And here I was sprawled across my bed writing this article just before the North East derby on Sunday lunchtime when that famous continuous yellow strip popped up at the bottom of my TV, ‘Sherwood leaves Aston Villa.’ This article has just taken a dramatic turn.

After just 250 days at the helm the former Spurs manager was sacked having overseen a 33% reduction on his win ratio at Villa to that of his time at the North London outfit. With just four points from our opening 10 games and a run of six Premier League defeats on the bounce enough was enough.

Of course as supporters we all know that our problems stem much more rooted than that of just the manager but in a results run business it’s those that are on the front-line that pay with their jobs. In many respects you could say that Sherwood along with Paul Lambert, sacked earlier this year, were victims of circumstance. Managing a club under the ownership of someone that wants out and has chosen to surround himself with commercially sound folk rather than that of the true footballing persuasion means that whoever does come in will have to work under considerable restraints. And as supporters we need to be realistic as to what to expect whilst Lerner and his money-men are running the club.

Given what this latest manager will come into I can look no further than David Moyes. Although there is an unwavering negative stigma attached to the Glaswegian from his short spell at United so much so that he has had to go abroad to try and rebuild his career, it’s his profound Everton days when working under a notoriously financially prude chairman in Bill Kenwright that we ought to merit him on.

In 11 full seasons at Goodison Park Moyes had a net spend of just £17 million. Quite remarkable when you pit that against their final finishing positions in his tenure. 4th in 2004/05 and from 2006/07 onwards Moyes’ Everton finished between 5th and 8th seven times before his ill-fated switch to Manchester. What I would give to see the Villa emulating those dizzy heights.

When peering over his transfer dealings I find myself in genuine awe. For a combined £43m here’s a Moyes XI that would challenge the higher reaches of any Premier League season:- Tim Howard, John Stones, Phil Jagielka, Seamus Coleman, Leighton Baines, Mikel Arteta, Steven Pienaar, Kevin Mirallas, Steven Naismith, Marouane Fellaini, Tim Cahill. The two Belgians in that line-up is where half of that spend went. He even got the best out of mediocrity, the likes of Tony Hibbert, Phil Neville and Nikica Jelavic. A decent man-manager with experience of manging in this league and that is capable of getting his players up for it no matter their (in)capabilities is something that a bottom of the table Villa are crying out for.

Instead it would appear – as I write this – that Villa are in “advanced talks” with former Olympique Lyonnais manager Remi Garde. Some might say that this potential appointment falls in line with our ‘French Revolution’ summer spending and what with many younger players to work with and progress; this is something he did at Lyon with reasonable success. Personally I am not an advocate of seeing an inexperienced foreign manager coming in but should he be appointed then he will, of course, receive my unequivocal support.

The main reason I can give as to why I don’t support this conceivable next step is quite simple. I feel a hardened manager with Premier League experience no matter his playing staff stands a better chance of setting us up the correct way and give us the best shot at survival. You’re bringing in a manager for completely the wrong reasons if you think that being able to work with a few young lads from the French league is the way forward. There’s more to this club than prospectively appeasing a handful of players. A fear of the unknown also plays a part.

In what would turn out to be Sherwood’s last game in charge against Swansea on Saturday, we saw the same things that really has epitomised our season thus far.
For a change Brad Guzan had a relatively quiet game. He made a very sharp stop from Andre Ayew moments before we went 1-0 up, but again and this isn’t for the first time, I must question his positioning when up against free-kicks within striking range.

Guzan is not the only keeper that applies the logic that by placing the wall far enough across to cover half of your goal it allows him to stand beside the opposite post and cover the other half all by himself. My partner will pay testament that I said prior to Gylfi Sigurdsson striking the ball over the wall that this is a constant worry of mine. Are the goalkeepers union not aware that footballs can be curled, dip and move all over the place? It was a great strike but I wouldn’t go as far to say that it was unstoppable and right up in the postage stamp if a goalkeeper takes up a reasonably central position.

Goal scoring. I sense that this will be our single biggest worry all season. Early in the second half there were two pieces of play that really sums us up in front of goal. Gabby Agbonlahor when in on goal has always been hesitant to say the very least. If Gabby could finish he’d have bagged two or three times the amount of goals he has in a claret and blue shirt. Then there was the Bacuna piece of play where from the right where he stampedes into the box and drills a scrumptious ball across goal, in fact he couldn’t have put it into a better area and there was just nobody gambling on it. Rudy Gestede only has one thing in his locker and that’s heading the ball when fired in at height. He goes missing otherwise.

Then there’s the thing that surprises me most when you take into the account the experience that we have and that’s our sloppiness at the back. Between our four at the back they’ve played a total of over 800 Premier League matches. I’m no Opta but I’d hazard a guess that this is one of the most experienced top flight defences and yet time and time again we’re making silly mistakes at the back and conceding avoidable goals. The ease at which Andre Ayew coasted unchallenged inside of our six yard box is inexcusable.

And finally something we don’t need to worry about anymore – Sherwood’s in-game management. It was obvious from where I was sat in L7 that Richardson was struggling to get anywhere near their substitute Modou Barrow. It was like a re-run of the Matt Phillips show last season. Clearly when it’s late in the game, when the legs are growing a little bit tired, he is our weak link. Send on Jordan Amavi or perhaps just start him from offset.

The one positive that we can take from the game is the performance of Jordan Ayew. It looked as though he had a point to prove and not only did he find the back of the net but on the ball he looked a class above. Hopefully that continues.

On Wednesday night stand in boss K-Mac along with our dejected troops will make the long trip to St. Mary’s for a Capital One Cup tie – a shock win and we’ll suddenly find ourselves in the last eight of a cup competition which no matter where you are sat in the league is always an exciting prospect. A confidence building victory going into Monday night at Spurs would be well received by the 3,000 travelling fans.

Before signing off I would like to thanks Matt for inviting me to speak alongside him to BBC Radio Five Live before the Swans clash – a top advertising ploy for Aston Villa Life!

Comments 199

  1. Good leader Ryan,
    You mention that it was obvious that Richardsons legs had gone after 60 minutes, i think that was Tims biggest weakness, he didn’t recognise the obvious, like tightening up the MF at 2-0 at Leicester, the system vs Stork and many other examples that even an amateur would have picked up on.
    All of Tims pals in the media have come out of the woodwork to defend him, Trevor Sinclair apparently has morphed from a crepe footballer into a pundit –
    definition – an expert in a particular subject or field who is frequently called upon to give their opinions to the public.
    “political pundits were tipping him for promotion”
    synonyms: expert, authority, adviser, member of a think tank, member of a policy unit, specialist, consultant, doyen, master, mentor, guru, sage, savant;
    I can’t think of a pundit with any of these qualifications, eg Gobby Cabbage.
    Alan Hansen made a fantastic career saying the same things over and over, week after week year after year boring the s**te out of the public.
    Pundits are just broken down ex footballers who either can’t get a job in football or who have failed in that particular area, Michael Owen has shown his contempt for the sport and his clubs consistently yet the media falls over itself for his opinions which are invariably boring and incorrect, he’s basically a leech on the sport.

  2. Ryan: “Gabby Agbonlahor when in on goal has always been hesitant to say the very least. If Gabby could finish he’d have bagged two or three times the amount of goals he has in a claret and blue shirt. ”

    Nice article Ryan, but I vastly dispute the above statement. I’ve seen him score quite a few one-on-one’s and some of them very confident finishes.

    I *do* agree that he’s been lacking something in that regard for the past 2 or more seasons. But he did have it. People have suggested that now he’s more-or-less known to be at Villa sine die then he’s gone off the boil. That may be true … I see him being useful mainly in a support role. He’s been creating chances quite regularly.

  3. Oh … and it was after Gabby was sub’d that we had that weakness showing on Richardson’s wing. That was partly because they’d brought on a nippy winger but also because of Gabby not adding cover.

    Geuye was noticeably a.w.o.l. and mesmerised when they scored their second. He should have been covering better. It was shown clearly on MotD.

  4. Another great write up Ryan –
    I am copying mine and Mark’s posts as we posted them simultaneously with yours Ryan

    I take your point we are trying to replicate Saints Mark but we don’t have the technical footballing board to orchestrate similar .

    Jenny Truman October 26, 2015 at 9:27 am
    Morning all .
    Terrific write up John.
    Mark has provided us with some great info on Garde and the positives are his apparent technical, tactical and intelligent approach . His apprenticeship with Lerner and Houllier means he has been taught by thinking football men . He has worked with financial constraints before and good with developing youth and obviously will be fantastic for the French recruits and our attempt at a money ball philosophy.

    The glaring concerns are that he has only three years managerial experience in French football . This may not be such a problem if you have a CEO and Director of Football who knew about football . We don’t . As Stan said – DOF, very nice man , in marketing (with American football shirts on his office wall).

    We have a scout who has bought players that neutrals have said are not premiership standard yet and has seen off Rodgers , Lambert, McLeish and now Sherwood.

    Sherwood said “there’s only so much coaches can do , we can’t make them into world beaters. ” I think that a more experienced manager will get more out of them by deciding on a settled 11 , but its the DOF and Reilly who have sanctioned such a drastic overhaul and substitution with Premier League novices .

    My suspicion is that Fox and co are aware of their footballing short comings and fear exposure if they were to appoint a seasoned Premier League Manager

    . Under our system the manager’s success is to a large extent reliant on the footballing acumen of those above . Which is why I fear for Reme Garde and was hoping for a manager with gravitas and pedigree so he could teach the Directors a thing or two and not be dictated to by slick marketing analysts and a failed scout.

    The fact is , a manager like David Moyes would see straight through the farcical set up we have at AV and no manager worth his salt is going to let others ruin his reputation. Is Rodgers going to reunite with Reily , who even with 350 million couldn’t get semblance a winning team together . Even managers of Koeman’s and Billics overseas experience are astute enough to know that where the manager is a puppet you have to ensure the puppet masters know what they are doing .

    It seems that Garde has been lined up for weeks . Whether Tim deserved the sack or not is irrelevant . Leaking such info is a dirty tactic.

    I’ve read that Wenger has said he will make a good manager – he’s not going to say he’s not when asked is he when Garde worked under him. SAF recommended Alex McLeish didn’t he .

    There’s suggestion that Tim may be going to Swindon – I wish him great success there . I can’t help thinking that that is the level Reme should be starting at too.

    For those that don’t favour the British manager , there are plenty of more experienced foreign
    managers out there . As the neutrals are saying Reme who ???? What has he won ??!

