Aston Villa: Longer term, broader scope

I only use those words because it's my day job. And I've just finished running a training course for a bunch of lads who are about to take their first baby steps into management. It's what I always tell them: longer term, broader scope. Not just what's in front of your nose.

Who knows: by the time Damian puts this up, Roberto Martinez may have realised he can achieve everything at Wigan that he can hope to achieve at Villa. Sure, if he takes that decision, he'll remain at a club which will never make the top 6 and where he'll have to sell his best players every summer to one of them. Does that sound familiar?

Personally, I think if Randy Lerner were to capture Roberto Martinez's signature, it would restore a lot of my faith in the chairman and his team.


First, coherence. If we believe what we were told, then Gerard Houllier was brought to Bodymoor Heath to transform the way Villa play football. That was Martinez's way at Swansea and, with no fans and limited resources, it's been his way at Wigan. And I like it. Martinez's teams play football with the ball on the deck, and that has to be right.

Second, scouting. Wigan may be a little club - but they haven't half found some talent over the past few years from South America. Valencia, Palacios, Rodellega, Figueroa? I think any one of them would walk into Villa's first team squad. And when compared with Sidwell, Warnock, Davies and Knight - I think there's little doubt where the scouting talent lies.

Third, the long term. Martinez is young - he has a couple of decades of football management in front of him. If he is as good as Dave Whelan says he is, then perhaps his signature is Villa's "Alex Ferguson" moment. You never know.

I'm puzzled by the comments of a lot of commenters on here who would see the appointment of Martinez as lacking in ambition or imagination.

I would see the appointment of Jol as lacking in ambition or imagination. I would see the appointment of Benitez as lacking in ambition or imagination. I would even see the appointment of Hughes as lazy, and McLaren as just dumb.

Martinez is a bold, spiky, provocative appointment. And it may just have the potential to lift the Holte End from the slumber we've been in for about 9 months.

For my money, I'd love Martinez to come and shake things up. I just don't want the same old, same old...