No matter what the reasoning, and despite whatever provocation confronted him, O’Neill’s untimely and selfish act in waking out on the club in the manner that he did, has left us in complete and utter disarray.
The events of the summer have done very little I would imagine, to convince the likes of Ashley Young, that his long term future should he here at Brummagem B6. Far from it.
Here we are, just a handful of days away from the closure of the transfer window, with virtually no hope of us adding to a clearly inadequate first team squad, and probably even more importantly, we have no confirmed full-time manager at the helm.
In my eyes, both those failings, the lack of transfer activity and the team manager situation, are inviting trouble, and setting us up for a season of struggle and decline, which after three successive campaigns where we have finished in sixth place, I find inexcusable.
I have said all along that O’Neill will be a hard act to follow, and after almost a couple of weeks of reading names like Bob Bradley and Sven Goran Eriksson being put forward as possible routes to take, I am even more convinced that the old adage of ‘you never know and appreciate what you’ve got until its gone’ is very definitely going to arise to haunt us on this occasion.
Managers of O’Neill’s calibre and stature within the game are in very short supply out there, and it is becoming increasingly obvious, that despite what many believed and informed us would happen, top managers are hardly falling over themselves in the mad rush to beat a path to Randy Lerner’s door, and offer themselves up as very interested candidates for the Villa Park vacancy.
We are nowhere near prepared for the campaign ahead, as the past weekend’s reversal at St James Park suggests, in fact to suggest that the season is already close to a write off, is probably nearer the truth than any of us are prepared or willing to accept right now.
We need this manager situation sorted, and sorted without delay. Kevin MacDonald, while currently holding the reins openly admits that he’s not sure that he’s cut out for the task, and looking back in hindsight, when he first uttered those words, Randy Lerner should have immediately jumped into action, and set the wheels in motion to have a new guy installed without delay.
You have to wonder if we have a shortlist, any outstanding candidates, does Lerner have a favourite? Have we as yet approached anybody, if not, why not? Is MacDonald a serious contender? If he has the support of Lerner/Faulkner, then why not confirm him as the new permanent manager, and let him bring in the required quality before the transfer window slams shut.
All so frustrating, all so disappointing, all so Aston Villa going back over the past fifty years plus.
Nothing ever really changes does it?