    We do not have a well ran , settled football team or structure at AV. We are bottom of the premier league , with a team devoid of confidence who have wasted the last 14 weeks been chopped and changed around in an attempt to find the “best team”. The task is huge for even the most experienced manager . They’ve already had one manager learning on the job , are the players going to have any more faith in another novice . I don’t think so . They need someone to come in and say don’t worry I’ve done this and that – I’ve been in this situation before . A relegation fight in the Premier League has seen off quite a few managers and clubs .

    On a final note , Reme Garde left football management in 2014 . He is now a pundit , choosing to have a sabbatical from football . After being in a relegation fight with us he may be needing more than a sabbatical !

    If he is appointed , I will give him my 100 percent support and pray for his success. Oh Reme , I hope you know what you are letting yourself in for .

    Profile photo of Mark King
    Mark King October 26, 2015 at 9:32 am
    well this might upset a few, what if Fox’s attempt at replicating a Southampton or dare I say Lyon type scenario is in its infancy? what if he does have an idea? what if in a couple of years we are over the teething problems? maybe a background team is being built of which the managers are transient? maybe Tim was the wrong cog in the machine?

    I know it doesn’t address the problem of distance from the fans that this lot have created but it may be the answer to the playing side and the continual yo-yo style rebuilds. I think they are trying to build something that can out last a manager going and in the modern era doesn’t that make sense? leaving the manager to run everything is very hazardous if you don’t have the right man in place and there is only one way to find that out.

    David Moyes at Man utd failed because IMO he wasn’t a big enough draw to attract the players he pursued. 3-4 weeks into a transfer window that’s a tough thing to realise and impossible to correct. Ultimately he couldn’t attract the players he wanted to put his plan in place to make Fellani effective and didn’t get the best out of players there already, or they were not impressed with him, he ended up looking a mug. He was ok at a lower level were he made the best of things over a prolonged period. Tim Sherwood would of suited Man utd better at least for a while.

    If this was the end of last season I would go for Garde hands down, because we are now in the cr*p it make the choice so much harder. Its now about survival not building. I know plenty of Everton fans and they say Moyes is ok but boring to a man, Rodgers couldn’t do it at Liverpool, when they bought Daniel Sturridge he didn’t want him, does sound like someone we need.
    Garde intrigues me and could be the best fit for this squad and the future.

    Before I get pelters, I know its a lot of if’s and buts, that comes with the territory of dealing with the unknown but there are no guarantee’s whomever gets the Job.

    Strange also that only a few youngsters that Tim gave a chance have came out and said thanks?

  5. I am in bed with flu – glad to have something to read and listen to !!

    Mark Bosnich in talk sport now – nail on head ” AV need a manager with experience of getting out of a relegation scrap in the premier league – there is so much hanging on it … Even someone like Nigel Pearson has done it before …. “. I can understand them experimenting with a new unproven manager if they were middle table but they aren’t “

  6. Jenny: “I take your point we are trying to replicate Saints Mark but we don’t have the technical footballing board to orchestrate similar .”

    Precisely. After nearly 10 years under Lerner we shouldn’t still be talking “if” this and “but” this about the top brass. They’ve had their chances and are not fit for purpose … as Tim has gone then so should they. Its’ an awful scenario.

    Granted this next managerial move *might* suddenly provide light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s something of a forlorn hop a.f.a.i.a.c.

  7. Great write up.

    Moyes has been my choice for years. Hard working, professional, eye for a player.

    We are going to have to rebuild in the championship too so his experience will be vital. Said it in the summer, 2 vital positions in a team are GK and striker. We have a goalkeeper who costs us more points than saves us points and we dont have a striker to get double figures.

  8. Very true Steamer 🙂 which is why it’s strange that Reme chose to go into punditry after only 3 years in management / unless he was waiting for the right job to come along 🙂
    We have been the worst team for giving away leads and conceding in the last five mins. Whilst physical fitness comes into it so does mental toughness . You can get an onslaught in the last five minutes when teams behind just go for it as they’ve nothing to lose . I see a lot of panic and as TS said fear. Ease this and organise better and we can improve massively . But don’t tell the players this is a cup final and don’t leak info to the effect that “lose this and your manager loses his job “.

    That’s hellish pressure for them to play under. In sports psychology it’s called “don’t look at the scoreboard principle “. The message should be “stay in the present – don’t look to future “what if I lose ” “each kick at a time ”

    Right off to have a few Lem sips

  9. Thanks John – it’s miserable but with talk sport just about to bring on s French footballing expert to talk about Reme , I can at least do my homework 🙂 …. If I can stay awake

  10. On the subject of pundits – is there a worse one than Paul Scoles – great player (refused to be interviewed ever) and now fancies himself in front of camera. Jermain Janus close second . Best has to be Roy Keane – honest and hilarious .

  11. Jen- Garde stepped down for personal and family reasons, has been sounded out by Newcastle last Jan but didn’t want to start until the summer, also considered by spurs. Considered for Arsenal for there DOF position.
    Its interesting to know he was coach to 4 lyon managers during their successful period at the top, ran their academy then got asked to manage the club which he did successfully. Its not the worst pedigree considering Houliers CV prior to liverpool was all french football based. Played at prem champs with wenger so knows the league.

    here’s my post from earlier

    Mark King October 26, 2015 at 9:32 am
    well this might upset a few, what if Fox’s attempt at replicating a Southampton or dare I say Lyon type scenario is in its infancy? what if he does have an idea? what if in a couple of years we are over the teething problems? maybe a background team is being built of which the managers are transient? maybe Tim was the wrong cog in the machine?

    I know it doesn’t address the problem of distance from the fans that this lot have created but it may be the answer to the playing side and the continual yo-yo style rebuilds. I think they are trying to build something that can out last a manager going and in the modern era doesn’t that make sense? leaving the manager to run everything is very hazardous if you don’t have the right man in place and there is only one way to find that out.

    David Moyes at Man utd failed because IMO he wasn’t a big enough draw to attract the players he pursued. 3-4 weeks into a transfer window that’s a tough thing to realise and impossible to correct. Ultimately he couldn’t attract the players he wanted to put his plan in place to make Fellani effective and didn’t get the best out of players there already, or they were not impressed with him, he ended up looking a mug. He was ok at a lower level were he made the best of things over a prolonged period. Tim Sherwood would of suited Man utd better at least for a while.

    If this was the end of last season I would go for Garde hands down, because we are now in the cr*p it make the choice so much harder. Its now about survival not building. I know plenty of Everton fans and they say Moyes is ok but boring to a man, Rodgers couldn’t do it at Liverpool, when they bought Daniel Sturridge he didn’t want him, does sound like someone we need.
    Garde intrigues me and could be the best fit for this squad and the future.

    Before I get pelters, I know its a lot of if’s and buts, that comes with the territory of dealing with the unknown but there are no guarantee’s whomever gets the Job.

    Strange also that only a few youngsters that Tim gave a chance have came out and said thanks?

    I will add did Southampton get it right first time? I doubt it, yes we have had 10 years of miss management but it has to change sometime.

  12. On Saturdays game Ryan-

    putting gana in the position of babysitting Bakuna in the middle was genius in a must win game, talk about a gamble. I must admit the only times I heard bakuna’s name was corners or free kicks. that suggests to me that while not being hopeless it gave gana to much to do.

    Richardson will always tire so he wastes a sub, we could of played Amavi in front of him ready to drop back when he tired and giving us a fresh legs option further up field. It also meant we had a lopsided attack again as far as crosses to gestede went.

    Tim again put his team out with no clear purpose IMO, almost a mix of Ideas hoping something would work. That has been the hallmark of his rein for me. crosses from one side of the pitch to gestede and a no10 with pacey players out wide not central to thread through balls to. It just means we don’t have enough attacking options in the box. strange as that’s what he did with Delph and cleverly to some good effect. maybe Kosak instead of gestede would prove more effective?

    On 1-0 up you pack the midfield and hit on the break especially when you need the win not continue to push with a tiring team. I guess it just shows Tim’s lack of faith in the team to hold out.

  13. Nice article, Ryan.

    I completely understand Moyes’ appeal, and won’t be sad to see him come in. With him, my only concern is this is not a group of players he would’ve picked. Are they suited to doing what he’d like?

    Garde…The concern there is obviously the experience. I like the CV, just don’t know if he’s got the mettle for the scrap we’re going to be in the rest of the season.

  14. Back from Lem sip

    How many times have bloggers criticised the manager(s) for playing players out of position – the square peg round holes complaint . Well what is the club doing ? What are we doing fantasising that we can accommodate a bright young manager or that we are near to Southampton’s set up

    We have technical directors – background in marketing and lacking in football knkwledge = square pegs …..

    A team bottom of the league fighting relegation – pick a manager who has never been in a relegation battle and no experience in premier league = half a peg

    Reme Garde is an exciting new manager for the future – to come to a stable and well run club. We are no where near this . We are kidding ourselves .

    Nigel Pearson is a mgr who the Leicester fans loved , is desperate to get back into the premier league and has orchestrated the best relegation fight known to man. He’s been there , got the tee shirt and is only out if a job because of his idiotic son.

    We need a relegation battler – no time for pretty football or fancy football philosophy – we are in the mire and need the right peg for the hole our board has made for us . Boring it may be – but that is where we are .

    Prox 🙂 Jermain Jackson Janus maybe

  15. Mark-

    “Strange also that only a few youngsters that Tim gave a chance have came out and said thanks?”

    Read an article yesterday saying the reason Fox was so ready to pull the trigger was the fear that Sherwood was going to become a divisive figure behind the scenes.

    Given that it seems the infighting had started already and Sherwood was willing to hint at it publicly…I would likely put some credence in that take on things.

  16. Anyway – I’m not so sure the Garde story isn’t a smokescreen . Remember O G Solskaar – flown over in Randy’s jet – final talks bla bla for Lambrrt to come in from stage left .

  17. Someone mentioned the saints. Dont get enough credit for me. They are superbly run. I thought in the summer there time was up when i saw foster the gk out long term, alderwierld the main cb sold and schneirlderline the midfiled general sold. Too many players sold in 2 years i thought. The spine of the team gone. Watching them yesterday against pool they were great and deserved to win imo.

    The one positive with Garde is i reckon he will play Gill which is good!

    Sat just sums up what a joke we are. Statistickly the team who scores first pretty much never looses the game. Soooo we score the 1st goal with half hour to go at home and end up losing. classic villa.

  18. JC- I know what you mean but Garde has practically fire fought for his three seasons at the top of French football. He had a very young side similar to our situation, not great at the back but with potential going forward, his win percentage 50.4% would of been better with a decent defence available.
    He achieved a negative net spend on all three seasons and still kept in the top 3-5 places and won 2 cups and a second final. Of course the French league is easier but under the circumstance he was impressive. whether that translates?

