Aston Villa - Great Expectations? (Heroes & Villains)


Vital Squad Member
Staff member
....these days the Aston Villa manager job should be one of the easiest in football.

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Vital Football Hero
As a Villa fan for the last 59 years, I've given up hope of ever seeing Villa play expansive attacking football again, ala Ron Saunders style.
Owners have too much to lose nowadays, unless they are one of the traditional top six, to take a chance on playing football as it should be played. Now it is a case of 'don't lose' being the aim from the outset, gone are the days when every team in every league went out at 3 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon, with the express purpose of entertaining the crowd and hopefully winning a game.
Now the signature song of football is ABBA's old hit, 'Money,Money,Money.'


Vital 1st Team Regular
The one thing I disagree with is:
"By now we should really be amongst the easiest to please fans in the country. All we want to see is a bit of entertainment, just a little bit of quality. Perhaps a few wins, or at the very least a team prepared to have a go at winning."

That might be OK for entertaining but lightweight clubs in the lower leagues. But we need to see us where we want to be in the table - at the top. Entertaining wins may add to that hope, but above all we want wins; we'll accept a below-par performance if we nick a win. The below-par bit may make us worry about future matches a bit, but a win is a win. Not dominating a match may make us wonder about how we could perform in a higher division, rightly so; arriving in the PL needing a further rebuild is not a good idea. But at this point in time we have time to improve, and any win helps, or should do.

Just a bit of quality is a Bruce phrase. We need quality, period.

The Fear

A Wise Man (once sat next to him)
Yes, agreed McParland. I think as a first port of call I'd not mind a bit of entertainment, but a club this size really should offer that and some chance of competing !


Vital Football Hero
Lerner has set the club back 20 years with his negligence and aloof antics plus very poor business accumen and terrible managerial appointments.

The Fear

A Wise Man (once sat next to him)
I have to disagree. The club was on it's knees when he came, it was already done and dusted. Worst thing he did was give us hope for a while before it went tits up.

The Fear

A Wise Man (once sat next to him)
We were on our way down and we were very far from financially stable mate, Randy was too kind when he came in not giving a kicking as to what a mess the club were in. The protests were done for good reason back then. Even the overdraft facilities were being withdrawn, he'd lost control. It was a mess.
You forgot the word 'growing' when talking about the OD JF.

Can't disagree with terrible appointments and other bits though, but it's not like appointments since have been spectacular either sadly even though the money has clearly been spent.

Just so much wasted for so long on so little talent.


Vital Football Hero
I don't recall £50m and above losses per annum prior to Lerner arriving.
Yes it wasn't great but the scale of the problem has grown exponentially since Doug sold up .
No you wouldn't, because those losses were owed to Lerner, under Doug he never put a penny in so we owed no debt to him other than him being the first chairman to take a wage.

What we owed in debt were to those nice people in banks.

So In reality no it hasn't, we owe Xia now, not a third party entity that can call the debt in in the same way as Xia can cut the debt as Randy did on a number of occasions taking the loss themselves as opposed to the club.

I wasn't seeing HSBC (from memory) doing that under Doug, the enjoyed increasing the overdraft and charging interest whilst Doug too his wage and the benefits of floatation and then share sale.

A great return (stands to be corrected as I know I'm wrong here) on an investment of £25 or 85k initially? = £60+plus million back.

A loss also isn't a debt dude but I've probably not explained myself well.


Vital Football Hero
Don't be fooled by Lerner writing off debt when he countered that with zero funding resulting in relegation and ultimately the club sold on the cheap


Vital 1st Team Regular
OK Garde had nothing. Under Lambert Randy was putting in funds for transfers each year, figure of £20m comes to mind but I might be wrong. That was on top of the losses Randy was covering. Randy's biggest mistake was not putting in a CEO who understood running football clubs. The money he invested in Villa Park and Bodymoor does us good today. Can criticise Randy for lots of things, not putting money in isn't one of them. Often wondered what would have happened if he'd put Nicola Cortese in charge after he'd left Southampton.

DoL had nothing to spend in his final year, and not much before; no wonder he looked unhappy. Doug had locked the money box and thrown the key away.

MON has roughly £25mil over revenue ie Randy's pocket from memory, Lambert had £20-25 on same basis.

Plenty of mistakes along the way but as you say the major one was when he lost interest and he knew he was causing more harm than good, instead of going for a 'real' CEO we ended up with .... careful Mike .... trumped up marketing executive.

And that's when the floor fell out truly and that does fall on Randy's head.
Even Sherwood had roughly budget savings and sales (Garde didn't get that other than lies) but to this day he's adamant he didn't sign players he'd been chasing for years but that list still changes everytime he speaks or they perform well and he wants to look good.


Vital 1st Team Regular
It's silly to say we dont have lofty expectations that belies what is said on these pages, in every thread and after every match win/loss or draw.

A lot claim to just want good football and they dont just want that, good football is a start for most of us on this forum. I would say there is maybe tempered patience from 50% of people on this forum. 20% who expect us to go up no matter what and a good 30% who flip between the two regularly myself included. I can live with the 80% its the 20% that frustrates as they lack critical thinking.

As my friend said today (a non-villa guy) Bruce is doing the quick fix he hasnt built a coherent team. I agree with him because to build a good solid and balanced side you probably need to take over a stable team on and off the pitch with the fans behind them and spend at least a season building and evolving.

Bruce is short on time and took over a club in meltdown so he basically erased 50% of the squad brought in another load of players and some old faithfuls and said lets see what we can do.

So with that in mind I am terribly interested to see where our expectations lie at the end of the year no matter the outcome.
So with that in mind I am terribly interested to see where our expectations lie at the end of the year no matter the outcome.
Honestly for me but I'm more cynical when knackered.

Whether I continue to give a fuck when it comes to the money, the politics, the corruption etc.

I think I can spend the rest of my days being a frustrated but entertained fan just watching video reviews of Saunders/Barton, 1957, GT, Atkinson, Little, JG and MON's first year before he thought he was SirAlex.