A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it, is committing another mistake ~ Confucius.
I wish the media would stop harping on about how Villa fans were set against the arrival of Alex McLeish because he came across the city from the Sty. Sure, it didn't help.
But we are bigger than that. Villa fans are ambitious in two ways. Firstly, we believe that we belong in the absolute top flight of English football. Secondly, we believe we deserve to be taken there through attractive, passing football. Most of our misgivings were not about McLeish's last job, but the facts that he had a highly questionable track record in it, and also that the style of football he engendered was dire.
Lerner showed us he had the single-mindedness to ignore our outcry and to make his own decision. Now he must show us he has courage to reverse that decision, before things go from bad to worse.
Something died on Saturday evening at Villa Park
I wasn't at Villa Park at the weekend. I don't want to pay to watch negative football, it is as simple as that. But what actually happened was beyond even our worst nightmares. Villa didn't even try to get anything out of the game. They didn't try to retain the ball.
They sat off Manchester United and watched them knock the ball around. Don't be fooled into thinking United's narrow win even remotely suggests that the "park the bus" strategy paid off: it didn't. Villa didn't press the ball, they didn't compete for the ball, and when they had the ball - they either surrendered it lamely or hit it into the stands.
How many of you were as distressed as I was to see an expensive forward running around chasing United's back four, while the rest of the side lolled about 30 yards behind him scratching their testicles. That wasn't the players fault: it happened too often for that. To our horror, it gradually dawned on Villa fans that what we were watching was tactical.
Yes, folks. An Aston Villa manager sent out a Premier League team at home to sit behind the ball, not get too far forward, not over-commit and - in possession - to get rid of it.
But you can't try to outplay United - that's suicide, isn't it?
I agree. But who's suggesting that we try to outpass them? Could we not have pushed the wingers high up to put pressure on Smalling and Evra? Could we not have used Gabby to press the ball higher up the field - after all, if McLeish had done his homework he would have discovered that Nemanja Vidic is scared shitless of Agbonlahor? Could we not at least have attempted to move quickly out of defence to hit United on the break - instead of gifting possession straight back to them?
And if we had tried to win, and ended up getting beaten 4-0 - I for one would be happier. None of us like to see Villa lose, but to see Villa not try to win - at home - is sickening.
All in all it was a disgrace. A Villa side which, at home and in front of 40,000 of its own fans, didn't even not try to play, but tried not to play.
The decision has to be made now
Randy Lerner must not let Alex McLeish hide behind the fact that we have been narrowly beaten by excellent sides like Spurs and United, with better squads and deeper pockets. He must not take comfort from the swollen gate receipts which United and Liverpool will naturally bring. It's time to listen to the fans now.
Aston Villa do not play negative football. Aston Villa do not refuse to play football at home. Aston Villa do not capitulate before a ball has been kicked.
He'll be a bigger man by acknowledging his mistake and correcting it - now.