Thoughts and issues regarding the past and present of a great football club by "The Chronicler".

Saturday, 18 September 2010

The Season Starts Now!

This has been a most unsatisfactory start to the season in terms of both the exit of the manager and the results so far. Clearly, Kevin McDonald is a very competent coach, but it does look as though it would have been an error for him to take over control of the first team for the rest of the season.

However, we no longer have uncertainties as to who is the boss, and having seen today's match I feel certain that GH will be in there on Monday making a big effort to put matters straight. I wish him well, but I do not expect miracles to occur. If Villa finish better then 8th this season I will be very surprised, but I am just hoping that a good run in the domestic cups will help to lift our spirits.

The FA Cup has been a very long time in coming back to Villa Park. Wow! In 1957 I thought that 37 years since we'd previously won it was too long ... but 53 years have since passed by, coming on 54.

Come on Villa!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Where Did Aston Villa Come From, Daddy?

Even since writing and publishing the Aston Villa Chronicles, the drive to find more and more on Villa's earlier days has gone on. For this and for the purposes of my new book (The First Superclub) I go off to do some research three days a week usually, and today something popped out of the newspapers to fill in one more little puzzle ... and it was to do with what went on in the very first year: 1874. Not only that, but a photo of three of Villa's first players, a photo that has probably not received a Villa supporter's gaze for at least some decades. It is one not in Villa's archives.

This search for what went on is (some day) going to cease to produce returns, but until that time when the stream runs dry I will press on. From what I have now gleaned, the actual facts of the origins of the club are a little different to what has hitherto been understood. The tale of the four men under the gaslamp will, in The First Superclub, be redefined.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Hooray for Houllier - Part 2

There cannot be any dispute that under the circumstances, Gerard Houllier is the right selection.

There are those that are afeared that Houllier's health and age are against him, but we can always point to the example of Bobby Robson, who did so well at Newcastle.

As for Houllier being out of the Prem for a few years ... true; but he has nevertheless been active at a senior level and his focus must be so acute that it would take him little time to re-adjust to today's conditions in the Premier League.

His major problem over the next few months is to ensure that the midfield is tightened up - will he be able to play all of Downing, Ireland and Petrov? I doubt it.

Here's every good wish to Mr. Houllier ... I wish I could refer to an upcoming 'Houllier's Holiday', but it's not going to be an easy ride. I doubt that he will be able to make everyone his friends.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Hooray for Houllier!

No, we've not had confirmation, but all the indications are that Gerard Houllier will be Villa's next team supremo.

Arguments abound as to whether he is the right for the job, particularly after a few years out of the Prem and, some say, his health situation and age count against him. And, it is asked, if the vacancy had been there two months ago, would he have been the number 1 choice.

Well, none of that matters a jot i.m.o. His heart condition appears to be under control, and it is not as though he has been out of action from serious football matters. His involvement with the Bleus has required skill and that, combined with his achievements at Liverpool (albeit a decade ago) and Lyon qualify him in no uncertain terms.

Yes, there are doubts, but someone kindly pointed out to me that no matter who would be appointed, some element of doubt would be there.

There's no point, really, in wondering too much about this ... he's a good man, and certainly would appear to be the best available. Villa have a good setup and Houllier may just be the one to exploit it all to its best advantage.