  19. JL-

    And while I agree with most everyone that the best thing for Villa would be for Lerner to sell and be gone, etc., that’s not happening anytime soon.

    Again, from the little tidbits popping up in the deluge of coverage yesterday, was I think Percy saying it was understood and acknowledged within the Villa hierarchy that something was seriously amiss.

    Not saying that results in instant (or any) improvement, but if true, then at least there’s the prospect that if the Almstadt-O’Reilley experiment was a problem that at least their influence might be diminished going forward…Which, maybe far too little too late, but might be telling come January.

    If they were left to just scouting and providing support, rather than making any decisions, it sounds as though it would be a positive.

  20. Know what you mean, Mark. Probably comes down to meeting the man, and whether one can know how mentally tough he is.

    I think the talent is there…the fact we’ve been so close to results suggests there ought to be enough.

    Really, it’s who is the best diagnostician. We’ve adopted the car parts analogy—who can look at what’s there, make a good set of decisions, and get on with maximizing that?

  21. Jenny,

    I loved your last few comments – about pegs, half-a-peg etc!

    You seem to get more witty when you have ‘flu! 🙂

    Yes. Absolutely. When amateurs don’t know what they’re doing then we can only fear the worst i.m.o. – no matter who is appointed as team manager.

    When a tree is unhealthy, it’s roots have to be addressed. (That’s me trying to be an Eric Cantona)

  22. Jc: “And while I agree with most everyone that the best thing for Villa would be for Lerner to sell and be gone, etc., that’s not happening anytime soon.”

    That’s because we’re letting it be like that perhaps. If we made sufficient clamour or failed to attend matches he’d go p.d.q. I suspect. He’d soon find a buyer.

    Back in 1968 the fans didn’t think they’d be so successful so quickly – then look what happened. Where there’s a will there’s a way. These days we tend to sleep through everything and get nonsense … and, worse, simply complain about it.

  23. JC: “If they were left to just scouting and providing support, rather than making any decisions, it sounds as though it would be a positive.”

    More big ‘ifs’ I’m afraid John.

  24. JL-

    On Gabby…He’s been an enigma wrapped in a conundrum for a while.

    He has finished one-on-ones in the past, but I don’t think the conversion rate is good. For at least two, maybe three years I’ve said he needs a psychologist.

    However, as you say, he does put in a shift. And I’ve generally backed his inclusion for this reason. He seems to have contributed most when actually setting others up. I understand the striker’s mentality, which is why he took the shot on yesterday rather than laying it off to the wide open man (haven’t seen a replay…Ayew?), but the difference between Gabby and a top striker is that when you watch other games, the good ones (on form) either bury that chance or make the keeper work. A better shot that forced the keeper to put a hand to the ball would’ve put it right in Ayew’s path to mop up.

    I know it’s only one moment, but for Villa, the few clear-cut chances are proving deadly when not taken.

    Perhaps more damning is that his first touch is often terrible, and we lose possession a lot when it goes into him anywhere central and he’s supposed to be controlling and connecting with others in tight spaces.

    He works best running onto to things in space. Isn’t suited to really playing with the ball at his feet.

  25. JL-

    Indeed it is an “if”…but between the big-picture problem that won’t go away overnight and the reality of what can be done in the very short term, those fine margins could prove important to getting the right player(s) in come January.

    Of course, Fox could well recommend bigger changes, and they might happen. I’d be happy “if” he got that right…But I’m coming from very limited expectations when it comes to any sort of sweeping change on that side of the equation. At least in the short term.

  26. Great article Ryan and also excellent follow up from everyone. It seems that there is going to be plenty of interesting discussion until the final appointment is made.
    I feel the appointment of Moyes will be the safest option but the possibility of Remi Garde could be a fascinating one, if he can cut the mustard.

  27. JL-

    Back in 68, I don’t know that anyone was more than £250m in the hole for their own money. Maybe they were in inflation-adjusted terms.

    Mass protests…sure, I can see it having an effect. But I don’t expect Lerner to just sell because of it. And if he did pull the trigger just to get away from that, god only knows who it would be to in those circumstances.

    Is it true that “anyone else would be better?”

    The sale hasn’t moved quickly, obviously, but I do actually believe that while Lerner is trying to recoup as much as he can, which is certainly his right and any of us would do the same, he is also trying to find someone who is adequately capitalized and isn’t going to monkey with the club to its detriment.

  28. Its obvious that there is a mistrust of the back-room staff Riley etc (Riley left Liverpool to take the job at villa he wasn’t pushed) Understandable as things didn’t go well with Tim. Now that could be Tims inability to work in this way not the back-rooms staffs ability to find good players or it could be they are to inexperienced.

    These type of roles are very new to football in this country and there is now a degree available to be a DOF believe it or not.

    Let me give you a scenario, Remi Garde comes in, vastly experienced in this field, knows his arse from his elbow. Remi scrapes us through this season, recommends the staff we need to fox and uses his connections and Knowledge to set Villa up properly in the Lyon,saints money-ball approach.

    Second scenario, David moyes comes in, scrapes through the season gets to June and hits the same brick wall as previous managers.

  29. Mark-

    Exactly right…At the moment, we really just don’t know. As I’d asked, was Sherwood deliberately not playing a number of new signings to make a point as some have suggested? That’s a far cry from trying to put the best team out there and find a way to make it work.

    Persisting with Gestede…An example of this? Sinclair scored, too, and didn’t offer any less in the outfield. Kozak, not that I think he’s the answer, nowhere to be seen. Gil often ignored. Lescott, one of Tim’s personal targets…Would Amavi have gotten better cover from someone fresher and more mobile?

  30. JC,

    Gabby: I think you’ve said more-or-less what I did about him! 😉 As for his touch, I’ve noticed a big improvement of late. Maybe Tim got him to tighten up his game and if so has had some affect.

    On protests: Yes , you could be right … but in 1968 they found that by trying they actually achieved something. I don’t find anyone saying or doing anything now (apart from Collymore) because they take a similar line to you. No offence intended, but unless you follow your convictions we’re not going to solve the problem. Lerner may just keep things going for another x number of years. Maybe AVST is too weak and that we need a more concerted protest of some kind just for the top brass to wake up – at least a little bit … even if it doesn’t produce an immediate sale. Let’s see what happens by Christmas, I suggest, and then talk again.

  31. A little on Garde tactics at Lyon and the team itself there are some parallels if the writer can be trusted.

    “Tactical analysis: Do you want tactical flexibility? Because Garde has tactical flexibility. This season alone, Garde and Lyon have used five different tactical formations. And that’s just what they used to start matches. Garde primarily plays a 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1. The 4-4-2 traditionally features a diamond midfield with Maxim Gonalons as the holder and Clement Grenier as the attacking midfielder. The other two midfielders are given more license to roam. These season, with much more attacking talent on the wings, Garde has adapted to occasionally play a 4-2-3-1, though his team was more successful using the diamond.

    Garde’s teams tend to play possession football and, as one of the most technically skilled sides in Ligue 1, they don’t tend to meet much resistance. Where Garde’s team struggles this year was getting shots inside the box. Sound familiar? Now, this is easily explainable. The club’s best striker Bafetimbi Gomis spent most of the first few months of the season on the sideline either injured or being a malcontent. Sound familiar? When he returned to the team, he was excellent and a real aerial threat in the box. His teams like to press high up the pitch, but he’s never really had the most disciplined players to work with, so the press hasn’t always worked well. Lots of his attackers are pretty lax in their defensive duties and don’t like to track back. Imagine a band of three attacking midfielders that put in the same amount of defensive effort as Rafael van der Vaart and you’ve got a rough approximation of what Garde has been working with.

    Here’s the major bad thing about Garde’s Lyon teams. The number of individual errors that their defenders make is staggering. You think it’s rough watching Michael Dawson and Vlad Chiriches screw around at the back, then I challenge you to watch a couple of matches Milan Bisevac and Samuel Umtiti. It’s a freaking horror show. Lyon consistently have an excellent attack but the individual errors at the back have cost them so many points. Now, maybe this means that Garde is just a big picture guy, that he’s not drilling the team on their concentration, positioning, etc. I honestly believe it’s a product of him having such a young and inexperienced team. However, you can certainly see that he’s not a defensive taskmaster.”

  32. Well based on what i have read so far re Garde i now hope its him

    another stone age manager i.e style of play if any – development skills will be almost non existent – we will end up at another ground hog day going for these robotic unfutuistic types

    Garde SOUNDS like he fits the bill re what i have hope are club would go for as he apparently looks to drill his teams on passing but attacking football

    we have a decent bunch and some exciting youngsters to be fair and Kosak – who looks like our best striker to me

    bring on the brave new world = lets have our lads playing and enjoying what they are doing

  33. Gabby has not developed into what he promised and though his pace will create an opening or two plus he may rack up 5 prem goals if we are lucky and would hope the club will soon be in a position to ease him out and ease in one of our home grown talents over the next 12 months

  34. On Garde…

    It all depends on whether he can get the various shapes of square pegs to fit into the round holes doesn’t it?

    No matter what technical specs you produce he can only deal with the players he’s got – until January at least. This week we have Spurs (a) then Man C (h) and then Everton.

    We *have* to get something from those matches – even if it be 1 or 2 points … otherwise confidence will be in a bad state and will need just pure optimistic motivation from the manager and less on the technicalities.

    Mmmmm … sounds as though we should call Tim back! 😉

  35. Team with no square parts planted in round holes IMO

    ………………….Guzan……………….

    Hutton………richards……….clark…….Amavi

    ………………..Sanchez…………….

    ……….vertout…………gana………….

    …………….Grealish or Gil

    …………………Kosak or Ayew

  36. I thought that Andrew but hutton not horrendous at the moment and Okore an unknown fitness wise. would be interesting though as okore is known for coming out with the ball as is Clark. could be quite a flexible defence

  37. Apparently Gardes fitness man is that well known bloke Robert ????? who is a tyrant so Gabby will have to work in training and lay off the KFC. He may even have a future at the club.
    I think Reilly has picked up some decent players at reasonable prices, Gil was 2-5 m i understand. The French lads seem good value for money too. I think he has an eye for a player. I know one Villa scout who if he tried to kick a ball would probably fall on his fat arse, he signed two lads who played in our 1st team ( no longer at VP ) and one in the u21 team, but a glittering pro career doesn’t always mean your’e better than someone like PeterTaylor who hardly had a stellar career and was handicapped by being a goalie but was a genius at talent spotting.

