I'm not hoping for a surprise, I'm hoping to be impressed by who Aston Villa bring in next

I'm still actually a little surprised that Paul Lambert has gone.It's because I was convinced that Tom Fox was a man that was going to stand by what he said or more to the point had thought about what he was going to say in context.

But that doesn't mean it wasn't the right choice. Before Hull, I was of the mindset that it was too risky to get rid of him but after watching Hull, it convinced me that the risk of keeping Lambert or getting rid, was probably equal. Right now though the most important thing is that the right man follows.


And I wrote yesterday that unless we get very lucky with finding the right man, it's probably going to be or should be an interim manager with the simple target of keeping us in the League. With a big enough incentive, it would make it easier to find the right man and to know what that incentive is, because relegation is a real possibility right now, you've got to try and figure out what would relegation cost next season and then possibly the season after.

When you know that number you know what you've got to play with and that's why whoever comes on board now are going to be in a very strong position to negotiate. And why, if everyone knows that as the position, we might as well go for a big name.

Names in the frame

And a lot of people have been mentioned in the last 36 hours. Top of bookies list is Tim Sherwood and don't get me wrong, if we were safe and looking for a manager to come in and build something, I'd be right behind Sherwood, if only because we might as well give him a chance, but if some of the stories we're reading about Sherwood are true and that's a big if, he might be a little too big for his boots after a very short stint in the Premier League.

Another manager mentioned quite a bit is Jürgen Klinsmann and I can only imagine it's the American connection. But talk is that Klinsmann loves America and in truth, I just can't see him coming to Birmingham. I'm also not convinced, despite his pedigree (although getting the German and Bayern Munich jobs were probably very easy for him) that he's got what is needed for us right now.

And there are other names, notably Hoddle and for me, he's the stand out candidate if and it's a big if, he thinks he can come in and make it happen until the end of the season. And that if is why whoever comes in, it's a risk. You'll not meet a football manager that doesn't believe he can't do the job, but it's about conviction and experience.

Hoddle worries me just a little as he might very well spend too much time on how we play football when actually we need to focus on winning games and getting in the face of the opposition. And that's why the target and plan for the next manager has to be very specific.

Back to Tom Fox

Which means we have to end this post as started it, with Tom Fox. You see, he's the man that has to identify and convince the next man to come in and it's either going to be a short term contract costing a lot of money or all in on the bigger picture, hoping he turns out to be the right man. I'm confident in thinking my opinion is the right one, but I'm not holding the money to make it happen.

And regardless of who the next man is, all our eggs are in one basket. It's just a case of is it short term or long term and when the new man is announced and I think it will be very early next week or right before the match on Sunday, we're only going to be able to go on what he's done in the past and hope that there is something about him that's going to get us out of this mess. Renewed optimism will play a part though so let's hope the players have reason to like the appointment too.

But it's coming soon, of that we can be sure.