How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

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How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

Post by Sandie on Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:32 am

As the press have started to turn on Lerner we've become the 'long suffering Aston Villa fans'. This has begged a question in my mind. Are we destined to remain a leitmotif in articles who have to sit and wait powerlessly and hope that whatever Randy does works out? Or can we do something to influence an improvement for our club?

I think it goes without saying that whatever manager comes in deserves our total support as anything else would be counter productive. Whoever that is will be our best hope of staying in this division from the situation we're in so they need our support. But what about Lerner or those below him? Time to get the bedsheets out? Would that achieve something or be counter-productive as well? Would they even care how we feel?

I feel that as a fanbase we've become worn down and disenfranchised? Can that change?
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Re: How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

Post by villabromsgrove on Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:35 pm

I think the fans are powerless in as much as Lerner clearly wanted to sell and get rid of his Villa millstone.

Something happened during the summer at about the time Almstadt joined us. Was it 'Svengali' Fox exerting his influence over Randy as he did the previous summer? Whatever the reason RL decided to remove the club from the market. I suspect the reason was that Fox convinced Lerner that the new whiz kid Hendrik, could make RL profit out of foreign moneyball purchases, and Randy's eyes glazed over at the thought of making a profit out of AVFC for once.

For the third time in the last couple of years Randy's hopes have been dashed, and he must now be desperate to cut his Villa ties once and for all. It also makes any fan action meaningless due to the fact that Lerner and the fans want the same thing .... Lerner out.

The trouble is that he is no longer in a position to make even the most basic (sensible) decision about  problems at Villa. He has to leave it to his two (trusted?) lieutenants. Fox and Almstadt are both paid very good salaries which means they have a vested interest in making their system work. That also means that they would prefer a head coach rather than a manager because they can't financially make a U turn after 52.5 million spent on their moneyball system, and they have to keep a tight control themselves rather than handing responsibility over to a 'Manager'.

To get back to the reason for this thread, I don't think fans can influence what's happening in any way, shape or form.
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Re: How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

Post by Sandie on Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:35 pm

villabromsgrove wrote:To get back to the reason for this thread, I don't think fans can influence what's happening in any way, shape or form.

Is what I suspect but didn't want to say. Was hoping someone could come up with a wizard idea of something that could be done rather than resignation to our fate. Protests are pointless and counter-productive, we make a fraction of revenue compared to what comes in from TV and even player sales so there's no point turning off those taps.

I look at Newcastle and their fans have always been protesting and putting banners up about Ashley and it hasn't really got them anywhere. That club hasn't even been put up for sale unlike us. There's lots of people out there going 'Randy, sell the club you git' but he's tried and, to an extent, failed at that. I remember Collymore saying in a while back that he should sell up, even if it was for just for £1! But that's just not practical. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall during the summer. There's been stories of Randy umming and ahhing over a sale (because he was sold this Moneyball strategy?) and I think everything is shrouded in uncertainty. Are we still for sale? Has anybody expressed an interest? But those are questions for other threads.

So we're a club with an uncertain future, in a perilous position in the league and the people who care most can't do anything. Horrible feeling isn't it? Anyone disagree?
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Re: How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

Post by GadgetMan on Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:40 pm

Just a small technicality, We are STILL for sale. Merrill Lynch/BOA are still being paid to attract bidders,We just didn't get the 'right' offer, whatever the reasons for that. Could RL be tempted to cut his losses before the end of the season? possibly, will someone risk buying us with relegation a big possibility? Probably not.

I read a business article the other day that highlighted how much the chinese seem to like investing in West Midlands businesses, so if anyone is to buy us, I think it may be from China.

I do think Fox was in RL's ear as you say VB, he was possibly sold a dream of recouping some more cash and to massage his ego, I'm convinced RL wants to leave on a slightly more successful note.

So, to solve our problems, we need a new owner, it's that simple for me. We need new money, new ideas, new investment and an owner that is genuinely INTERESTED in us.

