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Why I think Alex McLeish will succeed at Aston Villa

When It came to my attention that Alex McLeish was about to be appointed the new Aston Villa manager, I was shocked to hear the amount of Villa fans who were saying McLeish would get the club relegated, although I do understand that McLeish was the Birmingham manager and under his management the club were relegated twice from the Premier League, this issue has to be put into perspective. McLeish came in after success with Hibernian, where he rebuilt the team and developed their youth system (Kenny Miller), then while at Rangers he won the SPL title twice, which some may say is not that big an achievement but he also took Rangers to the last 16 in the Champions League, then he nearly took Scotland to Euro 2008, and he at Birmingham led them to a 12 match unbeaten run and the Carling Cup as well.

The reason for Birmingham’s relegation, has to down to luck, while Wolves and Wigan lost no big name players, McLeish lost his centre back partnership with Scott Danns injured and he also lost Zigic who was starting to find form and also Martins who in his few appearances before injury looked to have been a good signing. Aston Villa have got a manager with a proven track record, he is a man who gives youth a chance while still being able to get the best from older players (Bowyer, Carr, Phillips), and with Randy Learner putting his own neck on the line it means McLeish will have funds to buy Ben Foster, Scott Danns and a few others as well,  while Aston Villa fans have been waiting for Martin O Neil’s successor, they now have him, and McLeish unlike some will take the pressure and use it to his advantage.

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  1. James M

    26 June, 2011 at 15:12

    A note of concern.

    I think we need to take a practical and logical approach to where we are. I too was shocked by the appointment of Mc Leish. He is a solid but not spectacular Mangager and if he plays the brand of defensive football shown at St Andrews, the Villa fans will soon show their feelings. The last year in terms of replacing o Neill has been nothing short of a disaster. At one point about a year ago Villa entered the rarified heights of world top twenty status. I wonder where we stand now. The signing of Bent was the only uplifting thing, thank God.

    I agree that Mc Leish has some qualities but the proof of the pudding is going to be whether a number questions can be addressed and answered. How much money has he available for transfers?;can we keep hold of Downing? which A grade goalkeeper will we bring in; which marquis player will be purchased to replace Young?; the complete revamping of the defence which had the worst goals conceeded record since 1987 is required; can Ireland’s career be revived?; can Gabby recapture his form?;where do people like Petrov, Dunne and Beye stand? (I think they all have to go); will Mc Leish be allowed to buy in another quality striker to partner Bent or does he even want to?; will Bent want to stay if Young and maybe Downing have gone?;Is Warnock still quality and finally what are Mc Leishes contacts i European football like. We have remained the most British like team in the premership and this will not bring success.I can’t see this changing.

    Many of the transfer rumours of players destined for Villa have scared the life out of me in their lack of ambition: Simpson, DJ Campbell et all and we need much better signings than these otherwise we should rely on the youth players but that isn’t going to bring top six status again.

    I remain depressed and hope to be cheered. I think Randy has lost so much money on Villa during his five season tenure he might be thinking of cutting his loses. We will know by early August what his rue thinking is. The fixture list has thrown up one of the easiest starts in years. Certainly if we don’t play well and win the home fixtures against Balckburn and Wolves, game two and three the knives will be out

    Your pessimistically.

  2. swhanks

    26 June, 2011 at 17:58

    what a idiotic statement this man is a clown my mother could win a title in scotland.wake up and smell the roses you mess

  3. Richy watson

    26 June, 2011 at 19:30

    Totally agree with ur article…I also believe he Is the man for the job…I believe if he can balance the youth with the experienced then it could be a very bright season…probably one of the articles that makes most sense and there’s been a few articles published as many were VERY poor…

  4. Oby

    26 June, 2011 at 20:07

    What a load of Bowlox, Eck gives youth a chance wtf, Redmond, Asante, Much never got a chance, even with the injuries we had, they were all on the bench when we played Spurs last game, do me a favour, this really is a lazy journo article..

  5. Spud

    26 June, 2011 at 22:15

    How does he give youth a chance??? I can’t name one youth player he gave a chance to in his time at Blues. He’s the most anti-youth manager in our history!!

  6. Villa82

    26 June, 2011 at 23:22

    McLeish didn’t give the youth a chance at St Andrew’s because on the whole they weren’t very good. Having players like Clarke, Albrighton, Bannan etc at his disposal will provide him with a very different proposition which I think will result in the youth playing a prominent role in the season to come.

  7. depressed

    27 June, 2011 at 01:46

    If all you can quote about bringing youth through is Kenny Miller then that spells trouble, he couldn’t make it with Wolves and had to go back to Scotland. Redmond english U21 got 1 game, Mutch got a few games, Asante got to warm the bench. and as for the unbeaten run that came after he was forced to go 4-4-2 when he reverted to 4-5-1 the run ended. Gabby wont need to recover his form to warm the bench for 20+ games. As for getting the best out of older players, Phillips had a few league cup games and the odd game near the end of the season and Bowyer only played half a season. Just hope Bent can run the front for 90 mins a game on his own week in week out. Be worried, be very worried.

  8. depressed

    27 June, 2011 at 01:54

    best comments so far has been James M, and the way McLeish plays teams like wolves who like to attack you, could score against us and then AM never seems to have a plan B. one up front and a defensive line of 9 without young and downing we have no width and no runners to back up bent.

  9. Stratty

    27 June, 2011 at 02:02

    Vile82, you obviously haven’t seen Nathan Redmond. He got one cameo appearance and was the most creative player on the park. The only player that seemed capable of threading balls forward.

    The ginger one only prefers sidewards and long raking defensive back passes.


  10. Melski

    27 June, 2011 at 09:20

    I think as part of the interview process – Randy will have ‘forced’ the issue with bringing some of the yonger players through.

    What us Villa fans have forgotten is that we are no longer a ‘big’ team and we can no longer command a place in the top 6 of English football. Martin O’Neill achieved relative success by spending a lot of money on a host of average players and a few good ones. The wage bill was unsustainable and when his tactics got found out – he bailed out. We now have to be realistic and the appointment of McLeish shows the situation we are in. We cannot spend beyond our means and need to consolidate. With a few selective signings in amongst our excellent crop of young players – we can look for a decent start to the season. If that is the case – I can then see Randy putting his hand in his poscket and giving the manager more money to purchase players around January.

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