[quote_center]’Remember Robert Duverne? The Grim Reaper of Bodymoor Heath?'[/quote_center]

38 Point Men

The tenure of Alex McLeish as Aston Villa boss is often best forgotten, although to be fair to him, without him, My Old Man Said would have never have started (long story). McLeish’s end of season haul of 38 points as Villa boss was ultimately his downfall. Basically, if a Villa manager drops below the 40 point mark, the axe should drop.

The funny thing was though, we all thought it was a one-off, Paul Lambert walked through the door and thoughts turned to future greener pastures, but the next Scotsman up to tackle the Villa job, registered an unimpressive 41 points in his first season and followed it up with 38 points too. Interestingly though, instead of getting the boot ala his predecessor, Lambert, four games into the next season, got a brand-spanking new contract.

One of the mitigating factors that is always thrown up for Lambert’s failure is the amount of injuries his team had. Of course, we all know about Ron Vlaar being a repeat offender, then there was long-term blows for Jores Okore and Libor Kozak and crucially Christian Benteke. But in reality, how does his injury count compare to other Villa managers in the past five seasons?

Pre My Old Man Said, I always remember the amount of injuries Gerrard Houlier’s Villa team picked up in training seemed farcical. Remember Robert Duverne? Rather than being this fitness guru that had worked under Houllier at Lyon and for the French Football Federation, at Villa, he was more like the Grim Reaper of Bodymoor Heath. His double fitness sessions seemed to cripple the first team squad at times, and his methods were viewed with increasing suspicion.

Surprisingly from the table below, it is McLeish’s 2011/12 that serves up the most player injuries when compared to Lambert’s first two seasons, Houllier’s 2010/11 season and Martin O’Neill’s final season.

 

villa injuries under managers

 

McLeish suffered a total of 45 injuries, including the blow of having Darren Bent out for half of a season. Lambert’s biggest tally of 32, doesn’t come close. Even Houllier’s injury-plagued reign falls behind it, and it’s O’Neill’s final season that comes in at number two.

 

LAX-bound Keane says bye to Darren Bent, who also won't play for Villa for the rest of the season.
LAX-bound Keane says bye to Darren Bent, who also won’t play for Villa for the rest of the season.

 

Okay, we’re simply dealing with purely the numbers here and not evaluating if they were key players or not, but all of the Villa managers lost key men along the way of their respective seasons. You could also point the finger at a manager’s training methods or buying ill-plagued players for being responsible for mounting injuries, so it’s not totally a matter of a manager having bad luck.

Still, the notion of Lambert having a tough ride with injuries is something of a myth when you compare the injury numbers under his reign to his immediate predecessors. UTV

See the MOMS article on the most injured and longest injured Villa player of the past five seasons

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Ah yes the magic of numbers which are almost as worthless as some of the Statistics that some people like to quote .
    They are a bit like when somebody conducts a survey , hands out 100 forms , gets 20 back all supporting the concept for change that the survey wants , and the result is declared as being 100% in favour when in fact it’s only 20 % in favour and the the other 80% thought the survey & what it was about was a total waste of time so had not bothered to return the forms . . And the later assumption has be proven in some cases by surveys conducted on why the forms had not been returned
    But what do surveys have to do with numbers of injuries ? simply that numbers do not always show how the injuries can affect (limit) a managers ability to select a match wining team or match day squad

    • The magic of numbers? If a striker scores 20 goals in a season, he’s the kind of striker you want. If a striker scores two goals in a season having played in most of the games, he’s probably a striker you don’t want.

      Likewise, a high number of injuries, suggests there was a lot of injuries!

      Colin, you’re once again trying to bend the law of common sense!

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