Aston Villa: The transitional club

I'm not linking to it but I saw a headline the other day suggesting that Lerner sack Paul Lambert. Seven games into his reign as Aston Villa manager and some are calling for the manager to be sacked. Honestly, I just laughed - the internet is a powerful tool.

Sure, there are a lot of things not right about our club and I'm not going to start in on the owner or the CEO, although they might get another mention or two later, because they made their intentions quite clear when they hired Alex McLeish, but calling for the sacking of the manager seven games into his first season is madness.

Okay, the chances of us winning the Premier League, in it's current form, are probably 10,000-1 and you don't have to be a genius to see the game is broken. But, in time, we will get better. In time and with the right resources, we will climb higher. With luck and fortune and maybe someone somewhere deciding the game needs to be fixed, we may find ourselves in a very fortunate position.

You never know a rich oil baron might also come along and we might not need the game to be fixed. Hell, we might prefer it in the current state, but calling for the manager to be sacked is stupid. Yes, I called whoever wants Lambert sacked after seven games stupid.

But that isn't the point of the post. I read another post the other day that suggested this is a transitional season. I used that word in my season preview post but I asked people to forget about it and stop using it because it's just an excuse.

Where was the transition for Roberto Di Matteo when he took over at Chelsea last season and where is the transition now? Where is the transition for Steve Clarke - in his first full time post as manager? Transition is an excuse to make us believe all is good and if we sack the manager every few seasons then it's a great one that makes everyone think that we're okay and we're finally going somewhere.

The truth is, the manager is the most important member of staff at the club after the CEO. I shouldn't have mentioned CEO then, because anyone that picks Alex McLeish as manager of Aston Villa is .. actually I'm leaving it, the action speaks for itself. My point is, without stability at the helm of football matters (the manager), we will always be that club seen as in transition, especially when at the top, they make decisions like the Alex McLeish one.

I say this because Lambert might not be the right man. He wasn't top of my list and I don't think one season in the Premier League is justification for thinking he should be on any list, but he deserves a fair chance and that fair chance goes a lot further than the one the previous manager was ever going to get.

The football is better, but it takes time. Mistakes have been made, but he is the manager and if he continues to make them he can blame nobody else. If he doesn't see Darren Bent in his future, that is his choice and if he prefers to bring in players instead of using what the club develop, that is also his choice. I think they are both wrong decisions, but I'm not the manager.

The point of this post isn't to tell you to not use the word transitional, but use it in the right sense and for the right reasons. We are not in transition because we have a new manager. We've been in transition since 2006 and until we get, what was it called, roots and branch change, we will always be known as the transitional club.

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