldn’t agree more, I have been saying this for a while, we cannot do the basics right, a simple 5 yard pass opens up a whole new angel for the player to pass into, yet we seem to be afraid to do that, go backwards start again ..oh wait no big boot up field to know one, all the back line are guilty of this.

    Chiefy – Agreed it should be sorted, I don’t rate him as highly as you do, we have had this discussion but he is a fine asset and shows passion and love for the club, which for me is worthy of a new deal.

    Steamer – Your right the Dutch seem to have the knowledge and the vision to make average teams hard to beat and to play to their strengths, I was interested MON left us and when GH.

    Steve – Feel your pain fella, next year its looking unlikley I will be renewing, I have to travel from Manchester as it is. Petrol money alone is £40 every other week, never mind £400 ST.

  13. Liam O'DwyerLiam O'Dwyer07-03-2012

    * Interested in Jol when MON left us and also when GH went.

  14. Andrew PAndrew P07-03-2012

    B6, I think we’ll just about be okay unless a couple of the teams below us start playing for lives – isn’t that what Wigan did last year?

    Also for Steve and Liam, before you start making alternative plans for Saturday afternoons, I don’t think there is any chance that McLeish will get another season in charge after this one.

  15. B62 VillaB62 Villa07-03-2012

    So Mcleish is looking very unlikely to even achieve the points total he did with the vermin last year with a worse squad, AM out before he fully destroys the villa

  16. southwestvillansouthwestvillan07-03-2012

    On the Fulham issue they are actually achieving this on crowds that average between 24 and 25k so they are not one of the big hitters, full marks to Jol for getting them to play that way, if they play like they did against Wolves then they will give us a hiding, so that just leaves the Bolton game to achieve three points.

    You know when people talk about the worst case scenario i genuinely believe that well much used cliche was made for Aston Villa leaving ginger in charge for next season, can anybody think of a worst case scenario, answers on a postcard.


  17. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil07-03-2012

    Andrew P

    I hope with all my heart thatyou are right-that we only have McTeflon for the 1 season.However I have an awful feeling he will be in charge come kick off in august.
    What do I base that on?Well the constant PR drip,drip of information re plans and targets for next season.This is to let us down gently and tells me that he will be here next season.

    What disappoints me most is RL.He seems happy for us to stumble around in the bottom 6,and use us as a cash cow for his loans(with interest.)As long as we stay in the PL then he gets his money back.I have worked in the USA and they really buy into the manra “be the best you can be”,yet RL seems happy for us just to survive,very sad.I am not knocking the bloke for wanting his cash back,but I hoped he would aspire to more.
    I have no evidence to support this it `s just my perception reading between the lines,for what it`s worth.

  18. Ree KhalidRee Khalid07-03-2012

    The reason why we can’t or don’t play like fulham boils down to two things, technical players and a technical manager. In this day, it is nigh on impossible to compete at the right end of the table without having technical good players. But technically good players can only play as good as the manager allows with his tactics. As good as MON was at motivating and setting his team up for the counter attack, he was tactically poor and didn’t allow the technical players we had to shine. Petrov, Ashley, Barry etc could all have been better for Villa if MON realised to get at that top level you need to be able to control a game by keeping the ball. So no matter how close we got and how good we played, we were always that little bit short compared to the top teams.

    Houllier came in all guns blazing changing too much too quick, look where that got Villa Boas – and he’s a young manager. Houllier was not even the manager he was in the past, and all it got him was another potentially lethal health situation. Putting aside all the stupid mistakes he made at least he recognised the value of a technical game.

    Martin Jol is similar. He does things his way, which is a passing technical style and if players weren’t suited to it or dissented they were gotten rid of i.e.. Bobby Zamora. Jol was lucky that he inherited a squad with good technical ability in Murphy, Dempsey and Dembele and added to it with Ruiz and Rise. Now when you watch Fulham play they can keep the ball for fun, I remember watching them out pass Arsenal at the emirates not long back. Course theyre not among the elite because when they have off days it goes really bad. Regardless I would have loved to have Jol at Villa but he’d already committed to Fulham when we were looking for a manager.

