After Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner added his views to the statement announcing the appointment of Rémi Garde, it was refreshing to see the often distant chairman flying into Birmingham to visit his new Villa manager and also the players.
Lerner has in the past admitted his heart wasn’t in Villa anymore and has put up the club for sale, and then last May stated in an interview with The Times, that if he failed to buy a suitable buyer, he would resign as chairman and get someone else to direct Villa’s future.
The confusion at the top of the Villa pyramid certainly hasn’t helped the direction of the club and Tom Fox has since grabbed the opportunity of restructuring the club for the modern era with both hands. The jury is still very much out on his progress. It obviously isn’t an overnight job, but to relegate Aston Villa after being at the club for two-years would be deemed an absolute failure.
Garde, the man with both Fox and Lerner’s fates in his hands now, when asked about Lerner, seemed to suggest Lerner is giving Villa his focus, now that the alarm bells of potential relegation are ringing in the chairman’s ears.
“I THINK THE CLUB WILL BE BEHIND ME AND THE OWNER PARTICULARLY” – GARDE ON THE JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW
Here’s the Lerner-centric questions from Garde’s first proper press day…
What has Randy Lerner said to you?
“A lot of things. Since I met him we have exchanged a lot of views and ideas. He came this week and had a chat with the players. It was important for them to hear from the owner.
“He’s the man who runs this club and loves this club. I can tell you that. I have been very impressed by the way he loves this football club. This is why he convinced me to do better with this team.”
He convinced Tim Sherwood, too. What are you going to do better?
“I don’t know. Each manager has his own point of view on the best way to win a game or not to lose. There’s not only one solution. Now the team has lost so many games. They have to change something. What happened before is not my problem. We have to change. I’ve got some ideas. Maybe it works, maybe it won’t (sic). I’ve got some strong beliefs but I’ve no certainties. People who have certainties I’m not too sure about.
Have you had January transfer window conversations with Randy Lerner?
Yes, we had this kind of discussion, for the moment this is not the priortity but we spoke about that, of course. I can’t tell you exactly what we have said altogether, because it was a private conversation. But I’m not silly, I know that in January it’s a transfer window. Until then I will have the time to evaluate the team, the players. Not only that we have the time to win games. In January we will have played more than 10 games. I will see if we need something. I think the club will be behind me and the owner particularly.
You’ve spoken about how Randy Lerner has sold you his long term vision about the future, but we understand and he’s admitted previously that he’s trying to sell the club so how does that fit in?
You have to ask the owner exactly about this question, I can’t tell you the private conversation we had, but he never appeared to me as a person who wanted to sell the club. He loves the club which is very different. He loves the club.
I was very impressed the way this man was speaking about Villa, to be honest it gave me the belief as well. I was surprised to be fair. I was surprised to see how much he loved this club. He gave me the envy, he made me want to work with him. I can’t speak in the name of Mr Randy Lerner.
I’ve met him for the first time a few days ago, so I won’t say anything else. I’m just happy to work with him. I haven’t seen a man who doesn’t love this football club, who doesn’t care. It was the opposite. It was ok for me.
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