Why o why o why would Randy Lerner want to hire a manager who oversaw a team that on paper were good enough to stay in the Premier League relegated? It is the obvious question that still doesn’t seem to have been answered. If Lerner does indeed want McLeish then the more pertinent question would be, ‘Does Randy Lerner give a damn about his club?’
I know managers of the ilk of Martin O’Neill are few and far between. He knew the game and was ambitious. He wanted to compete with the very top clubs both in the UK and Europe and he knew to do this you needed investment. Randy Lerner thought it could be done on the cheap. One is a successful businessman and the other a very successful manager. One was right and one was oh so very wrong. Cue O’Neill leaving and Aston Villa flirting with relegation with a very similar squad to that which has finished sixth in back to back years.
Aston Villa should on paper be a terrific job. Plenty of quality players not withstanding the fact that both Ashley Young and Stewart Downing will leave this summer. However no-one seems to be queuing up for the position. McLeish quit Birmingham at the weekend amid strong speculation that he had agreed to take the Aston Villa job and wanted to ensure he could take the job – with the likelihood that Birmingham City would not have given permission for him to speak to Villa let alone take the job.
If I was Birmingham City Chairman Carson Yeung I would be looking very closely at his contract and put the manager if possible on Gardening Leave for as long as possible. If the contract is as watertight as it should be they could stop McLeish taking any other job until his contract was finished. This would mean paying him a lot of money that they could not pay out but sometimes you have to do what is right. The chairman has the money so I’d dig my heels in just to prove a point.
The best scenario is obviously Villa spea to McLeish but decide he’s not the right man for the job. This would leave McLeish out of work and Birmingham fans laughing. McLeish is not a great manager and is not the right man for Aston Villa. The right man might be hard to get but they need to go and find him. If Randy Lerner wants to make Villa a big club again that is. If he is happy to just stay in the Premier League then the likes of McLeish would be fine – although the fact he’s been relegated twice out of said league should be noted.
The whole situation is just strange and I have no idea why Villa would want McLeish but maybe that’s because I still see Villa as a big club. I’m guessing Randy Lerner doesn’t any more.
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