Date: 8th May 2006 at 11:42am
Written by:

I understand that Mr. Ellis stated in his programme notes yesterday, that ‘we are moving in the right direction’. That he can make such a statement at the end of David O’Leary’s third season, the trend of which sees us going very much downwards, is very much asking us to laugh – but not in humour; more from a desparate ‘when is this charade going to end?’ cynicism.

Mr. Ellis’ declaration that he’s fit and working hard also fills me with some trepidation. But, I have somehow taught myself to reason that if we had a good manager – and we’ve had a few good ones over the last 20 years – he would hide the weaknesses of the chairman by signing decent players and moving our team to do praiseworthy things on the pitch. After all, as fans, why should we spend so much negative energy in worrying about what’s going on in the boadroom if it’s quite good on the pitch, and with an odd trophy thrown in, or European football?

Well, need I say any more about what we have at the club now? It appears to me that ‘the manager’ is eager to want Mr. Ellis as his adopted father, and appears to have ingratiated himself into the chairman’s ‘club’, at the expense of the fans and the welfare of the club. Visions of Nero fiddling whilst Rome burnt. Can the secenario be much worse? And what can be done about it? I don’t know the answer to the last question. It appears to me that a club takeover is the only solution, but who wants to pay £64m? I don’t see any takeover taking place between now and August – Mr. Ellis’ price has seen to that.

So, what is the next season likely to offer? It really is anyone’s guess as Mr. Ellis sits at the traffic lights pondering the direction signs. The most cynical view is that relegation is the likely outcome. However… if the first month or two sees Villa lying in the bottom four or five, I somehow feel that even Mr. Ellis will think that his adopted son cannot do more, and will be shown the door. At great expense.

Scenario 2 is that Villa will rise from the ashes and win a Cup – as happened after the very close relegation call in 1955-56. No chance of a high league finish but just enough done to keep Mr. O’Leary in a job. It’ll be 50 years since we last won the F.A. Cup, so now is the time to do it again – at the new Wembley. I don’t see a third scenario.

I somehow feel that secenario 2 is ‘on’. Yesterday’s team selection seems to indicate where next year’s team will be coming from, though I feel that Angel (and Baros) will have gone. We do have two desparate signing needs – the first is to sign Milner permanently, and an experienced centre-half. Laursen might still be the answer to that latter need, but we will have to wait till September or October before we know the outcome on him. Yes, we do have the need for signings to cover more than those positions, but I cannot see significant ones coming in. It looks as though Mr. Ellis always did see the future lying in the youth talent coming through, and, with luck, he might at least be partly right. At 25, Gareth Barry has shown the way – Captain Marvel!

Now, Doug, if we are moving right, then PLEASE put on the right trafficator!

By John Lerwill


13 Replies to “What Way Now, Mr Chairman? (Villa)”

  • If Baros and Angel are to leave…then we need to sign another striker with experience. A poacher, someone to grab those 3 yarders.

    I hear Ruud Van Nistlehorse will be available this summer? 😉

  • Nistelrooy aint gonna come. I say go for the ex bluenose at palarse, and get andy johnson.

  • Surely Ruud would want to play for a club of our stature..he should be honoured if Doug considers him!

  • Yes, a “striker of experience” would be v. useful – but another one? I suspect that Phillips will be considered the experienced one, and no new one will come in.

  • McLarens Middlesbrough at Fulham yeseterday (15 of the 16 players born within 30 miles of the club, with an average age of 19/20) proves that it can be done.

    Problem is we ain’t Boro, and McLaren (or rather the new Manager) might have the luxury of a f

  • I sometimes question if Barry is the only player on the pitch at times. A few exceptions from good performances this season from the likes of Sorenson, Mellberg, Davis and the occasional peeps from Baros, the rest of the team have hardly stole the show. M

  • I said it last season, Dean Ashton is the guy we should of bought. A true British Bull Dog with Pace, Strength and an eye for goal.

  • van nist wont come to us (ac milan and after him), defoe would be a good buy but again other clubs would want him.
    Our youngster can do it gabby especially, we need the older lot to sort their acts out next season…
    i hear brian little quit his jo


  • This season has seen the most distance put between manager , his players and the fans.

    Wake up Villa, the whole club needs a change, on and off the park.

  • The Problem is two fold, the chairman and the manager. We know that the chairman is on his way out even if it takes a couple more years but what we really need is to get rid of the manager. We have a sufficient squad to finish top 8 with a decent manage

  • If DOL and O’Leary remain, as looks increasingly likely, they both have to get their act together this summer. We need a central defender, a ball winning midfielder, a creative midfielder, plus sign Milner. That would be a start. But no Mr. Ellis, the clu

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