Date: 23rd May 2012 at 10:41am
Written by:

According to some folk, the media circus is in full effect.

We`re riding the same carousel as last season, names are being linked, we`ve offered interviews, we`ve had talks, we`ve been knocked back, managers have ruled themselves out.

Now that Ole has ruled himself out, all we are left with is Alan Curbishley or Mick McCarthy as choices for the job. In fact, we`ll be getting both of them to co-manage the team.

Seriously guys, wake up and smell the lies. The amount of times the tabloids get these things spot-on are countable on one hand, maybe one and one thumb. On how many occasions have you read that players and managers are linked to clubs but it never materialises? Back in ’96-97 I remember reading that Roberto Baggio had issued a “come and get me” plea to us, and that Doug was considering bringing him in as an intent of serious title aspirations. It never happened, and we ended up with Sasa Curcic from Bolton. This is just one example of the tripe that can be found on the shelves, but I`m sure many people believed it might happen. Believe it or not, these newspapers don`t always tell the truth. In fact, sometimes they make up stories to sell newspapers. In fact, and this is a secret; sometimes they hear a rumour started in a pub or on a computer game and then make up a story about it! Don`t tell anyone.

Thanks to evolution and the growth of technology, we are now lied to on a daily basis through various other means than the fish and chip wrapper. Depending on your personal preference, you can be lied to in the press, on the TV, on Facebook, on Twitter, the radio, online news websites, foreign websites and by people who say they`re in the know. While they`re busy fooling you they are generating interest, socially and financially, for the stories and headlines they run with. In turn, people choose to blindly believe what is presented as fact and come up with the worst possible conclusions, even going as far as to add their own truth into the mix when in reality they know as little as the people writing the stuff. The resulting mess equals a distressed but gullible fanbase who generate unnecessary negative feedback about the chairman, the CEO and anyone involved in the decision-making process.

Compare the current media ‘frenzy` to the oh-so dignified silence of last year`s process. None of us knew about Rafa Benitez having an interview but turning us down because we wouldn`t give him a boatload of money to create Aston Villareal. We had no idea about Roberto Martinez being offered an interview but declining because Dave Whelan restored him to factory settings, and I don`t know about you but I don`t remember seeing anything anywhere about Steve McClaren`s interview being cancelled because the fans didn`t want him. The point is that this time around the board have rightly kept their cards very close to their chest. This time around, all we know is that they`ve spoken to Ole. That`s all we know. Lesson learned. They know they`re under pressure to find the right manager and they know that this is crunch time in terms of making progress for Aston Villa. Does that mean that they need to pick the first name mentioned because the fans like it? Does good publicity mean it’s the right decision? If there’s one thing we’ve seen from last season, it’s that publicity creates pressure.

Consider the following; Ole ‘ruled himself out’. Paul Lambert becomes the favourite (the BOOKIES` favourite). The fact that he lost his rag when asked about his future (he said he`s never said anything about leaving and that the press conference was about the testimonial) makes him even more of a favourite. Sky Sports News ran this story as “Paul Lambert is favourite for the Villa job and was agitated when asked about his future” (words to that effect) and showed the press conference, as well as a list of the bookies` odds for the next manager. All cleverly manipulated to create a story and generate interest that is not wanted by Lambert, Norwich or Aston Villa, but I`m sure most people have been sold on it. Bear in mind that Solskjaer`s name was nowhere near the mark when Alex McLeish was sacked, and that Mick McCarthy became a favourite because someone had enough money to wind us up. The favourite went from McCarthy to Solskjaer. The bookies are no more reliable than the tabloids.

Whoever is appointed Aston Villa manager will be in post because of an official recruitment and selection process, not because a poll showed a majority preference or because his name`s been linked in the media. The board are conducting themselves in the right way and will make the right decision eventually, but it won`t be because the odds are 100/30 on. That being said, take a look at this recent quote…

“According to sources in Portugal, Andre Villas-Boas wants to be considered for the Aston Villa job. It is believed that he still feels he has a point to prove in the Premier League and that the player power at Chelsea was too strong, but sees Aston Villa as a club where he can build a team of his own and imprint his footballing philosophy. Villas-Boas is seen as a contender for the Liverpool vacancy but has made public his interest in Aston Villa after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer`s refusal to take the job, and ‘would relish the opportunity to manage Villa` should Randy Lerner make contact with him regarding the post.”

Before anyone starts turning the wheel again, I made that quote up. It`s fake. No truth in it whatsoever. Some of you may have realised that, maybe some not. A similar story with a different manager`s name can be found if you scour the internet hard enough. Probably making money off it as well.

Looks more interesting than “still no news yet” though, doesn`t it?