On Friday 29 April, I wrote a piece for this blog, asking, if you were Randy Lerner for a day, who you would appoint as the next manager of Aston Villa?
At this point, Gerard Houllier was in hospital recovering from heart problems. A few people called me disrespectful, but plenty noted that Gerard’s time as Villa boss was drawing to a close.
The club treated Gerard with dignity and acted upon the advice of his doctors, eventually deciding it was in everyone’s best interests if he left the club on Wednesday 1 June. Now, you don’t need a degree in mathematics to realise the time between my blog, and Gerard’s eventual departure, was just over a month.
I don’t claim to be anything more than a keen Villa fan, but if the writing was on the wall for me back in April, then alarm bells should have been ringing in the ears of the Aston Villa Board members. After all isn’t this what they get paid to do?
They should have known then, if not before, that this football club would more than likely be searching for a new boss this summer. The search must have begun as soon as Gerard fell ill. And if it didn’t, as a fan who ploughs a lot of my money into this club, I’d like to know why the hell not.
Yet here we are, Sunday 19th June, essentially a month away from our opening fixture and we’ve just made our appointment.
I’m not going to focus on his Small Heath Harriers connection. I’m not going to worry about his defensive, negative playing style. I’m not going to focus on either of the relegations.
But I am going to ask the Board, what on Earth was your plan?
McLeish resigned from Small Heath Harriers on Sunday 12 June. We immediately decided to interview him. One word comes to mind for me: reactionary. No forward thinking. No pre-positioning. No genuine plan.
I’d love to know what would have happened if McLeish hadn’t resigned. Who would we have pursued? Were we even pursuing anyone? Seriously, what was the plan? Can anyone tell me?