Desirable Villa In Central Birmingham
No,this isn’t a paid for comment by a site “partner” like PurpleBricks or Zoopla,that will never happen on here. It’s also a few words I never thought I’d write-desirable Villa in Birmingham,shooorly shum mishtake,hic. Still,it was good enough for Martin O’Neill fifteen years ago,although admittedly he only lived down the M40 in Wycombe.
His reward for taking perennial relegation candidates to the top six in three successive seasons was dissent from the stands and eventually the sack. Just no pleasing some people,eh?
Now,I’m the first to admit that I would rather be writing an article about Celtic on these pages,but it is international fortnight-and a surprisingly quiet one on Timternet. Indeed,the only thing remotely Celtic-oriented which I could write about,and that is tenuous,is the eventual unveiling of Eddie Howe at Newcastle.
I wish him well. I certainly won’t suggest that we dodged a bullet when he declined our offer six months ago. But I’m very happy with the progress we have shown under AP since the beginning of July,so Newcastle’s gain can hardly be considered our loss.
So back to the Villa in Birmingham. This is their third season back in the EPL,and they escaped relegation in their first season by the skin of their teeth. Ironically at the expense of Bournemouth,which led to the resignation of Howe in the first place. Last year,they definitely played at a level above their station,finishing eleventh in the league-and perhaps unwittingly fuelled the flames for the eventual dismissal of lifelong Villain Dean Smith. Speculative,of course,but perhaps a finish around 14th place last season would have kept the fans happy and also prevented their misplaced sense of entitlement this season which led to the board sacking a very good manager. We will never know.
But back at Newcastle,where the papers still proclaim them as “the richest club in the world” I wonder whether Mike Ashley cast some envious glances down the A1(M) towards Stratford in East London? Having only just sold Newcastle lock stock and barrel-and debt free!-to the Saudis for £300m,news reached us yesterday that the West Ham porn barons have managed to screw some Eastern European for around £200m in exchange for 27% of that debt-laden club. Hmmm,I wonder if they saw him coming?!!
£800m plus debt buys you West Ham these days. Truly the lunatics have taken over the asylum in our beautiful game.
At this point,we don’t know whether the offer from Villa will be deemed suitable for Gerrard and his backroom team,so we don’t know whether or not his next opponents as a manager will be Hibs or Brighton. In fact,I very much doubt whether he himself will know which way he will jump. His place with the huns is already cemented in place-and I’m sure he will be buying a going away gift for the people who made that possible,like Beaton,Madden,McLean,Dallas et al-and I’m not sure that his stock will rise any higher even were he to win the title this season too.
Up here,the only way is down for him. And not just with the support but also with potential suitors down south.
Having said that,I don’t buy into the theory that he is getting out of Dodge because he is worried about the vast improvement this season at Celtic Park. He probably fancies a chance at The Champions League,for instance,and he won’t get that at Villa. He might even fancy spending some of the fabled £40m available-but let’s be honest,he wouldn’t see much of it. He will have more cash available to spend at Villa. In a league where £40m doesn’t go very far!
That Rangers have given him permission to talk means little,as there is a chance he would simply have resigned had they refused it. That he is holding those talks means little either,as Villa still have to sell him on the potential at their club,that he won’t be just the latest managerial statistic at a club where the ghost of Deadly Doug still seems to linger. But I think that there will be an agreement arrived at,and Gerrard and his backroom staff will be sitting in the dugout next Saturday,having milked the applause from The Holte End. Which leaves the Ibrox players wondering a few things,such as why the club has consistently denied them a move while waving their knickers at the first club to come calling for their manager. Or who will replace said manager.
The names being bandied about are the familiar failed-elsewhere types with a photo of them with a Rangers strip on as a lad. Alex Neil,McInnes,etc. I’ll throw another name into the mix-Steven Davies as player manager. But that is by the by. There were two big announcements yesterday from EPL clubs,at Newcastle and at West Ham. If a third from Villa is imminent,I think they will have got the thin end of that particular wedge. Good luck to them.
Above article by BMCUWP