  38. mark king like most of your team but richards has to play full back as went again sat and be honest hutton could not cross the road his crosses are not up to pub standard and yet again behind his man for the winning goal he is simply not up to it would rather play okere at center half or get baker back
    as lescott was a complete waste of money legs have gone on sat gill put hutton down the line he had all the time in the world to cross the ball put it over 10 yards over everybody just not good enough

  39. Someone told me a couple of months ago that Okore could be finished.
    Richards reckons that because of his muscular build he couldn’t play full back again.

    It’ll be interesting to see if Kmac utilises the French lads or goes with the English tripe.
    I must admit that Richardson usually does a sterling job for an hour but i wouldn’t use him as a LB, good pro.

  40. steamer- we like an upset. If Kmac puts out a balanced side that would be enough for me, I’m sure after his demotion in the summer he has sat and looked at the goings on and thought that s not right. We will see by his team I suspect and I’m hoping its something similar to what I picked above or we are doomed !!! dooooommmmeeeedddd!!!

    JD- I don’t agree with the round/square malarkey I think we have a decent squad just no real out and out byline crossing wingers. hence I didn’t pick gestede to start and I expect Southampton to come at us.

  41. Quite optimistic to be honest Mark, as you said no out and out wingers until Traore is fit but Gil can put in a great ball and Sinclair was a winger. Tony Hateley was a similar player to Rudy and Dick Taylor signed Tony Scott and Johnny McCleod to pump crosses in.
    James Milner put in a superb cross for CB last night, CB had to work a bit but made the ball and tucked it away a treat, good luck to the lad.

  42. I think the Southampton 6-1 game was probably the worst defensive display i’ve ever seen from a top level team but i won’t say it can’t be so bad this time because basically ….. its Villa.

  43. Mark: ” I don’t agree with the round/square malarkey I think we have a decent squad ”

    In one sense you’d be right … but the square/round pegs/holes analogy is mainly to do with the fact it seems to be difficult to make a *team* out of ’em!

    People have been complaining about Tim and his weekly changes, but (apart from injuries) I think it was more to do with trying to see which players could play with which.

    I totally agree (in principle) with the idea of playing with the same set for a period to see what gives, but maybe there are exceptions to that rule.

  44. me too steamer although I think I’ve talked myself into Garde, might feel a bit let down if it doesn’t happen. Be nice to have a boss that can think a bit on his feet.

  45. JL- It was plain Tim wanted some wingers but they never appeared, maybe the money dried up too as he seemed to want to change an awful lot of players, in the end he was hawking Kosak to celtic but he wouldn’t budge.

    So for me it simplifies things, 442 not really an option without decent wingers. Tim doesn’t like DM’s either so poor old Sanchez was Tims marmite. 4213 hits a nice balance but the 2 for me are Gana and vertout both box to box and would of gone sinclair and gabby either side of ayew or Kosak on Saturday gil or grealish in the hole probably Gil because he covers more pitch effectively.

    Maybe Tim let his dislike of the system cloud his judgement, he told a mate that we got our 3rd or 4th rate picks, pretty damning on the clubs pulling power and a reflection on a manager being unknown on the continent maybe?

  46. doesn’t surprise me the manager is not numero uno in money ball and they would have been talking to him as he has no club, they should in theory have 5-6 lined up as potential managers if they have their thinking caps on

  47. Big F Ron – on goal zone talking to Tom Ross – “you need someone whose been there before – it won’t be done by waving a magic wand and playing the beautiful game .. It’s hard graft and there’s no one better and available than Nigel Pearson who worked miracles ….its not time to try and play like Arsenal ”
    Brilliant Big Ron – exactly .

  48. I would agree jen if it was a short contract and a different leics type of squad, Tim has already tried that approach and it did not work. Could you really see Pearson doing what Tim couldn’t in the motivating stakes?

    we are up for discussion on talk tripe tonight

  49. Jenny,

    Likewise, get what Ron and you are saying. Leicester was a miracle, Pearson never lost his nerve. And they’re still flying. Be very curious how he would get on with our squad.

  50. Also I think we are putting to much onus on how Garde would play, its an unknown as yet. He is known for counter attack football mixed with possession sounds perfect style for the prem. Lambert played counter attack with no possession and constantly knackered the players out leading to meltdown.

  51. Mark – Tim showed he wasn’t a good motivator when he started saying the players weren’t good enough . I don’t think it was motivation alone that enabled Leicester to win practically all of their last ten games either / it was organisation and tactics . Have Leicestrr fan mate whose been raving about Pearson for last two seasons ss being a bright young manager.

    Tayls just said he wants Moyes at AV

  52. Jenny,

    Well, Collymore has just given the reason why Moyes won’t go – he won’t want the management structure (inc DofS) that’s there. … Colly says: “What Villa have now done is try to tailor a new manager – if Garde is true – to the existing structure of what they already have.”

  53. “Sportsmail understands [Tim;s sacking] was not only down to results but also because of growing tension behind the scenes.

    “As results went from bad to worse Sherwood was openly critical of the club’s recruitment policy, hinting that many of the 13 players brought in during the summer at a cost of £52.5million were not his choices. Villa insist he was given the final say on every incoming transfer [Sherwood has not denied that, but clearly felt ‘put upon’].

    “Sherwood effectively pointed the finger at a statistics-driven department run by head of recruitment Paddy Rile and new sporting director Hendrik Almstadt.”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3289111/Aston-Villa-sacked-Tim-Sherwood-divisive-force-dressing-room.html#ixzz3phhlROw6

  54. some interesting debate – particually the Pearson factor pointed out by Jen
    He clearly is a good tactical manager but he and hs son havent exactly covered themselves in glory off field
    I think the biggest issue with clubs employing him is the not so PC stuff
    can you imagine him at villa shouting at a fan and telling them to shut up and sit down like he did at liecester 🙂 que pitch invasion

    no doult he is a talent though so its a shame – he didnt so much as shoot himself in the foot , more blew hs legs off — bit like big ron

    I will stand by my hope of transforming the club into a footballing club with method thou -as i truely beleve you can only go so far unless you adopt the modern more passing game

  55. I admit I don’t know much about Pearson beyond his anger gets the better of him Jen, he could well be a good option but cannot see fox and co putting up with him.

    I am trying to think past this season and the peril we are in, garde from the outside could hold the Key to our rise as the top money-ball team, above Southampton Etc if we get it right we are after all the Villa. of course not much use if we drop but long term could be a blessing if he sticks with it and see’s us as a life’s work. the chance to put in place everything he’s learned up to now, he is a scholar of the game IMO.

    I also think this team will not fight its way out of trouble but could be wrong.

    JL- the more I look at it the more I think Tim engineered his departure, maybe a bit of a face saving exercise if he truly believed we were doomed. Other wise he just let his mouth run away with him. This way if we drop he can point and say I told you so, for that reason alone I want us to shine and stay up in style.

  56. Mark,

    Why on earth would Tim “engineer” his own departure? I have a great deal of experience of people over 60 years of work and do not read that sort of thing in him at all.

    In fact, the club have tried to make it out that Tim was engineering a dressing room split, whereas an HITC article states: “…while Sherwood had clearly lost the support of the club’s hierarchy, much of the dressing room was still seemingly behind him.” http://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2015/10/26/micah-richards-tweets-support-for-tim-sherwood-takes-responsibil/

    The top brass like to engineer their own truths. Well known divide and rule techniques. I don’t trust the top brass one bit – especially as they’re clueless about football.

    I don’t understand why you (Mark) try to make out that Tim is so guilty. Maybe he doesn’t suit your sense of aesthetics (except, perhaps, the sartorial bit!). And his use of ‘I’. Tell me who doesn’t make use of ‘I’ when they’re enthused about the job they’ve been appointed to do – except the bland so-called professional types.

    Tim, I’m sure, had a good idea of his own shortcomings *but* he was appointed to do a *basic* job … not a qualified coach’s job, as I see it … of just keeping Villa up. But if Sherwood was so trampled on when it came to procurement, he had a huge hill to climb. How could he possibly work in that climate? I couldn’t. And Moyes wouldn’t, either.

  57. Stan Collymkre giving the AV board both barrels and more on TS – he’s raging . Amongst other things Tom Fox and co aren’t fit to do their jobs and RL should be begging David Moyes to come and rescue us .
    John L – if you get a chance to listen on Listen Again I think you will be very interested . Some fascinating facts coming out – I say facts as he says he will swear an affidavit on this . The background of the people running our club will shock – particularly the DOF credentials .

  58. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the player procurement thing was set up by the top brass to put Tim into difficulty … especially as it’s come out that they were talking to Garde behind Tim’s back. How long ago had that started, I wonder!

  59. Evening all,
    Seems we are all clear there is so much more wrong with the club than the manager.
    Lets just raffle the managers job off every saturday morning down at the aston social. The passion has gone, the players dont have a leader, within their ranks or from above and Guzan is competing with Hutton for pub footballer of the year.
    Who ever comes in (and i sincerely hope its not Pearson) has to decide on a team and give them a chance.
    Take Cech for example – he dropped a couple of clangers early in the season as he had not played competitive football for a while and also had not played with his back four before. Ten games on and he looks like the leagues best keeper again. He is match ready and knows what his defenders are doing. There are so many times each week we give the ball away as players are just not aware of what their colleagues are going to do when the game is playing played in anger not on the training ground.
    Still we are only 6 points behind where we were this time last season so lets pray for another miracle.
    Small blessing they did not play that bloody villa fan song on saturday although i am now looking into cancelling my contract with quickbooks.
    Lord help us…..

  60. JL- don’t take it so personally John, if Tim had not come out with statements that said these are not the players I asked for and got on with it I’d have more respect for him. To say such things in the job is stupid and a little suicidal, how did he think this would end with remarks like that?

    All that would be brushed over if he had produced the goods but he didn’t. the rest I can’t be bothered repeating. But if he’s already linked with Swindon no smoke without fire

  61. According to Collymore, the manager’s position has become something of a red herring when it comes to identifying where Villa need change.

    “It’s a hire and fire scenario and unfortunately my club has become like many other clubs when it looks to the next messiah to get them out of the mire, rather than looking at the pressing issues of the football club from the top down.

    “A number of poor appointments, a number of poor signings, a number of poor strategical decisions have led to manager after manager after manager after manager being sacked.

    “And the one consistent factor in all of that is the ownership. People think, well it wasn’t [sporting director] Hendrik Almstadt, it wasn’t Paddy Reilly the development coach that picked the team.

    “Well, essentially they do by the decisions they make on a day-to-day basis and the players that they bring in to the football club.

    “I wish Tim Sherwood the best, as I wished Alec McLeish the best, Martin O’Neill the best, Gerard Houllier the best and so on.

    “Something needs to change drastically at Aston Villa Football Club.”

