A vocal minority of Villa fans did not want McLeish, who used to manage bitter rivals Birmingham City, in the first place and they got their wish as today he was terminated “with immediate effect” because “the club has been disappointed with this season’s results, performances and the general message these have sent to our fans.”
Disappointing is putting it mildly. Villa one just seven games all season and finished just two points clear of the bottom three.
Vila Chairman Randy Lerner told the club’s official website:
“We need to be clear and candid with ourselves and with supporters about what we have lacked in recent years.
“Compelling play and results that instil a sense of confidence that Villa is on the right track have been plainly absent.
“The most immediate action that we can take is to look carefully at our options in terms of bringing in a new manager who sees the club’s potential and embraces our collective expectations.”
It has been a bit of a revolving door for managers at Villa Park since Martin O’Neill left a couple of years ago.
Villa lost £54m during the 2010-11 season despite the sales of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing. McLeish was charged with slashing the Villa wage bill which he described as “astronomical”, but despite a good group of young talent, Villa struggle for any sort of consistency this season.
Injuries did not help McLeish as Villa’s three best players, Darren Bent, Richard Dunne and skipper Stiliyan Petrov all missed big parts of the season due to injuries.
Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner Faulkner said:
“We’d like to thank Alex for his hard work and efforts throughout this tough season.
“We are mindful of the club’s need to prepare thoroughly for the new campaign and for the new manager to be able to begin working with the board so that he is quickly immersed in these preparations and also in the long-term objectives of the club.
“Our focus now will be driven by these imperatives and we will update when appropriate.”
Who do you think will be the next Aston Villa manager?