To fit in with the thread, no I don't think there is anything us fans can do either. We won't all stay away, just won't happen. We won't get enough funds for a cash buyout. Protests will achieve nothing. The Trust need to be more vocal and more assertive in asking questions like "Where's the chairman you promised" but with an absent owner, we really can't do an awful lot sadly.
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Re: How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

Post by villabromsgrove on Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:45 pm

Six seasons ago Villa fans would not have stood for the rubbish that we're currently enduring. The failings of one man, and his flawed attempts at finding the right people to run AVFC, have made us accept the inevitable fact that nothing good will happen during Lerner's stumbling ownership.

If we weren't bound to Villa by our love for the club, I would suggest that we all walk away until Lerner is history.
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Re: How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

Post by Sandie on Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:51 pm

GadgetMan wrote:The Trust need to be more vocal and more assertive in asking questions like "Where's the chairman you promised" but with an absent owner, we really can't do an awful lot sadly.

I was thinking about the trust, one thing fans can do is strengthen the trust. More members means more of a mandate for them to speak out. I thought the statement on Sherwood was well worded and to the point. Of course, even a stronger trust would be limited in what it could achieve. Fox and Lerner don't have to even listen to anything they say.
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Re: How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

Post by GadgetMan on Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:11 pm

Sandie wrote:
GadgetMan wrote:The Trust need to be more vocal and more assertive in asking questions like "Where's the chairman you promised" but with an absent owner, we really can't do an awful lot sadly.

I was thinking about the trust, one thing fans can do is strengthen the trust. More members means more of a mandate for them to speak out. I thought the statement on Sherwood was well worded and to the point. Of course, even a stronger trust would be limited in what it could achieve. Fox and Lerner don't have to even listen to anything they say.

Sure, I've been banging on about the trust on both my twitter feed and our one. More member equal more credibility and a louder voice for sure. Whether they listen is another matter, but having one large official organisation making noise and holding them to account will certainly help, it's no bad thing. Free to become a member too, or £5 for paid membership which enables you to vote and attend the AGM.

I may as well mention it here again, this site is an affiliate of the Trust and believe in the work and aims they have.
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Re: How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

Post by South London Villan on Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:24 pm

I think the stark abyss facing Randy at the moment will result in him going to the other members of the family trust and pleading with them to allow him to invest in the club to avoid, what looks now to be the inevitable "R" word, in order to save the loss of TV revenue that will come.

He backed Houllier in purchasing Bent from Sunderland when we were struggling then and I would be surprised if any new manager coming in would not ask for significant investment in the goal scoring and defensive departments.

Whether he can get his mother to allow this is yet to be seen, but money talks and the stark reality of the significant loss on their investment will be persuasive, I am sure.

This then leads us to the next problem to solve, who do you allow to spend that money. I think that the player acquisution team have his backing, so I doubt he will change personnel in that department, which then leads us to who do they appoint to manage their acquisitions, and right now that would appear to be Garde irrespective of contrary reports.

If it is Garde will he reccommend further acquisitions from the French leagues or, as Garde is so knowledgable and reports most weeks on the PL, will he reccommend acquiring proven PL talent.

On both points who is available and who would come? Joel Campbell (Arsenal connection) did not impress against Sheff Wed, Loic Remy (French connection) expensive wages & European football.
Batshuayi from Marseille? young Belgian goalscorer.
Kahazri top of the assists table for Ligue 1.

Austin? Bony? Ulloa? could we attract them with the promise of regular first team football?

That is before we tackle the defence.



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Re: How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

Post by Sandie on Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:46 pm

South London Villan wrote:This then leads us to the next problem to solve, who do you allow to spend that money. I think that the player acquisution team have his backing, so I doubt he will change personnel in that department, which then leads us to who do they appoint to manage their acquisitions, and right now that would appear to be Garde irrespective of contrary reports.

If it is Garde will he reccommend further acquisitions from the French leagues or, as Garde is so knowledgable and reports most weeks on the PL, will he reccommend acquiring proven PL talent.