    Read more at http://talksport.com/football/aston-villa-news-club-shambles-villa-structure-rotten-core-collymore-tells-talksport#X6g56qRdmX0jsMh3.99

  62. On Pearson – I agree his temper was a problem . He was sacked because of what his idiotic disgusting son did .

    I don’t think Timbo wanted to swap AV for Swindon for one minute . But as Tom Ross said tonight and he replayed the interview after the game , he knew he was getting the sack – and I won’t blame him for trying to get work elsewhere

    His compensation will be reduced if he gets a job elsewhere before a certain date / that’s not the same as stopping him working which would be a unlawful .

    Thanks Runtingz 🙂

    Reme Garde doesn’t have a back room staff because he left football management in 2014 . This could be a problem – a manager is often only as good as his assistant / back room staff . We are 20th / this is serious

  63. Mark: “If Tim had not come out with statements that said these are not the players I asked for and got on with it I’d have more respect for him. To say such things in the job is stupid and a little suicidal, how did he think this would end with remarks like that? All that would be brushed over if he had produced the goods but he didn’t.”

    He didn’t produce the goods, perhaps, because he was having to do his job under duress? Have you thought of that?

    I find your comments not helpful, Mark, sorry.

    And, no, I don’t take things “personally” as you put it. How could I – the matter is *not* about me but about a great football club that’s being allowed to disintegrate!!!!!!!!!! And (as someone nearly as old as me has put it on another blog) the situation has never been so bad sinsce 1968. That, I think, is what I wrote to JC earlier today.

    We need a revolution taking place … not easy comments as though all it will take is for a Garde to come in and solve things!

  64. Pretty sure we won’t get Garde. Trouble with his assailants, and we don’t get out first choices. Life is never easy

    It will be the cheap easy boring appointment of Pearson or Poyet

  65. yo frem hope we dont get person or poyet

    i quite like dyche out the UK lot
    dont know too much about Garde but what i have has ticked some boxes for me

    i do know that we need a departure from the prehistoric methods

  66. Best you grab your pitch fork and get down to the castle then John, lerner will not go without payment and why should he?
    Villa will not turn into a successful club again just because we tell it to. As much as Fox and co seem to attract disdain it is a plan in its infancy and it will get nowhere at this rate. And as the only plan on the table I would like it to succeed. In fact if people want to protest do it about something worthwhile and not an attachment to a sports club.

    Collymore has a point we all know that but all his tub-thumping is doing is potentially seeing off any decent candidates that’s useful then.

  67. Yes the fans could potentially take lerner down or scare him off (but I doubt it) but it will almost definitely be at the expense of premier football, personally it wouldn’t bother me but it may well bury the club imo

  68. This is interesting, Seamus Brady Tims analyst.

    “”Seamus Brady has come in too, a guy I have known for many years from Tottenham. He worked on the development side, on the analysis side. He works day to day on the training field with me as well.”

    That was Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood explaining his decision to appoint Seamus Brady as first team performance analyst and tonight we had the pleasure of welcoming the Meathman on Off The Ball to tell us about his role with the Premier League club and how he got to his current position.
    After explaining how he got into football, he recalled how he began working with Sherwood when the ex-Tottenham head coach was in charge of that club’s underage teams.

    “He asked me would I be interested in coming over and doing analysis with him. I thought it would be good for my career. So I moved over and worked with him in the development side. I was working with him as he was developing the Harry Kanes, Ryan Masons and the Nabil Bentalebs, so I was learning as they were learning,” said Brady, who made the step up to the Spurs first team with Sherwood when the latter replaced Andre Villas-Boas.

    He also explained how he assists Sherwood with breaking down post-match performance as part of his remit.

    “He’s very much into the post-match stuff and what we can do instead of the other way round. My role is more post-match stuff and improving individuals and looking at clips,” he said.

    “We had some instance where the centre-back was clearing the ball and clearing it too high or too low, or hitting people so I keep an eye out for it and any patterns in training if that happens again. I would then show it to Tim and he’d look at that and show the player and put on some sessions for him to improve and maybe do ten clearances and that little bit of detail.”

  69. Ah, so much to discuss…

    On Tim engineering his own departure. How is that any more outlandish than the club deliberately engineering his ouster in the summer instead of just sacking him? Let’s try looking at it again…

    We’ve heard repeatedly that Tim was a source of leaks and undermined AVB at Spurs. We also know that despite a good winning percentage, Spurs fans mockingly called him Tactics Tim and no one wanted him back. Neither did any of the Spurs players seemingly want to follow him. Townsend would’ve walked into Villa’s starting side, but decided to stay at Spurs and fight for his place. Adebayor, who was “resurrected” by Sherwood, didn’t want to move or even commute to be reunited and again be guaranteed a starting place. We know he’s an odd bird, but…

    So…If Tim doesn’t like the DoF set-up. 1) How could it have been a surprise to him? These folks were in place. 2) If Tim quits, he gets nothing. If he gets fired, he gets compensation. 3) If he’s truly planning on the long-haul, why would he start disavowing the players and his role in shaping the team he claimed as his own and bore responsibility for as soon as things were going south for him? That sounds like preparing excuses for what was looking inevitable. 4) Was he not replicating the strange selections, tactics and substitutions for which he was criticized at Spurs? He brought in Lescott, and that hasn’t exactly been a stroke of genius, but he persisted with him. Young Amavi, hailed far and wide as an up-and-coming potential world-class player is demoted in favor of Keiran Richardson. Veretout? Virtually unseen. Sanchez? Gone. Ayew? Only given an actual chance in the last two games. Gestede? Apparently a nailed-on starter despite playing in a side that is not built to his undeniable, but limited, strengths. A useful squad player? Yes. A Benteke replacement? Not in a million years. CNZ, a key part of Villa’s best displays under Sherwood, now completely invisible and making £65k. Gil, in and out, sitting on the bench in Sherwood’s make or break game, while he brings Bacuna back from the wilderness to play in midfield for perhaps the second or third time ever in his Villa career. No Sanchez, no Westwood, no Veretout. Crespo? Deployed once. Ilori? I don’t even know what he looks like. Kozak and Sinclair, who had also scored goals?

    I’m not saying I love all these players, but Sherwood had so many other options to set out a team with a better chance of winning. Or options to hold a winning position or a draw. He apparently doesn’t like a strong midfield, thinks Ayew should play out wide, and that a brand-new set-up is going to win him his must-win game.

    Many seemingly suicidal moves down the stretch, often from his mouth. Not that we didn’t nearly win or get a result in a number of games. But we didn’t. And Tim kept messing about, then started laying blame elsewhere.

    Now, the for the club.

    Why on earth would Villa take a man they’d just hired and decide that immediately after keeping them up they’d engineer his departure by giving him a set-up and side with which he was destined to fail or rebel against? How exactly was that going to secure survival, the TV money and the potential sale of the club? Why would they give him 10 games to fail? To save face? To make his replacement more palatable? To trigger some compensation clause? Flirt with disaster and the potential loss of hundreds of millions of pounds to simply save on the compensation? Or to buy a few players who might end up being worth £10-12m instead of £7m? That would hardly offset the loss of TV money and trying to sell Villa from the Championship.

    I know most have no respect for Lerner or his decisions, but this is a very baroque way and virtually insane way of engineering someone’s departure. What if he’d just figured things out, stuck with a team and started winng some games? Doubt they’d have sacked him.

    It just doesn’t pass the basic common-sense test.

    Simplest explanation: They hired him. It worked for a little bit. Then it didn’t. They decided they need to make a change fast because it was all rapidly falling apart. And, instead of making the mistake so many had criticized them for previously when interviewing and searching for other managers, they perhaps had actually done some homework and had ideas in place in case young, brash Sherwood didn’t succeed. They maybe actually planned for a situation that many many people had predicted would come to pass.

    When we were looking at Houllier, McLeish and Lambert and conducting manager searches and interviews, everyone was crying, “Why hadn’t they assembled a short list? What kind of incompetence is this?”

    So…What if Villa had sounded out possibilities before sacking Tim? That does not equal spending some £50m to give him a squad just to p*ss him off, put Villa bottom, and “guarantee” his failure. Or to set up someone else to come in and dig us out of a massive hole.

    Lerner may not be a footballing man, and certainly isn’t a genius. But it would’ve been much simpler just to not let Sherwood have the £50m, have him quit or just sack him straight away, pay the compo and bring in the guy they really wanted. I guarantee that would’ve cost a whole lost less then getting relegated.

    If Lerner really is that stupid, and many of you may think he is, then god help us. But me, if I’d sunk £300m-plus in a bad investment, I’d have found a much less dangerous way to get in the man I always wanted. And I’m no genius. And I don’t think any of us on here would’ve hatched such a hare-brained scheme with that much of our own money on the line.

    Heck, if I’d wanted Garde all along, and he wasn’t managing and seemed interested, I might have even had him in over the summer to help select the side, which many think seems tailor made for his way of thinking, instead of waiting to be dead bottom to see if he could rescue the club.

    Now, I’m not saying Tim did “engineer” his own departure. I’m just saying I don’t think Villa did, and I don’t think Sherwood did himself any favors.

  70. I should also add (I know, I know), that if Tim quit for unacceptable circumstances or a change in what he was promised, he’d have stood a very good chance of winning a constructive dismissal claim like MON and kept his reputation more intact.

  71. Lyon wont let us speak to there assistants then. great.

    I don’t want Poyet. would be another Tim in terms of short term boost motivation, but will fade long term

    I think Garde is more of a steady head for 3/4 years. come in with a clear way of playing and stick to it and buld it through from our under 8’s to the first team

    I hope Kmac does his own thing tomoz and doesn’t just stick with what Tim left

  72. JC- once again we think alike, maybe we need to stop looking at Villa as some sort of Scooby doo plot with Lerner saying I would of got away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling Fans 😉

    There are far more evil set ups in the world than Randy Lerners villa, more inept then you have a case but if Tim was allowed to learn on the job so are the board aren’t they?

    While we are criticizing the back room staff set up (Rileys players etc) the piece I put up of an interview of Tims analyst ( apart from being quite funny) says one of Tims main men (he was one of the monkeys sat on Tims bench which all looked like say no evil) was asked to do a job for spurs reserves by Tim and followed him to Villa, where’s the process in that other than Tim liked him? no mention of a selection process just do you want to work for me. That for me says a lot about the jobs for the boys mentality in football and the he’s not played so he know’s nothing approach.

    If Tim didn’t engineer a departure he’s dumber than I first thought.

  73. Well it can’t be a better time to have flu – it’s all AV on radio . Just heard Paul Lambertband next good ol Arry coming on in a min

    Signs were there from close of last season from the appointment of DOF snd Sherwood pointedly distancing himself from the new French players “the board have worked very hard to bring these players in” . For some weeks now , he has been blaming the players , the boring football style , all point to massive fall outs behind the scenes .

