Happy Christmas, Alex

Alex - life has not been easy for you over the last few months and you deserve a break. As a Villa fan, I hope you and your family enjoy your Christmas and I hope the New Year brings you everything you hope for yourself and those that are close to you.

The situation Villa find themselves in isn't your fault. We have an owner who has changed his mind and lost his nerve. Gone are the thoughts of Champions League football and gone are the thoughts of competing for Europe. It isn't your fault that Randy Lerner saw in you a manager who would be happy to work with mediocre players and aim just to stay put.

You have a way of playing. It's about getting players behind the ball and scrapping. It's about fight and commitment. It's about guts and its about balls. Who could argue that those are important attributes for any ambitious team?

But when Randy appointed you, he did it because he knew you wouldn't ask for too much cash. He's gambling that you'll trim the wage bill, not demand much in the transfer windows, and ensure that he can take his loan interest and management fees without relegating the club. That's your job. Finish 17th - that's fine as long as the ratios stack up.


I know - we all know - that Barry, Milner, Young and Downing have gone and that the new breed may not be quite as good as we had hoped. You're working with a paltry set of raw materials compared to Spurs, for example.

You've made mistakes and enraged us - the Spurs, United and Liverpool games were a combined disgrace in terms of our attacking intent.

I wonder, Mac, where the future lies. We're not going to give you or Randy a moment's peace until we see Villa both ambitious and attacking.

Are you sure you are in the right place?