Aston Villa, going forward or backwards?
This is probably the question on many Villa fans minds at the moment, as we are currently in the middle of a rather up and down season. Martin O’Neil‘s departure at the start of the season laid down the precedent. Then the will we, won’t we appoint Kevin MacDonald as MON’s successor didn’t help. Thankfully we didn’t choose MacDonald, not that I have anything against the guy, I just don’t believe he’s cut out to be a manager in the Premier League. Which led to the appointment of Gerard Houllier… Good or bad appointment? I can’t decide.
Firstly he hasn’t been in the job long enough for me to make a solid judgement. However, judging him on results thus far it has been a topsy turvy start. For example, we should have beaten both Chelsea and Manchester United, and only took a point out of both these games. Although, before the start of these games most Villa fans would have taken a draw. Houllier hasn’t been bad, there just appears to be too many draws currently. The only two disappointing results would have to be the 2-1 defeat to Stoke, and the 1-0 loss to Sunderland. This would tend to suggest Houllier is too cautious? Many Liverpool fans labelled him ‘boring’, I hope this is something that turns out to be untrue.
Many people should remember that Aston Villa aren’t a top four team, this is perhaps one of the problems with our fans. We demand a lot from a team that is currently going through a transitional period. We have youngsters like Marc Albrighton, Barry Bannan, Ciaran Clark and Nathan Delfouneso all coming through. Clearly these players are all talented, but they are young and will make mistakes. Villa fans need to be patient and let these players get the vital experience they need; as they could provide a solid foundation for the team in a few years.
Overall it will be interesting to see how much/ if any money Houllier has to spend in January. I would expect to see him bring in French players, as he has a vast amount of knowledge about French football. As long as these players are good enough to take the team forward I don’t have any issues with this either. The real answer to whether Houllier is a good or bad appointment will be based on the final league table. I believe the best we can realistically achieve is 7th, maybe 6th if we have a good run. It appears as though only time will tell if we are club going forwards or backwards.