    As John C says, if his employment conditions had changed that drastically (like having players foisted on him as he suggested) then he would have a good claim for constructive dismissal .
    But the ” 2 weeks to save job leak” would have put pressure on the players – and with only 4 points on the board , not helpful.

    TS still saying that Garde’s difficulty in bring Lyon back room staff is stalling the appointment . More money on Poyet – please no !

  74. Mark – I think it got to a battle of wills – the board hoping he’d walk hence the “2 games or he’s sacked” and him saying come on then sack me.
    Learning on the job or not – after five seasons of under performance due to poor appointments , this one will decide our premier league status once and for all .

  75. JC

    I’m not sure what prompted you to write that essay, John … but it was interesting. 🙂

    I, for one, am not backing the ‘engineering’ idea by either side – certainly not if we were talking about ‘planned engineering’. But the fact is that an awful lot of politicking goes on at football clubs (some more than others). And how much of that goes on depends on the personalities involved.

    In terms of Tim’s appointment, I feel almost certain that it was at least partly a panic measure and they wanted someone (obviously) to re-enthuse the players to ensure Prem survival and who would lift the fans … which he did for a number of weeks. Whether they saw Tim as a longer-term proposition is dubious in my mind.

    Tim in his modus operandi is a bit of a ‘Jack the Lad’ (a basic football man) and I’m not sure it would go down well with a top brass who are not football men *and* who like business being carried out in a certain sort of way.

    So what all that does is to create friction. And one side or other – or both – will then look for other support or backstop in one way or another, in other quarters. This is where the term “engineering” comes in but I’m not sure that it’s the right word – the term “massaging a situation” is closer, but still not an adequate descriptor. Anyway, I think a likely scenario is that Tim joined the club under a misunderstood view of what was likely to take place.

    I ‘do’ find the acquisition of a number of French players interesting, especially when you hear (is it gossip or genuine ‘insider’ info?) that the top brass were talking to Garde behind Tim’s back. And in Villa’s plight I cannot imagine that Tim would go for that acquisition policy … he’s be more for getting players in of experience in fighting it out in the Prem. Richards was one genuine Tim signing, and I can imagine he’d want more of that type of player.

    So the acquisitions were (to my mind) bound to rub Tim up the wrong way. Whether the top brass intended to do that is debateable and probably unlikely, but they must have suspected there’d be a reaction. Being a of a fiery character, I can imagine that Tim would react, but outwardly tells the world that he accepts the situation. You could tell by his body language that was not the case, though, and a we-and-they-situation in the club would understandably follow.

    The situation would be ripe for “engineering” to take place towards an alternative solution. The match results, of course, were the big (outward) cause for Tim’s dismissal.

    Who’s to blame? You could say both sides, but if we had a board that was in tune with football and footballers as the raison d’etre, it may well have not come to this. A touch more commonsense would have allowed Tim at least some more power in the procurement side of things.

    I also apologise for the length of this post!

  76. I think those sneaky French teams are holding out for compo Jen.

    If the leaks where by Timbo plus all the criticism and poor performance Tim must be the luckiest man on earth to walk away with £2m. It goes down if he takes employment presumably in a football role before Oct16 lets see if he’s that keen he forgoes a bit of money. I expect to see him on the TV quite soon, they love a bit of Goss 😉

  77. JC,

    I should have added that whatever Lerner has sunk into the club was (according to him in 2006-07) for love. If that’s really the case then the cost of it all should be a secondary factor.

  78. All Lambrtt could come up with was on Reme “it will help the French players …. If you can’t speak the language like left and right it can be difficult I found that in Germany “. Watford must be having a hell of a job – they’ve got more nationalities than us .
    Mark – Lyon may be holding out for big bucks in compo but that assumes the coaches want to leave . But then everyone had their price don’t they .

  79. JL- heres my take on it,

    (please bear in mind its one of many scenarios) Tim gets the opportunity to come in at villa and save them with their real target being Garde who fits the bill. Garde refused Newcastle as he wanted to start in the summer for personnel reasons so you would assume he said the same to Villa. The board offer Tim a contract until the end of the season, Tim wants more security so longer contract is brokered. Things go better than expected we stay up and get to Wembley, board have second thoughts.

    Tim meanwhile thinks he will be keeping the squad intact and getting £20-30m to play with as the players all love him (Tim’s ego) although the board were always going to sell Benteke to bankroll new players. The other players worth keeping get wind of no sale and tekkers tells them he’s off, Tim is now in a situation where in truth he need’s £100m to do what he thinks he need’s to.

    The board keep to the buy promising players plan ( and I’m sure Tim knew this but didn’t expect his better players to jump ship). Tim for whatever reason finds it hard to get the targets he wants or they won’t come ( possibly Tim isn’t as liked in the senior ranks as he thinks or even we think or the board don’t see a good return on them in the future and have had enough of that recently)

    Tim ends up with mostly Targets the board intended to get on top of ones he wanted (richards, gestede, Lescott and ??? to fit in with Delph,clevers etc) Villa end up with a much bigger turnover than planned and Tim ain’t happy with his squad.

    Tim doesn’t know how to use his squad as it doesn’t fit his plan and can’t adapt, meltdown ensues and we are back to Garde who should of turned up in the summer.

    I too apologise for the long post

  80. Mark: “JC- once again we think alike, maybe we need to stop looking at Villa as some sort of Scooby doo plot with Lerner saying I would of got away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling Fans ”

    Talk of “Scooby doo plot” is tantamount to trivialising the whole situation at Villa Park.

    If you want to turn this previously very good blog into a fairground that’s up to you … You seem to forget that there are people around who not only care a great deal about this football club but who have *also* seen a similar demise before. And it’s not pretty.

    But it’s only football, isn’t it. There are worse problems elsewhere.

  81. Makes me laugh, Lambert comes across as thick as 2 short planks but even he knew to stick to a plan/team and tweak slowly or they won’t develop together.

  82. JL- I recently talked with a good friend of mine who is in the police force dealing with rings of paedophile priests, these men are truly Evil! excuse me if I find the troubles at Villa park a little more trivial. And what happened to free speech something this blog used to pride itself on.

  83. Mark: (please bear in mind its one of many scenarios)

    JL: Well, I don’t think there are many worth considering in reality.

    Mark: Tim gets the opportunity to come in at villa and save them with their real target being Garde who fits the bill. Garde refused Newcastle as he wanted to start in the summer for personnel reasons so you would assume he said the same to Villa. The board offer Tim a contract until the end of the season, Tim wants more security so longer contract is brokered. Things go better than expected we stay up and get to Wembley, board have second thoughts.

    JL: So far, it’s plausible…

    Mark: Tim meanwhile thinks he will be keeping the squad intact and getting £20-30m to play with as the players all love him (Tim’s ego) although the board were always going to sell Benteke to bankroll new players. The other players worth keeping get wind of no sale and tekkers tells them he’s off, Tim is now in a situation where in truth he need’s £100m to do what he thinks he need’s to.

    JL: Firstly, there are very few people in this world without an ego, and the fact is that there are a number of players who seem to be sad that he’s gone.

    JL: I can’t think that Tim would have expected Benteke to stay. And Delph (from what we learnt in an earlier newspaper report) was showing his nervousness. Clearly if Villa weren’t buying star players then Delph wasn’t going to hang around and miss the opportunity of gaining medals.

    JL: So how could Tim have expected the squad to stay intact? And how would he have expected £100m to be available? What’s the basis for Tim thinking that such dosh could be available?

    [snip]

    Mark: Tim doesn’t know how to use his squad as it doesn’t fit his plan and can’t adapt, meltdown ensues and we are back to Garde who should of turned up in the summer.

    JL: Well, it’s a view, but it implies that Tim has very little business nous and of how football works. A bit unlikely in my view, and I simply refuse to take an extreme anti-Tim view as I cannot see any justification for it.

    Particularly the expression “[he] can’t adapt”. I would have thought it reasonable for any manager to have a fair say in what goes on – particularly the players that come in are going to help or hinder his plan – he needs to have control over that.

    But maybe there are one or two strands in your scenario that are close to the truth.

  84. Mark: ” I recently talked with a good friend of mine who is in the police force dealing with rings of paedophile priests, these men are truly Evil! excuse me if I find the troubles at Villa park a little more trivial. And what happened to free speech something this blog used to pride itself on.”

    Well, again you trivialise … and trivialise what I just said which includes “But it’s only football, isn’t it. There are worse problems elsewhere.”

    If you are so concerned about the severe troubles elsewhere then why are you on this blog?

    As for “free speech”, well “free speech [certainly] means the right to shout ‘theatre’ in a crowded fire” 🙂

    Seriously, free speech is fine … say what you like … but be prepared to have fire and brimstone throne on you in some cases! 😉

  85. JL- I never said he expected £100m only that with our stars gone he would of needed that to replace like for like using his own suggestions for players with prem experience plus other squad fillers.
    Also by his early reaction to Delphs and cleverlys departure, remember I don’t have a squad to train in pre-season? I’m training players I don’t want???
    He was still saying we would not have sold tekkers for £100m to the end and bemoaning the others loss, so no I don’t think he expected to lose them all.

    Tim does have rather a large Ego and all players tend to say the manager is wonderful as it doesn’t help when the new one comes in to look like a snitch. some may be genuine some not. I have no Idea what the true man is like but he likes to tell everyone how many stars he’s made and saved does he not? I don’t hear Tony Pulis saying look at me I save teams I do!! I never said he wasn’t likeable he certainly ruffled Tekkers feathers though did he not?

    On adaptation, By observing how he worked with players he doesn’t know? does it not suggest he may not have that good an eye for a player? of course it could suggest neither do the board, but we can access that when the new manager gets his chance.

    He had also never had a transfer window before and had very little managerial time under his belt that’s obvious, so who’s to say he would get it right?

    You are confusing personnel attack with trying to make sense of what may have gone on because clearly something Did that wasn’t the usual, and beings he wasn’t kept at spurs despite that win record you have to suspect do you not?

  86. JL- what is it you don’t like about me? JC expanded on a comment I made, you clearly didn’t like what I said because when I said it you tore me a new one yet JC gets friendly banter?

    How am I stopping your free speech? by questioning your comment? by putting my view over to strongly even though that view might just be me mulling things over and not meant as the absolute be all. should I just agree? where would the debate be in that?

  87. Mark and John – please shake hands or kiss and make up.

    Everyone is hurting at present.

    It will be interesting to see the team selection that KMAC starts with on Wednesday evening. I like to think that KMAC is a Villa man through n through and is mature enough to pick a side that he believes can actually win the game at Southampton. It was obvious Tim wasn’t picking players because he didn’t buy them. Which is asinine. Oh well Timmy – you looked great on the side of the pitch.

