Back to the real world: Aston Villa need to take time in appointing a new manager

As expected, there is a lot of manager talk at the moment and I have no doubt that the club are getting calls from agents. At this very moment, our cheeky chappy CEO is probably wondering what to do. You see, he isn't a football man and he is going to be a little out of his depth.

Managing the day to day running of a football club is very different to managing what is unfolding around us right now. Also, seeing as our owner isn't a real football man either, he is probably out of his depth too.

So, who are they going to turn to for advice and do they have anyone at the club that would be considered a football man? You guessed it, chances are they might be calling Doug Ellis and while I don't think he will be used to manage the process of bringing in a new manager, there is every chance they will be talking to him about what is going to be happening next and what to expect.

See through the smoke


My point is, this is all new to the owner and CEO and Doug might get a call and he'll offer his advice and if he does, that will be it.

But whenever something like this happens, it is important to try and see through the smoke. Lots of names are going to be thrown about but also lots of those names should be dismissed almost immediately.

The first few you should dismiss are Bob Bradley, Mark Hughes, Alan Curbishley, Gareth Southgate, Jürgen Klinsmann and Martin Jol and you really shouldn't need telling why they should be dismissed.

That doesn't mean if I haven't mentioned a name it should be taken seriously - I've not heard or read one name that I've really thought would be the right one.

Bottom line; it is important to not rush in. It is important to not make mistakes. It is extremely important to see the bigger picture and to not get carried away or believe the hype.

Taking stock

Continuity is an important factor in what happens next. However, I'm also all for change at the club, from the top down and the bottom up, if the change is for the right reasons.

I'm not convinced that O'Neill bought into Aston Villa or looked much further than 'his' players and if reports are true the he had lost the dressing room and that most of the players are happy with him going, then maybe now is the time to take stock of what we have.

We have one of the best academy and reserve teams in the country and it isn't something that has just happened over night or has happened once - it has happened for a few years now and a while before O'Neill and Lerner came in.

We also have the man that has led our reserve team looking after first team affairs as caretaker manager and I for one think, if he is willing to and wants to have a go, that he should get the chance.

MacDonald might not be the man to bring success but he is a football man who has played at the highest level and from what I gather, is very well respected at the club by the players and certainly by players that have worked under him in the past.

Back to the real world

The real world is that we finished sixth last season and that sixth is nothing. Without looking can anyone tell me which team finished sixth in 2002? Very few of you will know and that is my point.

O'Neill might have got sixth again and he might not have. We will never know, but what we do know is that his kick and rush football was never going to move us on.

However, it is worth stressing that Lerner might not get it right this time either. He might appoint the wrong man again and probably even again after that. It isn't easy and it costs money, but as owner, he should get his chances.

My point is; lets not rush in and lets look at what we have. Every manager has to start somewhere and I fancy that Kevin MacDonald is very much Aston Villa and I think he deserves a chance and if he is willing to take it, why shouldn't he get it?