Thursday, 8 December 2011

Will McLeish turn into a Turkey this Christmas?

It is fair to say that the summer appointment of Alex McLeish as Aston Villa manager was greeted as warmly by Villa fans, as the current surge of wintery weather is being greeted by drivers, farmers and the nation of Scotland. The appointment of a man who has twice taken Villa’s bitter City rivals down to the Championship was met with protests, radio station meltdowns and the biggest illustration of fan disgruntlement seen in many a year in the West Midlands: the cancellation of thousands of season tickets.

In McLeish, the board reckoned they had employed a man of pedigree. A former international manager, who had previously won his fair share of Old Firm rivalries against a certain Mr Martin O’Neill. His reign brought a period of renewed optimism in the Blue half of Glasgow and Champions League qualification. After the in-fighting and lack of direction that lived and breathed the Gerard Houllier era, Randy Lerner has staked his money and his reputation on a return to good times at Villa Park, through a man who similarly to Alex Ferguson, serves his football with more than a fair share of Scottish guts, grit and determination.