If you had asked most Villa fans of their opinions on the rest of the season after Thursday night the responses may have been bleak but a new day brings new optimism into the supposed club in crisis. With the most brash of pessimists writing Villa’s European hopes off already by Friday just two days later the club find themselves sitting pretty in fourth. A gutsy 1-0 victory over an impressive Everton side was relieving not only due to the result but in the manner of the win. The reliable defence of last term hadn’t seemed to have returned from their holiday’s but were magnificent today under pressure in a game where they soaked up more than a sponge in a wet t-shirt competition.
The reunion of Dunne and Collins at centre back was a vast improvement with match winner Luke Young impressing at right back. Many will say that the result was not deserved but a battling performance was just what the doctor ordered and showed that Villa are no pushover’s. Although the result only takes off some of the humiliation of the midweek defeat it offers a much brighter outlook to the fans and chairman Randy Lerner. Will this win spark a mini revival or was it a fortuitous result that is unlikely to reoccur?
Over the last couple of days the manager’s position has been a massive talking point with MacDonald maintaining that he would make a decision on his availability after today’s game. Dutchman Ronald Koeman also threw his name into the mix with some clear intentions of hoping to fill the vacancy.
“In Holland we have always viewed Villa as an important club with a tradition of being powerful in Europe when I was younger, so I would be very interested in managing them if the job was offered to me.”
He revealed that he has had a number of offers but sees Villa Park as an extremely desirable destination after an impressive club record in Spain, Portugal and his native Holland. This interest though, appears to have been quashed this evening after the club finally released an interesting statement regarding their preferred candidate.
“Two of the traits we believe are of crucial importance are that candidates have experience of managing in the Premier League and a strategy for building on the existing strengths in our current squad.”
These revelations all but rule out the current man in charge along with Koeman and long running favourite for the job Bob Bradley. The shortlist appears to have been cut down further with candidates such as Jurgen Klinsmann and Otmar Hitzfeld not having the required Premier League experience that the board room are looking for. Does this mean that the candidates have been whittled down to the likes of Guus Hiddink (yes please), Sven Goran-Eriksson (no thanks) and Alan Curbishley (we’ll think about it)? Martin Jol would be a popular choice but has the statement opened the door to more unwelcome unemployed than before? The likes of Houllier, Southgate and Phil Brown are now in the mix but would this signify a step in the wrong direction for the club?
Also in the news this week was a very unnerving increase in interest in Ashley Young from Tottenham. Would selling the player be a huge mistake and a massive omen of what’s to come or does every player have his price? Congratulations goes out to Ashley on another well deserved England call up. In better news Gabby Agbonlahor was quoted saying that he would have no reason to leave the club for his entire career as he hopes to emulate the likes of Steven Gerrard as a one club man. At just 24 the striker is now Villa’s longest serving player and hopes to keep it that way so good on you Gabby! Views on today’s game, the manager’s position or anything else are wanted at the end of a day that has Villains smiling once again.
Up The Villa!
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