The overall failure of Randy Lerner and his board is the root to the recent compromising of Aston Villa Football Club. There’s been mismanagement on the financial side from the start (initial speculative spend with no long-term strategy in place), a disrespect of Villa supporters and tradition with poorly considered decisions (McLeish appointment), poor communication (the last we heard, the ‘Shunammite’ was off to dwell among his own) and a real lack of an overall footballing infrastructure and leadership at the club.
Randy Lerner and his recent Villa CEO’s (Tom Fox and Paul Faulkner before him) are not ‘football men’ with genuine English football industry knowledge, so why haven’t they employed someone or created a set up at the club to tackle more specifically the football side, while they get on with the commercial side of things?
Well, it looks like the time is coming soon…
Fox Restructure – Aston Villa Director of Football?
To follow appointments at Academy management level, there is talk coming out from the corridors of B6, that MOMS has heard from a couple of sources, that there is a ‘Director of Football’ type figure incoming at Villa soon. Someone you’d think would assist the Villa boss in issues such as player recruitment and planning, thus allowing the Villa manager to concentrate on coaching and running his first team.
We’ll find out soon enough if it is to happens (remember MOMS doesn’t do rumours), but it’s just what Villa needs considering the aforementioned make-up of the current Villa board and the fact that there isn’t even an assistant manager currently employed at the club.
Such a role would hopefully also help Villa avoid missing out on transfer targets, like they have done in the past couple of seasons, improve scouting and also not let key player contracts like Vlaar and Delph’s slip to the point where the club face losing key assets for nothing.
Totalitarian Football Rule
Presently, the current Villa boss Paul Lambert has a complete monopoly on the football side of things at the club. It’s not a healthy position for any club to have its footballing direction governed by one man, especially if it’s not working out or showing little sign of progress. Compare Villa to Swansea, where the Swans maintain its underlining footballing ethos despite changes in management.
Forgetting Lambert’s ill-advised new four-year contract for one moment, the club would also be currently hesitant in sacking Lambert, as there isn’t even a number two employed to take over the reigns to ensure minimal interruption in the short-term while a replacement was sought.
Lambert currently has full backing from Lerner and Fox, as they feel their restructuring of the football side of things at Villa Park would help Lambert reach the potential only they seem to see in him.
Perhaps it’s too little too late.
Villa supporters increasingly feel that the current Villa boss is more likely to lead the team to relegation than Europe. Add to that further poor performances and results, and increased supporter pressure may create difficulties for the board’s latest phase of their Lambert plan.
Whether Fox can clean-up the infrastructure at the club in time to help Villa avoid the drop remains to be seen. A relegation battle certainly looms and teams with little goal threat are never the favourites to escape it.
Premier League survival, while it shouldn’t even be a question posed for a club like Villa, remains even more essential this season for Lerner, as failure would create a nightmare for him.
Lambert’s Many Lives
Most supporters mainly care what happens on match days and the buck for that lies with Lambert. If this supposed new role happens at Villa soon, then it will be presented to supporters in a way to give Lambert yet another life (he’s got more than a cat, it would seem). Whether supporters buy into it, the face of further poor performances and results and the slow burn anger of what has gone on the previous five seasons, remains to be seen.
Certainly, with the next three tough league games (Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea) and a very tricky FA Cup tie, supporter fervour against Lambert may increase further.
Yes, Lambert needs help to manage (and a couple of players in the January window to improve the first XI), but at the same time, many supporters feel now that it’s Lambert that needs to leave to ultimately help the club.
Moving forward, the next month could be very pivotal indeed to the immediate fortunes of the club.
Follow MOMS on Facebook here