What does Alex McLeish have in his favour?
- Experience at domestic, European and International level. He guided Rangers to the final sixteen of the Champions League (+7 trophies), was lauded for his promising work with Scotland and earned a job in the Premiership which led to winning a Carling Cup for Birmingham City.
- He has managed a huge club in the form of Rangers. He has experience of one of the most heated derby’s in world football and the expectations that come with them.
- McLeish can work to a budget. Villa’s budget is bigger than most, but there is not an endless pot of money. With the backing and lure of a larger club, McLeish could well help us to make our finances go further. This is not something as fans we might like to acknowledge – but we have yet to find the money tree.
- He brought the only trophy of any note in the entire history of our bitterest rivals. That alone is a staggering achievement. It is painful to recall that 1996 was the last time we won anything.
And the negatives?
- Two relegations with Birmingham City from the Premier League.
- Regarded as having a very defensive approach, best illustrated by Blues’ catastrophic lack of creativity/goals. This would be a major culture shift for a Villa team geared towards the final third.
- Does McLeish have the power to lure the type of player Villa need to progress?
- Will his appointment seek to divide the existing squad? What will the Downing’s etc think of this as a statement of intent?
- The very fact he managed Birmingham.
As an aside – regardless of the finer points of debate – Alex McLeish now stands as good a chance as any at becoming Aston Villa manager. In the event this happens, are we seriously as a fanbase, as passionate as we are, to reject and dismiss him before allowing him the chance to prove himself?
Whilst one might not agree in principle to his appointment – it should in no way impact upon the level of support we give to our team. Managers come and go. Our club will live on. Regardless of what happens.
Those threatening to tear up season tickets, refusing to renew or ranting on internet forums about a man who wants to manage our great football club…should think long and hard about what colours you should be wearing. And indeed whether the Blue half of Birmingham might be where you belong. We are a proud club, with a fantastic history – but our power amongst the game has waned. This in unacceptable, but it is the reality.
Whilst you might not agree, and will likely (and welcomely) have opinions of your own, we should not lose perspective. Or undermine anyone who wants to do the job that could maybe, just maybe, make us great again.
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>> You can also read a full McLeish write up here.