Focus on Aston Villa: Is Alex McLeish going to relegate yet another Midlands club?
After going to great lengths to secure their new manager at the start of the campaign, you would have thought that Aston Villa were about to appoint the next Sir Alex Ferguson.
Well indeed a Scotsman did put pen to paper, but unfortunately for Villa fans it was Alex McLeish.
It seemed a strange decision from the Aston Villa board to hire a man who had relegated their city neighbours in the previous season.
The Villa faithful had strong feelings on the matter and they protested outside the ground and also plastered anti-McLeish graffiti on the training ground walls.
Well that was then and this is now; has McLeish proved his doubters wrong? A huge no is the answer to that.
Villa have been dragged into a relegation battle with just three games left and for a team that spent £24 million on a centre forward the year before in Darren Bent, this is simply not good enough.
Granted, players were sold and he could do little about that because they wanted to leave, but he then needed to fill the gaps with quality acquisitions and the only attacking player that he signed was Charles N’Zogbia.
McLeish has been known for his hard working sides that have been tough to break down over the years. This has been the case for his Villa side, but there is zero attacking flair in Claret and Blue and this has led to a staggering 15 draws in 35 games this season.
They have also only scored 36 goals which is less than one a game and as time goes on and performance gets worse, the Villa crowd are starting to become even more hostile towards a man of whom they never wanted in the first place.
Aston Villa Football Club will probably survive the drop this season, but the fact that they are in a position where they could potentially go down, is a huge shock.
A few years back they were a side with an abundance of attacking flair and were knocking on the door of a Champions League place.
The moment Martin O’Neill left the club, it all went downhill.
Gerard Houllier had a brief period with the club but on-going heart problems meant that the Frenchman could not carry on in a managerial role.
The Villa board had time to pick their next manager and really make a statement as to which way the club was heading; the trouble is, Villa fans didn’t expect that direction to be down south.
McLeish has a very poor track record and has one style of play. He is living off his Carling Cup success with Birmingham, but in the very same season he managed to get them relegated.
He is now dragging one of England’s most famous clubs into a relegation scrap when they should be pushing for a mid-table finish, or even a Europa League spot.
The Villa fans can now use the term “we told you so” to their owner Randy Lerner, who simply made a dreadful decision in employing McLeish in the first place.