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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