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

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Would a Taylor be able to mend things?

Well, folks, here we sit, pondering on our navels - wondering about just what can come next.

It can be said that the Villa has been through at least as bad situations before in the club's existence, but I doubt (unless great changes are made in the board and in the management) that the situation this time will be as rectifiable. In 1968, the situation was changed by a revolution, but unless I'm mistaken I cannot see another of that type occurring or Randy selling up.

On the playing front, Keane has gone, Bent is broken and Dunne is done for the rest of the season. On top of that we are told that Gabby is being held back by an injury (to be sorted in the summer), Clark is out and Petrov was also missing yesterday. Nzog and Ireland look as though they are being treated as sinners. And then there's the question of AM-not's tactics - simply to play to not lose and grab a win if possible.

Being rid of AM-not is one thing, but the big question - now being accepted by more and more fans as the weeks roll by - is, "does the board need a make-over?" I think a lot of people would be happy for Lerner to stay, but it's the question of the kind of decisions that have been made at the board level that seem to have caused the club's current situation.

I hear that Ian Taylor would be very happy to play a role on the board. However, whether Ian Taylor would be enough to redress the balance on the board is a moot point. Perhaps Graham Taylor is needed as well - in fact as many Taylors as are needed to mend things!! Jokes aside, the imbalance on the Villa board is frightening and does need addressing.

Perhaps it needs a polite letter with plenty of signatures to be addressed to the owner?

Monday, 13 February 2012

A Sad Case

When I started on my deep research into the Villa history at the beginning of 2006, I was not to know that Randy Lerner would be taking over as the new chief later on that year. When he did, and going by the utterances that exuded from his office, it seemed to me that a new era had dawned and that the new era would see a return to some olden and golden values. His support of the Acorns charity seemed to epitomise those values, but hard business seems now to have taken over, almost desperately so: Genting is now the name on the famous claret and blue shirts. How times have changed; Rover and LDV once seemed more appropriate to me (even Mita), but where are they now? Couldn’t Land-Rover or Jaguar be persuaded? I can’t help feeling they represent the better ‘names’ that the club should be parading.

In 2006/7, my hopes for Villa were based on the wonderful attitude of Villa’s heroes of old, ­ both the players and the managers of the club. Through a great many of the years from 1874 through to the 1920s, the club’s standards in probity and in leading the country as the yardstick of a good football club were greatly manifest. But they were different times and my hopes for what Randy Lerner might accomplish have probably been proven to be unrealistic.

It is sad that I allowed myself (at my age) to dwell on a return to idealism, more so as other clubs (once contemporaries of the Villa) had taken the big money route:­ Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and then Manchester City sold out to big money, leaving perhaps only Arsenal as a leading club possessing a more traditional management structure. But Arsenal's choice of Emirates as a business partner seems to me a cleaner choice (than Villa’s). Why did I leave north London? Perhaps I should have changed my allegiance to Arsenal or Spurs to save my agony, and stayed where I was.

It is also sad that I assumed that Villa’s new owner would retain football experience within the club to advise on footballing management matters. It is sad that I expected that Villa managers would be proud of the club and would do their utmost to keep the fans enthralled ­ just as the Villa management of those halcyon days of yore used to do. In those first 50 or 60 years, the fans were not let down by the quality of play at the club, apart from the odd blip.

In short, I appear to be a very sad case. My pride (and the club’s) is fading fast; the lion is whimpering and needs some milk.