    Villa have some good technical players when you look at it. Ireland, Nzogbia, Petrov, Bannan etc but Mcleish does not have a clue what to do with them. He even sent a very good technical midfielder and passer of the ball in Makoun out on loan and replaced him with the more athletic Jenas. That pretty much sums Mclesih up. He is more suited to a team scrapping for survival battling for every point. That is not what Villa aspire to but that is where we will end up with Mcleish because its all he knows.

  19. Liam O'DwyerLiam O'Dwyer07-03-2012

    Ree K …Great point about Makoun..I forgot to mention this, how an International player with Champions League experience was not good enough for McLeish is beyond me.

    His excuse was that he had a look at him but didn’t fancy him, and was after a different type of player…unreal.

    That in itself sums it all up I suppose.

  20. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil07-03-2012

    Ree K

    I agree with most of what you wrote,very accurate I believe.
    McTeflon,Bruce,MON,e al are part of a bygone era.They are either intimidated by gifted players(shipping out Makoun)or as you said,they don`t know how to utilise them.These managers and their ilk,believe and trust in fitness,guts and determination.Technique and skill are a poor 2nd and 3rd in their eyes.

    This trickles down to our national team,when we are faced with players light years ahead in technique and positional and tactical awareness.E.G. knowing when and where to release the ball,when and where to run with it.Where to be when your team has the ball and when your team hasn`t,etc.etc.we all know this.This is why as soon as you know you`ve got a Dutch manager -this is what you will get.When will the English game wake up to this?People ask why there are so many foreign managers in the PL,?Well that is self explanitary.

    Jol wil improve even workaday players,not just the stars but he will improve each player at the club,whether a rookie at 17 or a journeman of 31.No he won`t turn them into a Cryuff or Pele,but he improves them individually to benefit the team and the player.This is the road Lambert and Rodgers have gone down,on paper they seem unremarkable but they moulds average/decent players into an effective unit.We all know this,this is nothing new,but do RL and PF know this?I think not.

  21. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil07-03-2012

    Liam and everyone

    A great debate today,we are really getting to the heart of our on field problems,and it`s a notch or 2 above other blogs where it`s just”I hate McLeish.”Do I sound superior about this blog?Bloody right,and I make no apologies for that. it is the best,keep up the quality boysand girls.UTV.

  22. chiefychiefy07-03-2012

    Shipping Makoun out a players who had champions league experience, had experience of winning leagues and was an international was a ridiculous decision. Makoun is the type of player we yearn for at B6 someone with ability technical, skill and vision. I was over the moon was he joined, he took his time to settle in but every game that went by you could see the class starting to show

    It just makes me angry

  23. Ree KhalidRee Khalid07-03-2012

    Very true what you’ve said B6, its a national epidemic that physicality and mentality prevails over skill and intelligence. This is the real reason why England havnt won anything since 66. The importance is placed on physical attributes, really does it matter if you’re a tall strong 14yr old? This is where the technical players are lost, bcos coaches want the big lads in their team. Here its physical attributes first and then technical, in most other countries its technique first and then physical attributes. The cream will always rise to the top but its a lot easier to improve your physical attributes than your technical.

    Its the same at Villa Park too, much more importance is given to being physically and mentally on it rather than technically. So players are always labelled with being lazy or not trying hard enough (Barry, Petrov, now Ireland/Bent/Nzog). If the fans demanded a technical way of playing football then we wouldn’t be stuck with Mcleish. Even under MON the atmosphere at the ground was never one that lent itself to patient probing football. We want to stick it up ‘em, get at em quick.

    When players are comfortable with the ball they can try things, that may not come off. But thats part of the beauty of football, theres an infinite number of ways to create and score a goal. Hit and hope, playing by the numbers is effective not exactly pretty football. The only way to get comfortable with the ball is to have more touches, to play a passing game. You’re spot on B6 when you say that playing that style can make ordinary players look good. Case in point, Nicky Butt… what did he do after he left utd?

  24. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey07-03-2012


    Great article and some fair points raised.

    Fulham are a good team, although they do have some quality players in their squad such as Dempsey, a player who I would have in our team over Bent in a second.

