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Plan for the Future

Aston Villa Blog have agreed to partner fellow fan site Aston Villa Life and have agreed for editor Matt Turvey to come on board as a guest blogger. Matt will be writing a bi-weekly article on the hot topics at Villa, while Villa Blog editor Martin Laurence will return the favour for Aston Villa Life to ensure the readership of both will get a variety of news, views and opinions on the happenings at our great club. Here is Matt’s second instalment on Villa’s plan for the future. UTV!

For a long part of the tenure of Randy Lerner’s ownership of the club, there has always been talk of plans.  Five year plans, plans for success – whatever you want to call them, they have surfaced and disappeared with regularity.

However, it is now a time where a plan really needs to be announced.  Following a season where Gerard Houllier has been a hit and miss appointment, coupled with heart issues that occurred towards the end of the season, his departure has assured that change is about to come.

The media have been quick to report a list of names who could end up in the hotseat.  They vary from the ambitious such as Ancelotti, through the safe options such as Hughes and McClaren, to the long term risky option such as Martinez or Benitez.

Firstly, I just want to say I’m not going to second guess the club in terms of what we do next.  Journalists spend their life trying to feed off the scraps of what is said by people at football clubs but, whilst they have some success, it is total speculation.

In terms of progress for the club, the managerial choice isn’t really the main piece of information that fans want to hear.  Sure, we all want to know who is going to take charge, but we want to know the plan behind the appointment.  We want to know why the man who takes over is the right one for the job.  Whether the man is Hughes or Ancelotti, McClaren or Martinez, we are in desperate need for some stability.

Stability.  Whoever takes the job on as manager will be the fifth man in charge of Villa in a year.  That’s right – FIFTH.  In the past year, we’ve had Martin O’Neill, Kevin McDonald, Gerard Houllier and Gary McAllister taking team talks.  Now we’re going to have a fifth.  Can we find someone with the motivational ability of O’Neill?  Can we find someone with the European nous of Houllier? More importantly, can we amalgamate the two?

There’s inherent risk with the appointment of any manager.  After all, changing the manager can bring positive (and negative) changes to the club.  For the long term planning the employment of someone like Roberto Martinez would bring, there is a chance that he might not perform at this level.  Even Carlo Ancelotti isn’t a dead cert to bring success.  He’s an undoubtedly fantastic manager for sure, but success is never guaranteed.

All we, as fans, need to know is that there is a plan.  Tell us we will only finish top half next year and we will be ok with that so long as there is a plan.  Just make sure that you tell us what the plan is.  After all, we want to know how we can end the drought of 15 years (and counting) since we won anything at all.

Aston Villa has been known to be a somewhat secretive club, with random bouts of PR from Charles Krulak popping up to act as a smokescreen.  Now is the time to clear the air and tell us the plans for the future.

Randy – it’s over to you.

By Matt Turvey

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