I think the important thing here is that the manager and recruitment team work much more closely together than in the summer. There needs to be a degree of genuine co-decision so that the manager is happy with the players and they work in his system. One of Sherwood's excuses was that he got a lot of players he didn't really know coming in. I get the feeling that it was the guys going to Sherwood and presenting a name and him replying 'Who?' then after the quickest of introductions going 'Okay then'.
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Re: How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

Post by GadgetMan on Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:57 pm

Sandie wrote:
South London Villan wrote:This then leads us to the next problem to solve, who do you allow to spend that money. I think that the player acquisution team have his backing, so I doubt he will change personnel in that department, which then leads us to who do they appoint to manage their acquisitions, and right now that would appear to be Garde irrespective of contrary reports.

If it is Garde will he reccommend further acquisitions from the French leagues or, as Garde is so knowledgable and reports most weeks on the PL, will he reccommend acquiring proven PL talent.

I think the important thing here is that the manager and recruitment team work much more closely together than in the summer. There needs to be a degree of genuine co-decision so that the manager is happy with the players and they work in his system. One of Sherwood's excuses was that he got a lot of players he didn't really know coming in. I get the feeling that it was the guys going to Sherwood and presenting a name and him replying 'Who?' then after the quickest of introductions going 'Okay then'.

My biggest gripe with this whole recruitment 'problem' was it only became one when we we weren't winning and the finger was pointed at Sherwood. He didn't say anything at the beginning and for someone so damn vocal, I'm surprised. Could it be that he's made all this sound a lot more disjointed than it actually was to make himself look less of a tit? Just a theory.
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Re: How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

Post by Sandie on Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:05 pm

I think that too. I'm sure he wasn't particularly vehemently against any of the signings. If he did, then surely he'd have resigned there and then? I bet he gave some degree of approval to all of them. Still, there needs to be co-decision and agreement that's more than tacit.
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Re: How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

Post by South London Villan on Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:31 pm

Definitely. Sherwood gave the impression that he knew all the players that were brought in as he had been tracking them, tried to sign them at his time at Spurs.

As with everyone else, there is ability in the players brought in that should be sufficient for us to be outside the bottom 3. the problem as I see it is how they were utilised.

With the contingent lost over the summer pundits forget that they were also in teams that under acheived at Aston Villa in previous seasons.

The team has struggled this year because of poor preparation and adaptability when the opposition change tactics and formation. We do not press enough when we don't have the ball and the space that lack of pressing creates puts more pressure on the defence who are pulled out of position.

We are too predictable and have been for too long. I look at the squads of Leicester, Stoke, Palace, Albion, Sunderland, Watford, and the others around us and cannot beleive that we are where we are. The difference with Palace, Stoke, Albion and Leicester are that they are so well drilled and organised. Pulis against us stood on the side lines orchestrating everything.

We have lost most games by an odd goal but those goals have been borne out of poor positional play or individual errors.

The stats from last night show we can get forward and attack but there is no cutting edge and lack of quality in the final third.

Hutton's positional awareness is reminiscent of Dunne and Collins and the amount of own goals we conceded then because of ricochets off their strething legs and bodies.

The frustration with Villa is that these issues that cost us should be avoided by better preparation at Bodymoor Heath.

Either that or my assessment of what we have compared to the other teams in this division is way out.

I want to see Amavi, Okore, Richards, Grealish, Gil, Traore, Sinclair, Guestede, Gana, Sanchez utilised, they don't necessarily have start, especially those in the midfield, but better utilised.

When we do go on the front foot and play with freedom, like Ayew did against Blues, like Grealish is capable of, like Traore has shown us glimpses, like Sinclair has shown us glimpses of we have created and scored. It don't take a genius to work out that if you succeed in a passage of play, do it again.

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Re: How do WE solve a problem like Aston Villa?

Post by Sandie on Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:45 pm

Very good post, I agree totally.

Even as things stand, I think we have the ability to improve a great deal under a manager who knows what he's doing. The January window can be used to bring in the three additions we need most urgently which are a striker, goal keeper and a right back. Two of those I felt we needed in the summer and the other a lot of people felt we needed (at that point I was still in favour of keeping Guzan) which would actually leave us with a decent squad, IMO.
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