    It’s a quandary – I don’t want us to lose at any point, so I’m never going to suggest I want us to drop points. I do understand those who want McLeish out, but I can’t see a point to us losing as I’d rather he goes at the end of the season and we win some games than us flirt with relegation any closer than we are now.

  25. steamersteamer07-03-2012

    Excellent, any manager who loves football would pick Makoun type players, unfortunately we have a throwback to the 70′s & 80′s who still believes in neanderthal, alehouse kick and rush, a dying breed, not many of them left but were stuck with one.
    I always though that was what a coach was for, improving players, somehow i can’t see any player improving under ginger or grant. Can you see Grant telling Makoun how to improve his game ?
    I don’t understand the finances of the modern game at all but a by product of a stay away would be more awareness of our plight, crowds of 20 – 25,000 at VP would actually be a good story for the media, possibly Lerner would act, i think put under pressure he would fold. Petrov really is an embarrassment with his pathetic comments about Lerner being a regular visitor to BH when he wasn’t even in the country and has only attended VP twice this season.
    By the way, i think Heskey has a better chance of a contract renewal than Cuellar, did you read what his wag said about not wanting to move house ?
    Apparently Steven Davis may be having his contract torn up by the Rangers administrators, wonder where he’ll end up ?

  26. chiefychiefy07-03-2012

    I think people should take a look at this


    Some eye opening figures and facts there

    Sorry for linking away matt but people really need to take a look at this, some stark reality

  27. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil07-03-2012

    Exactly Steamer

    A prime example is Warnock,a good player(don`t loose your voice screaming at me Steamer)who has lost his way.He is doing the same things wrong every match.out of position,late tacking(mainly beecause he`s out of position)getting rid too early etc.Why don`t the coaching staff help him and work on his game? i.e. back to basics,jockyting etc in 2v1s 2v2s 3v2 etc.To me that is what coaching is all about.
    Note,I did not mention doing the same for Hutton,a lost cause methinks.

  28. gabbygabbygabbygabby07-03-2012

    Good post which prompted a great debate.

    If there is one Fulham player id take in a heartbeat it would be Dembele! He is outstanding, strong on the ball, quick, direct, can dribble but also patient and has vision. But as i said yesterday attributes like vision, dribbling, become redundant under a manager who wants you to be disciplined in case you lose the ball.

    Last season i think only Messi attempted more dribbles than N’Zog, this year N’Zog has attempted just 32, 17 players in the Premiership have attempted more, including Jose Enrique of Liverpool, and Mark Davies of Bolton. MCLEISH LIMITS ATTACKING PLAYERS

    The sad thing is is its so obvious, if you dont get numbers in support of attacks then the opposition defence can easily break it down. Comparing to Barca is obviously a stretch, but even with 3 of the best players in the world (Xavi, Messi and Iniesta), they would (maybe just) struggle to dominate sides if that trio didnt have a number of options when on the ball.

    Im not expecting us to dominate like Barca (the reserves can do that :P ), but we have to get men forward to help maintain a level of possession and territory that will not only help our chances in scoring, but will limit the opponents.

    Mcleish seems to ignore that having the ball also limits the amount the opposition does, so therefore limits the chances they can create. But the fewer options our player on the ball has the quicker we surrender possession and territory, it was perfectly highlighted against Blackburn..

    ReeK & B6
    Agree entirely about the McLeish/MON/Bruce type managers, who put physicality above all else. Sadly its a merry-go-round, the same managers seem to just move clubs, talk about the future being brighht and building a legacy, theyve got the speech perfected, but they fail to deliver (although i had a great time under MON – i just have a bitter taste)

  29. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey07-03-2012


    Thanks for the kind words re: the blogs.

    It is the people who write and comment on it that makes it what it is, so thanks you everyone for their input.

  30. steamersteamer07-03-2012

    I thought Warnock was outstanding in his first season, dunno what went wrong there.
    Read and heard quite a few Barcelona comparisons after the reserves 4-0 win v Newcastle. Kmac has done a fabulous job for AVFC alongside Bryan Jones, Tony McAndrew and Sid, but their is a definite conflict in styles between the 1st team and, basically, all our other teams. If the economics of the club are buggered, we have to rely on the academy, no problems at all, but if the 1st team manager doesn’t utilise them correctly then we lose out on future transfer revenue as well as 1st team members. Graham Burke, to my mind, is a fantastic prospect but ginger would sooner sign journeymen than play someone of his potential.

