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Aston Villa fans blame football style not Blues link for McLeish protests

Published: May 15, 2012 | 8:13 am
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Aston Villa fans insist the brand of football served up by Alex McLeish – and not his previous connection with Birmingham City – was the main reason behind their clamour for him to be sacked.

McLeish’s 11-month reign at Villa ended on Monday with his contract being terminated after the club only avoided relegation from the Premier League by two points.

Villa owner Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner have now begun the search for a fourth manager in less than two years.

There have been suggestions that the Villa support never got behind McLeish owing to his time with city rivals Blues, but Jonathan Fear of Villa fans’ website Vital Villa said: “I think it was inevitable that McLeish would go.

“It is a shame the situation arose. I know they (Lerner and Faulkner) are desperate to get stability into the club but it never was a great fit.

“I think most Villa fans tried their very best to support McLeish once he was appointed. It has really frustrated Villa fans to keep having the Birmingham connection rammed back at us.

“If we had taken from them a really good manager who shot us up the league and won us something, we would all find it quite hilarious.

“But his reputation was of playing negative football. I know he riles against that – but the evidence we’ve seen this this year was of awful football.

“We expect to see our team go for it. It’s not about winning, drawing and losing. It’s just seeing a bit of pride and endeavour in the games.”

Fear believes the style of football meant protests against McLeish would escalate.

He said: “McLeish is a decent enough man and I don’t want to see managers at Villa having people protesting against them.

“I don’t want to hear the abuse and the bile. But if a manager’s team performs like that, you are going to get that.”

Fear echoes the sentiments of Lerner and Faulkner in making sure they find the right candidate for the post.

He said: “It is an absolute crunch one and they will know that as well. This one of McLeish was definitely out of left field at best.

“With the amount of money Randy Lerner has put in, you’ve got to be afforded the right to make the odd mistake and this was a very odd mistake.

“I hope some of the fans will calm down now and let them go about their job to get the right manager and hopefully we will get someone we can get behind.

“Whichever manager comes in now will be onto a winner purely because it isn’t Alex McLeish to be honest.

“The fans just want a manager who will come in and try and play and attractive style of football and just try to win games and not set out to draw.

“I can’t see anyone is going to be worse style-wise than McLeish.”

birminghampost

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