Date: 7th November 2005 at 6:31pm
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No crisis but the league position is ‘a concern’ according to O’Leary. Villa current sit in 17th place with a lowly 9 points. This is our worst start for 35 years, but O’Leary is calling for the players to keep their belief despite losing 6 of the last 8 games.

He told the official site ‘We are not in crisis but we want to be doing better than we are. You’ve got to be concerned.’

Adding ‘Two years ago, almost exactly to the day, we played Tottenham and went into the bottom three. In general, 80 per cent of that squad is still the same here. We stayed together, we had a belief and we ended up in sixth place. That’s the belief we’ve got to have….. We need a few wins, without a doubt, and that will zoom us up the table quickly. What we do also need is a little bit of luck. We maybe need some of those decisions to go for us which would be nice.’

The Villa fans are rightly asking questions of the manager and team though. The last 36 games with O’Leary in charge don’t make great reading. We’ve won 8, drawn 8, and lost 20. Meaning, out of a possible 92 points, Villa have won only 32 points.

A few reporters seem to be getting tired of the line of excuses O’Leary is using, once the press turn the manager have a second battle on their hands. Martin Swain questioned the manager in the Express and Star last week and Hyder Jawad says in the Mail today ‘Excuses, excuses. David O’Leary has a limitless supply and sees no problem in making full use of them when, as is often these days, Aston Villa lose. Obviously, it is never his fault. Like George W Bush, O’Leary sees mea culpa as a sign of weakness. It was therefore lost on the Villa manager that the man who changed this match, and ensured a Liverpool victory, was the same Peter Crouch whom O’Leary sold to Southampton for £2 million in the summer of 2004.’

O’Leary is now favourite to get the sack according to William Hill:

O’Leary (Aston Villa) 4/1
Perrin (Portsmouth) 5/1
Bruce (Birmingham) 7/1
McCarthy (Sunderland) 8/1
Moyes (Everton) 17/2
Ferguson (Man Utd) 9/1
Robson (WBA) 11/1
Souness (Newcastle) 13/1
Coleman (Fulham) 13/1
No manager to leave 15/1

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