  31. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey07-03-2012


    No problem with links so long as they have context mate, and aren’t just shameless self promotion of people’s other projects without asking.

  32. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey07-03-2012

    Random question though – would we rather have Hughes who, for all his spending and apparent talent, has only won one game in his whole tenure at QPR?

  33. gabbygabbygabbygabby07-03-2012

    steamer & B6
    I dont think a manager or a coach can improve a players technique, players who have earned a professional contract must have made the grade (well most of them, some escaped the net – Hutton).

    What the manager is meant to do imo is to to instill a system or philosophy which will enable the players to use their technique to achieve success as a team on the pitch.

    Individual players, Messi and Ronaldo aside, cant beat a team by themselves, they need support, and its only under a manager can that work.. So when McLeish demands Ireland & N’Zogbia to step up (as he has done recently), they can only step up if they have the support of teammates & are playing in a system which allows them to succeed.

    Ive seen articles on here from John which say once the players are on the pitch its up to them. I dont believe that for a second, the manager has a big say, look at Fergie, look at Mourinho, look at Guardiola, do they sit back after the first whistle having handed their instructions, or do they adapt to the game which is happening in front of them by continually asking different things of certain players.

    Pass. Move. Pass. Move. Pass. Move. Pass

    it could go on forever, you dont need Messi/Xavi/Iniesta to complete passes, Swansea are doing it because they are given license to roam and find space to ease pressure, they complete 85% of their passes & average 56%possession

    Under McLeish it goes something like
    Pass. Move. Pass. Move (not too far). Pass (dont over-commit). Move breaks down

  34. gabbygabbygabbygabby07-03-2012

    Totally agree about the conflict between first team the the lower levels, wrote a long comment last night about it.

    Earlier in the year i wrote about Ajaxs red thread going through the club, they play the same system, the same philosophy throughout the club, so that when a player steps up a level, the immediately feel comfortable and they know their role.

    We need a manager who can make a claret and blue thread run through our club, which could help players like Albrighton, Bannan, Carruthers, Burke, Gardner, Daniel Johnson make the step up. Its a big leap up, but if they are familiar with the system, philosophy then the transition can be a little easier.

    Similar has happened under Klopp at Dortmund recently, young players, some very gifted, others just know the system they are playing in having played at different levels, step up together and progress together. Also check out the crowds at this Dortmund reserve game recently http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4pfCt2xctM

  35. steamersteamer07-03-2012

    Dortmund are the perfect example for AVFC to copy, when you look at them five years ago, nearly going bump and look at them now, usually have the highest attendances in Europe, 20 Euro’s for a replica shirt, cheap admission and travel.
    That video is amazing, the connection between players and fans shows that if you harness the various factions then you can be virtually unbeatable, we had it in the past but at the moment were a broken club with no sign that it will improve, just empty words and PR.

  36. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil07-03-2012

    We have got a thread through the club….but it`s ginger-get used to it I am convinced he`s staying.

    Hughes-I am not sure-all the hype has to stop and he has to deliver-and quickly.He will try and clear out in the summer then have his own team,so to speak for next year.If he went down a massive black mark on his cv.For Villa though?Not for me.

  37. Andrew PAndrew P07-03-2012

    B6, the Ginger Jock, will he stay or will he go? I’ve just been walking my dogs and pondering that very question, and I’ve decided he’s going at the end of this season without a doubt. The dogs agreed with me as well. Mark my words, McClueless’ days are numbered.

  38. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey07-03-2012


    Germany in general is a good model to look at. If you see how the Bundesliga is run, it is a great way to do it. It’s cheaper for fans, the game is competitive, and it is far more economically viable.

    The problem in this country is too many clubs (and the FA) are hooked on the life-support drip of corporate cash rolling in, and are reluctant to cut it adrift because they might lose TV revenue, and given the significance of £50m a year to each Premier League club, it is the majority of most teams’ revenue.