    With regards to the manager. This board has proven to be completely incompetent. They will pick the wrong manager – they always do. And this time it will prove to be catostrphic.

  88. I suppose when a club of villas size is considering Justin bloody edingborough, well we just aint a big club anymore.

    Richard S i agree we are doomed anyhow. Listended to a bit of stan last night and had to agree when he said we are so physically weak over the pitch. We just cant force ourselves on the opposition and get bullied. we are weak, weak minded, cant score goals and cant keep clean sheets.

  89. For what it’s worth
    Tim was lucky to get AV job – even a large ego like Tim’s knows that with no coaching badges and 26 games as a stand in mgr he hit gold being taken on by a big premier league club . In that situation his bargaining power is small so he probably ended up agreeing to all sorts of things in his contract. Why wouldn’t a club protect their interest by putting in a system of control if they are taking on effectively a trainee mgr. It was still such a great opportunity for Tim – no starting in the lower leagues or proving himself like everyone else has to .
    Maybe he didn’t think of the future – so brimming with enthusiasm and confidence he underestimated how hard it is .

    I don’t believe for one minute he thought Benteke would stay . As Lambert said today – he wanted out after the first season . Same with Delph – the 8 mil sell on was there just to give the club something instead of him going on a free.

    The French recruits don’t look like his choice – but then were AV going to hand over all recruiting responsibility to someone with no experience in recruiting or building a team . Thankfully not.

    The upshot is it was a huge gamble on the clubs part employing him and it was too good an opportunity for him to turn down . Any complaints over “they weren’t my players and they weren’t good enough ” are to save his reputation .

    Maybe they aren’t good enough but you can’t tell me that Tim or his lawyers didn’t ask questions about how players would be recruited and how much money would be spent – net and gross.

    The question is , are the recruitment people and scouts , the DOF and CEO , given their apparent lack of footballing experience doing their jobs properly or would they benefit from having ex players and more football grounded people involved . Reme will fit into the current system but his success will depend on those above performing well. Have they done so to date – well no. New contract for Lambert prematurely and a high risk management appointment in Tim. We are 20th – the table doesn’t lie as they say.

    The appeal of someone like Moyes is that his footballing experience will be a huge benefit for the “board if they can incorporate him into the decision making process so that they assist him rather than decide for footballing matters for him.

  90. Andrew – I listened to Stan – between Lem sips. I think he talks sense but maybe over dramatises our weaknesses. We haven’t been throttled by any body / it’s more last minute goals , quick equalisers from the other side and stupid errors (sounding like Sherwood now :-)) Take heart – there maybe three worse teams out there . Interesting that Tayls wouldn’t comment on Stan’s statement on Free radio last night – he said “I’m not commenting on Stan Collymore’s agenda” got the impression no love lost between them.

    You’re right RichardS – no more fashion parades but there’s a few Ralph Lauren gillets on e bay “reasonable price only worn on Saturdays” if anyone is interested.
    I think Reme could cut his own dash though ! A lot easier on the eye than David M .

  91. Richard S its no laughing matter I am having to rethink my entire winter outfits. The club shop has gone into meltdown with gilets and smoking attire coming out of their ears.

    My first call would be to get calder back from dundee a 6 footer brick shithouse left footed can cross and take players and defend can play cm or left wing . next get gg out there 6’1″ looked decent in pre-season. Those 2 alone put the tams weight up by 5 stone

  92. JL-

    It should all be friendly banter…except for what gets directed at ownership. That’s always going to be emotional.

    In the McLeish days, Steamer would always start with, “Nicely written, John, but…” and then I knew I was in for it!

    Essays…yeah, I dunno. I think, as Mark implied, that sometimes we credit the board with too much…I really don’t think Lerner’s a bad man, he’s just not up for it (as are many owners, in reality), and the structure hasn’t been robust and deep enough for better choices to have been made. So, we’re all hurting, I know some more than others.

    You can do all sorts of things for love, but it’s funny how often money problems are the root of all sorts of discord. Especially when we’re talking hundreds of millions.

  93. Jenny: “Maybe they aren’t good enough but you can’t tell me that Tim or his lawyers didn’t ask questions about how players would be recruited and how much money would be spent – net and gross. ”

    Maybe they did but were given blanket answers? In fact, and as you say, Tim just wanted the job, and I doubt he did a big check on the authenticity of it all. I don’t think you can blame too much if that was the case – maybe he just hoped for fairness, especially as he’d done what was asked end of last season. And a tad more with the cup final appearance.

    Moyes would be a good selection – I wanted him years ago. But as Collymore states, with the set up as it is at VP there’s doubt he’d want to come. I think he’s probably right there, but not necessarily.

  94. JC: “It should all be friendly banter…except for what gets directed at ownership. That’s always going to be emotional.”

    In theory you’re right … But sometimes the thinking on here goes a bit wayward.

    I’m not perfect but I hope my lengthy experience of Villa, people and life provides a tad bit more reality.

    Lerner a bad man? Well, it depends what you mean by that. There are some people that give impressions about being OK people but you know more about them by what company they keep. Krulak for example.

  95. Hello people

    Jenny, I think the signs are that the board are learning from previous mistakes. The new contract for Lambert included the break clause that allowed us to boot him if we dropped into the relegation zone – problem was we hovered just above it for weeks before the clause could be activated which severely restricted our choices for a replacement.

    Consequently, we had to gamble and Sherwood was a high risk appointment, but it worked – he kept us up.

    This season the board have acted far more quickly than I thought they would. I told Bibulus on Saturday that I thought the board would sit on their hands until Christmas.

    I’d take everything Collymore says with more than a pinch of salt. I know because he keeps telling us that he’s a Villa fan and bleeds claret and blue, except when he actually had a chance to show it in a Villa shirt. I’ve got a lot more respect for Ian Taylor.

    Some of the signings in the summer weren’t Sherwood’s targets but Lescott was. Amavi, Veretout and Gueye can all play. I think there’s a decent team somewhere amongst our first team squad and it will include all 3 of those – it won’t include Lescott, Gabby, Hutton and Richardson.

  96. Jenny-

    Indeed, Benteke was never going to stay…perhaps no one thought the clause would get triggered this go round. Dunno. But it’s been a miracle he was here as long as he was.

    Delph was a surprise, given what we didn’t know. I’d have thought Sherwood would’ve known that contract situation, though, but maybe not.

    But the CL clubs don’t always get their targets, they don’t always work out, and they leave, too. I would imagine Liverpool’s board aren’t as naive as Villa’s, and they still spend tons and get it wrong as well.

  97. JC:> “Delph was a surprise, given what we didn’t know.”

    I’m not sure whether you’ve seen it, John, but there was link I gave some time back to a reputable article that stated Delph waited to find out whether there were good signings on Villa’s horizon in the summer before he decided on going. He obviously was not impressed by the lack of ambition over the next couple of years – he clearly didn’t want to wait around any longer.

  98. JL-

    I think everyone respects your long love of, and association with Villa. It’s a diverse lot on here, which is fantastic. I earned the nickname Goebbels during McLeish’s tenure, wore it with pride. 😉

    But I’m sure most all of us have seen a lot of life, good times and bad. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that people are always going to have different points of view. Wouldn’t be much fun coming on and seeing what everyone thinks if we all thought the same.

  99. Looking at the choices under this regieme the money ball makes sense.

    Mons reign started the rot by being given too much control. So lerner did try the trusted football man approach and got burned. Mon left and out went the expertise, what follows is not worth repeating.

    Who can blame the club for wanting returns on players, thats the level we are at not the pick and choose of city or chelski.

    With the right person like garde in it could bring the backroom staff on or get them pushed out. Im sure southampton didnt just magically employ there people in one go without problems.

    Moyes would nesesatate another360 turn. If hed arrived instead of mon things would be different im sure

  100. @rioferdy5: 2.” Could have the Slaven Bilic/whufc effect…played there & liked by the fans…Yorkie are you camped outside Villa Park yet?? ” Rio Ferdinand Twitter on why Dwight Yorke should be our next mgr – conveniently forgetting Billic has ten years managerial experience behind him :-). Not liked by all fans eh Steamer 🙂

  101. JC: “And if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that people are always going to have different points of view. Wouldn’t be much fun coming on and seeing what everyone thinks if we all thought the same.”

    Did I say otherwise? Therefore I (or others) have a right to criticise as well. It doesn’t have to be so friendly as you say – if you think something strongly enough then say it. Not being frank is not honest in my view.

    Sounds a bit like a hint of a lecture, John. I hope not.

  102. JL: “Sounds a bit like a hint of a lecture, John. I hope not.”

    I’d forgotten why I drifted away from AVL. Heaven forbid that anyone should dish out lectures on here other than JL himself.

  103. Jenny – I actually own a Ralph Lauren Gillet. My friend lives in NYC, I generally wait for the polo.com sale (which is crazy cheap) and then send the goods to his house for collection when I see him.

    I don’t buy into this physical argument. Just look at Barcelona. We have phyiscal guys at the back and a couple of large forwards in Gestede and Kosak.

    We have creative talented footballers in the squad. We just need to find a formation, play our best players and give them the chance to gel.

    TS became tactically sick. The amount of crazy changes in team selection and formation was bewildering – unbelievable even madness.

    I think we have enough talent to stay in this division with a couple of additions in January.

    We need a new striker, right back, midfield player and a quality keeper.

    I have no idea who he next manager will be.

    I would go for Moyes. But Moyes is not as stylish as TS and TS was way better looking than Moyes.

    It’s a tough call – should we go for a manager with style and panache or one who can manager a football team??

    I do hope he is good looking.

  104. AndrewP: “I’d forgotten why I drifted away from AVL. Heaven forbid that anyone should dish out lectures on here other than JL himself.”

    All I’ve ever tried to do is to *encourage* this site towards a balanced view.

    If people think I’m lecturing pure and simple and if you’re lecturing me to clear off then I’ll be happy to do so. No problem.

  105. RichardS: “TS became tactically sick. The amount of crazy changes in team selection and formation was bewildering – unbelievable even madness. ”

    You could see it like that, but there is a view that perhaps he didn’t know how to treat the squad that he’d mostly had put on him.

    Now that might mean he was not a good enough manager *or* it might mean that there is a genuine case to be answered. The next manager might demonstrate which is the case if he can get them to work as a team!

  106. great last post richard – i totally agree that football isnt about how big you are anymore and it’s time more british teams brought into this

    barring in mind we got 1 point in the last world cup group surely we should be looking a little closer at our current methods in many cases

  107. Mark: “Looking at the choices under this regieme the money ball makes sense. … Who can blame the club for wanting returns on players, thats the level we are at not the pick and choose of city or chelski.”

