We had some lively banter here last week with Villa fans on the essentially unimportant matter of who supports the bigger club. See it here. At least Villans don’t live in a part of the West Midlands with such an alarmingly shrinking population as poor old Newcastle seems to have. But what on earth do they make of their club’s latest attempt to lure a world-class new manager? …
Having failed to secure the services of a manager who very nearly took his team down, Aston Villa are reported to be taking the process one logical step further.
The new Villa target is evidently Alex McLeish who got quite a lot right at Birmingham City – that great run in the 2009-2010 season, and winning the Carling Cup last season – but managed to get one rather important thing very wrong indeed.
I loved this quote from the acting City chairman Peter Pannu: “We spent £40million, supported him all the way, and what we get is a relegation and a snub when the owner gave him unwavering support and did not sack him, and declared his job secure and professed trust and confidence in him. We just bought him three players of his choice and I’ve been in Amsterdam securing him a fourth. Then I get an email while I’m on business and that speaks volumes.”
Come on Villa supporters. Is Alex, for all his qualities, really the man you felt would lead you to truly greater things now that Gérard Houllier has been deemed physically unfit to continue the job he’d started?
Surely ambition is not shrinking. Is it just another ploy, as some of you seemed to think last week about the approach to Roberto Martinez, to cover your tracks as you make a top-secret bid to attract Guus Hiddink, Josep Guardiola or José Mourinho to Villa Park?
Meanwhile Rob Hutchinson has been on holiday and could not resist the temptation to take the photo above to show how steeply the population of our near neighbours has declined.
Not quite the impression Jimmy Nail tried to conjure when he sang about the mighty town. Rob wondered whether the sign really needed the added phrase “Just a small town” (near Sunderland?)” but Salut! Sunderland knows where he went on holiday and would not dream of stooping to such pettiness.