Villa are continuing to put efforts into rebuilding the hierarchy at the club and the latest link is to the FA’s “director of elite development” Dan Ashworth. His current job title alone is an expertise that has certainly been in short supply at Villa Park in recent years.
If Villa manage to lure him from his top job at the FA, he would add some vibrancy to a board made up of Berstein, Hollis, King & *Little (*Advisory role).
Ashworth would presumably also take on the ‘Head of Operations’ role that Bernstein has been emphatic in stating is not a “director of football” equivalent.
In classic Martin O’Neill style, he has once again been baiting journalists with stupid remarks, this time regarding him leaving players out who he didn’t like. Hilarious; not.
“At club level, perversely I almost enjoyed leaving out players I didn’t like.”
The MON debate has been had, but this comment specifically relates to Villa & confirms what I suppose we already knew.
Whilst O’Neill clearly had his favourites, they were not necessarily the “best” players as he claims. Indeed, there were countless times that his team selections and substitutions defied belief. It turns out there was something behind it after-all.
At the time watching him manage Villa I can remember pondering on many occasions whether O’Neill was trying to appear “clever” or “unpredictable” as a boss. In actual fact it was simply him allowing his personal views to cloud his professional judgement.
For all of the jumping around, motivational myth and media love-in for O’Neill, it is an insight into a guy who ostracised players simply due to a personal dislike for them.
I genuinely thought when MON joined Villa that he could take us places. However, an ego outstripped the man’s talents & took him away from a career path that promised so much more. Indeed, his mediocre record at Sunderland is a damning post Villa chapter which laid bare his limitations yet further.
Like many of the players he bought, so much more could have been achieved, other than a hefty bill for the club for failing to live up to expectations. Arguably we are still feeling the fallout from the mindless spending authorised during his tenure.
I actually cannot believe it is 20 years since Villa triumphed over Leeds United in the Coca Cola Cup final. Everything went right that day. A screamer from Savo, a goal for lifelong Villa fan Ian Taylor and a great finish from Dwight Yorke.
A memorable day & it’s a disgrace that we haven’t managed any silverware of note since;
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