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Right, assuming Houllier is definitely off, who should be next?

Somebody asked me yesterday who I'd like as manager and my answer was I didn't know. The reason I don't know is because I don't know enough about the world game to be able to give an educated or convincing name that I believe is right for Aston Villa.

I know who doesn't inspire me and that pretty much includes all the names mentioned so far, apart from maybe Carlo Ancelotti, but he would cost a lot of money, require some serious funds and I'm not sure Aston Villa would be in his long term plans and for that single reason, he really does fall into the category of uninspiring, but I could be convinced.


But what does surprise me is how so many can very quickly opt for David Moyes or Mark Hughes. If you have, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with your choice, but have you factored in managers from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal or even Scotland and Germany?

Have you also factored in that we really should be aiming at bringing in a manager that will make Aston Villa his home and have a big picture and plans for this Football Club?

You see, I don't think Moyes will come, because I think he has made Everton his home but on the other hand I'm sure Mark Hughes would, but I'd also not be surprised if was off again in three or four years to manage his fifth club since he started in club management in 2004.

And if that happened, we would just be back to square one. If you can honestly imagine Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger managing another club, then maybe I've misjudged Hughes, but three clubs since 2004, Fulham since 2010 - I'd not be surprised if it was two seasons and he was off when offered more money or when the supporters figured out that it wasn't going to get any better with him.

But this isn't about Mark Hughes. This post is about expectations. If we expect and believe the best we can get is Mark Hughes, then that is what we will get - or a manager like him. We have to want more and we have to believe that our Football Club is worth more. We also have to stop demanding and expecting instant success - it doesn't happen overnight unless you put in huge amounts of cash and even then, it can take a few seasons.

The football cycle

When Martin O'Neill left, we started a new cycle at the club. That cycle was having to find a new manager, change how we do things as a club, make money available to him and hope he does well. I believe the club looked for a long term solution when O'Neill left, but I like to believe they couldn't find one and opted instead for experience as a stop gap.

But I like to also believe that they didn't just stop looking. I like to believe that they recognise the cycle of change is what stops football clubs from becoming successful. I wrote about it in 2009 and my view hasn't changed: we need a long term manager to come in and as supporters, we need to think like that and take off the blinkers.

The blinkers tell us Mark Hughes will do a job and he might get us top eight or top six and he might get the best out of Stephen Ireland, but is he going to inspire Stewart Downing to want to stay, is he going to be able to bring on the youngsters or attract new and exciting players?

I'm not convinced. In fact, I'm a long way from convinced. I just hope that the club have employed someone to look at the world game, to identify young, up and coming managers. They've had enough time and when the job of manager is so so important to a Football Club, I'd be surprised if they hadn't.

As supporters, we've also got to stop saying things like 'we're not a big enough club' and 'we're not playing in Europe' or 'why would he come here'. We've got to stop thinking small and think bigger. Behaviour breeds behaviour and we are Aston Villa Football Club and when I say start to think big, I don't just mean names or money or players, I mean think big about the plans possibilities of what could be possible in ten years and not just next season or the one after.

So, who do I think should be the next manager - I still don't know. I just hope that it is someone that wants to make Aston Villa his home, his legacy and knows something about football management that involves more than just spending money and looking good in front of the camera.