    You have a good point … except I’d argue that we’re not yet in a good enough position to get ourselves moving down that road.

    I believe Tim was wanting to get a squad together that could establish a safe level in the Prem and then move on down a planned development path… *Then* the money ball approach makes sense – to me at least.

    I see Lerner having put his own business interests in front of the club’s interests in reality … And I do criticise him for that as he came into the club *seeming* to espouse a different line of thinking. We were led down the proverbial garden path.

    And, Mark … It’s not that I don’t like *you* … it’s that sometimes I simply and profoundly feel that you (and not just you) look at people like Tim with a certain prejudice. Plus the fact that our pre-occupation with the issue of managers is tending to leave out the prime issue – the club’s top brass. That line of thinking (in both cases) does tend to p**s me off after witnessing what I did in the 60s. If it hurts, then my apologies for that.

  108. RE- whether Tim was good enough

    its clear tim was put in the same position as all those who followed after MON – they were not given a real chance to succeed based on there skill set and fund available , including wages they could offer
    which meant the players they wanted were unaffordable at villa

    but i also think they all are not good enough overall which so far has been proved based on there careers since leaving villa

    the moneyballs thing is not ideal for success but with the right type of manager is still very workable but it involves bringing a philosophy into the club to allow players to come out of the youth system into the exact same system when progessing to the first team

    it is clear by randy’s actions that only when he has the right types heading this vision will it have any chance of success

  109. Jenny,
    I hate and detest that ungrateful toerag, absolutely no class as a person, can’t even dress himself properly, talks crepe and is totally unqualified for the job, Lerners probably appointing him at this very moment.

  110. JL-

    “If you are so concerned about the severe troubles elsewhere then why are you on this blog?”

    May I ask you the same question John Knowing your thinking about other matters? I’m on here as I follow AVFC and enjoy talking about it, is that acceptable? you are very fond of telling us there are worse things and on that you are 100% correct.

    So far this morning you’ve hinted I’m a bad influence and ruining the blog, Am I also tarred with wayward thinking? I assume that was aimed at me at least in part, and you are based in reality because you have lived longer and experienced more and worked for villa, while the rest of us are away with the fairies I suppose? or less capable of rational thought?

    All I want to do is discuss Villa whether my views align with yours or not, not to have my intellect, morals or view point insulted, questioned absolutely fine but no-one likes the latter including yourself.

    It is getting to the point that I have to re-read everything I write not to leave an opening, your like the smiling assassin.

  111. Runtings: “but i also think they all [the Villa managers] are not good enough overall ”

    Good post. On the above matter that they were not top-notchers is probably the very reason why they were appointed. We keep on hearing about the plan being just to stay in the Prem (until Lerner sells, presumably), hence how they came in.

    The key question is … just how long is Lerner going to take to sell .. and who will we get?! A carbon copy?!

  112. Mark: “So far this morning you’ve hinted I’m a bad influence and ruining the blog,”

    Those are your words and certainly not what I was remotely stating.

    Did you read my earlier post?

  113. Steamer either i am getting old or all the living great artists are old

    Taylor Swift the worlds biggest artist currently – making a million pounds per day

    if that what the worlds best music is about these days thank gord i am old and grew up with the blues transforming to rock – and the various quality artist’s of the 70’s and 80’s

  114. JL- Oh great while I’m trying to put my feelings to what you have written today you apologise there is no substitute for real time interaction, if you didn’t get p*ssed off you wouldn’t be human 🙂

  115. Runtingz- I think the money ball approach is our only way without huge investment, with our history/size we could climb to the top of the ladder in that group of teams. We just need the right man to implement it imo.

    On the music front stuff, the X factor era is killing creativity, its the easy way in and all that kids want is fame. there are some great singers on there, why don’t they go write songs or find someone who can? they stand in a line to fill the pockets of Simon high pockets Cowell and think their life’s over when he says your s**t.

    I don’t think we will ever see the likes of the 20’s to 80’s stars again, you had to earn it then.

  116. Great write from ian wright in the sun of all papers today on the villa

    he says he has always had a soft spot for villa as when he was growing up he loved watching Shaw . Withe ,Cowans and Mark Walters

    he reckons Garde would be brilliant for the club

  117. Mark, on music I think it’s harder for new groups to break it nowadays. I used to get really hacked off with Simon Cowell and X Factor and then the penny dropped that the whole thing was about Saturday night TV and advertising revenues rather than about making decent music. If it throws up a One Direction or whoever once every 5 years then that’s a bonus for team Cowell. Most of the X Factor winners have a even shorter shelf life than a Villa managers.

    I grew up with the Clash and stuff like that and still listen to a lot of mostly guitar based music, and I think they’re still some really good bands out there. I love the Artcic Monkeys and I’ve also been to see Catfish and the Bottlemen a few times, and as a live act they remind me of Stiff Little Fingers gigs at the New Street Odeon when I was 14. There is plenty of decent music out there – you just have to ignore the X Factor and chart stuff.

  118. andrew P -have you noticed that what’s new and fresh is the same s**t they want to sell? same formula, same tune, same pretty people singing it, makes the Osmonds look inovative

  119. Mark: ‘JL- Erm? ” If you want to turn this previously very good blog into a fairground that’s up to you’

    That’s not saying what you said I was saying. I was referring to certain things you had stated.

    I don’t intend to go through all that again … and I don’t apologise for what I said, but if it caused your feelings to be hurt.

  120. That’s true Mark but hasn’t it always been that way, from the Monkees, to the Bay City Rollers, to One Direction and forgetting 100’s of faceless manufactured boy bands. Maybe there are more of them around now but scratch the surface and there are still plenty of decent bands and musicians around. Even the ginger bloke who plays guitar – I saw him on the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage in his wellies with an acoustic guitar playing ‘Thinking Out Loud’. What a good song, well it was for the first 200 times I heard it anyway.

  121. agree with you both Mark and Andrew

    And yes Andrew there are still some very good younger bands out the ”Bombay bicycle club being may fav new school act

  122. Hello All.

    First of all thanks to Matt to getting back to me when I had logging in problems. Not sure if it is fixed or the issue is when I try to comment on my tablet.

    There is some great music out there but not the main stream although I am beginning to like some of my daughters stuff like George Ezra and some of the weeknd stuff. Love a great group from the States called future Island who looks like a 80’s football hooligan with a mad dance to boot put that is the passion he puts into it.

    I wish the done a xfactor type of bands that even if it is covers they make there own take on it and actually play the instruments and live.

  123. JL- it obviously doesn’t read that way to me mucker, I on the other hand do apologise if I hurt your feelings with any comment, it certainly wasn’t intended .

    andrew P/runtingz – Yes there are some great bands and solo’s but they no longer seem to be that inventive more a rehash of what’s been before but I suppose that’s the way of things. You think you are hearing something new and your dad says it sounds like LuLu

    Haggis- didn’t they try that with singer song writers? what about giving some bands a song and seeing what they make of it? and I mean the same song so you can compare?

  124. Hello Haggis, I saw them on Later a while ago. Lead singer looks a bit ‘special’. George Ezra, John Newman, Hozier not my bag but they’ve all got something.

    Worse think about X Factor is that dopey bint Cheryl Cole. Last year or the year before some spotty wannabe sang ‘I’ll Stand By You’ and Chezza praised them for singing one of her songs! Her fecking song, cheeky cow.

  125. Mark, that’s the danger after 50 years of rock ‘n’roll. There’s only so much you can do with a singer, guitar, bass and drums. Unless it’s really innovative (i.e. unlistenable) someone will have done something similar before.

  126. Andrew-P Simon Cowell’s sole ability? spotting golden geese.Bet he thought why should I go and spot talent? My favourite bit is when they drop the fat person even when they are more talented. Cowell did that to one lad, sat him down moved him off, brought him back, after the show he Jacked wish they all would 🙂

  127. There’s still a lot of great music out there, but as someone just said (too much trouble scrolling on the mobile), you have to go looking. The Raveonettes’ most recent album was great, likewise a London band, Wolf Alice.

  128. Hi all,
    Hope you’re good!? I’m sensing a weird sense of optimism among the Villa ranks in the wake of Tim’s inevitable departure. It’s all a bit…. surreal.

    I feel the line of thinking is,” It can’t get any worse !?” Glad to see Tim removed in the short term but the new manager must be in place sooner rather than later. I’m all for Remi out of what’s realistically available at the minute. Who really wants to work Randy ? Hell I can barely watch his product anymore and I love the club. For all of you watching it week in and week out I feel for you. Oddly enough over here in Oz every game is on so I see too much of them too for my sanity.

  129. Good to see you, Liam. Likewise, every Saturday morning I get up, make coffee, sit at laptop or sometimes they’re on the NBC TV broadcast, and tell Jenny, “off to watch Villa lose.” Great way to start the weekend.

  130. Andrew. That is where I saw the band first and yes at first he did look a bit special until I watched him few more times. My favourite group at the moment is O.Children. He is a black singer but sounds like Nick Cave/ Sisters of Mercy. I would send a link to it but haven’t got a Scooby how to do it on my tablet.

    Loved the punk days and sent a link on here of me and the Clash on Tiswas. Although in 1977 my brother bought an album and hated it and gave it to me and it influenced my music taste from there on. It was Trans Europe Express by Kraftwerk and I just fell in love with electronic music but I do love a good guitar band also.

  131. steamer- both good artists blackberry smoke very Eagles love it. looks like sams arrived at Sunderland, They made Norwich look like Brazil says it all, thank god he is not here.

  132. Mark I used to have my own room full of synthes, drum, machines and sequences. Loved nitzer ebb. Throbbing gristle Front 242 early human league.

    On a serious side I feel sorry for Tim. I have been a manager in a melting pot with no support and the picture shown of him in the article before this can show how it can take it out of you. If he was learning on the job who was there to help guide him. I thought that was what Ray Wilkins was bought in for.

    Don’t get me wrong his tactics and leaving out of certain players was enough to sack him but who did he had to guide him. Personally I think he should of been assistant coach with a more tactical manager in charge with Tim to motivate. From what I have heard of people who work at Villa he was a really nice bloke and I know that, that is not enough.

    We have the backbone of a good team and maybe it would do us good to go down and develop in a lower league. All we have to look forward to is mid table at best. At least in the championship we have a chance to either win the league or have the excitement of being in the playoffs.

    There are too many fans who live off our past. We are no longer a big club and I for one don’t want an Arabian knight in shining armour to come to our rescue. The likes of Swansea done their building in the lower leagues. Look at West Ham now after their return from the championship.

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