Date: 2nd January 2006 at 10:32am
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David O’Leary has fallen from grace with the bookies top ten list. However, he won’t be at all disappointed because the top ten list he topped was being the bookies favourite to be sacked. He is now slipping further away from the axe according to William Hill.

William Hill now have Steve Bruce and Mick McCarthy as 5/2 joint favourites for the chop. Mind you, I’m not convinced I would put money on Bruce being sacked because the Small Heath board have already said his job is safe even if they are relagated. Or is that when? No seriously, my mate is a Sty Dweller – when I say mate, I mean care in the community obviously! Anyway, he says the Blues are playing terrible football and he is convinced his season ticket book next year will be for the Championship.

I digress!

The odds for Newcastle boss Graeme Souness to get sacked by Freddy Shepherd have been cut from 6/1 to 3/1 and O’Leary, who was odds on at one point, now stands at 8/1.

Making up the rest is Charlton Athletic’s Alan Curbishley at 11/1, David Moyes at extremely long odds considering how poorly Everton are doing at 16/1. Fulham’s Chris Coleman 20/1, the Baggies Bryan Robson 33/1, Portsmouth’s Harry Redknapp 40/1. Steve McClaren of Middlesbrough and Arsene ‘I didn’t see it’ Wenger of Arsenal are both 60/1 and I don’t thnk I have any interest in continuing down the list of probables!

The David O’Leary tenure I guess will all depend on the new group who are apparently due to complete a takeover of Villa this week. If they back the manager, then he will be in charge at least until the end of the season. From reading the forums over the last few days, many fans – although not really fully behind the manager – do feel with the haul of points over the festive period he has done enough to stave off the axe and with reports a while back suggesting it would cost Villa about £4million to sack O’Leary and his backroom staff, I’m not convinced a new group would want to put their funds in that direction when the team so obviously needs strengthening.

Interesting times. A win against Hull next week in the FA Cup would surely secure the Villa managers tenure, at least for the short term? A loss? Well, that could be another matter!

We asked in our poll over the last few weeks, Should the new owners keep David O’Leary? The results slowly moved slightly more in favour of O’Leary as the results and points accumulated. Maybe he is right, maybe we are fickle!

Anway, 28% said yes, long term. 13% said no, we need a fresh start, a rather damning 44% said you must be joking, he is rubbish and 15% didn’t believe there would be a takeover anyway!