By Stefan Dagher
Zapsportz, forever keen to keep our fingers on the pulse of what the fans are thinking, has taken on a new team of young, vibrant writers who will be offering their thoughts on the issues of the day on a regular basis. They are all up-and-coming journalists with valuable opinions to impart and we will be rating their articles on a daily basis to see who comes out top of the table at the end of the month – with the prize of meeting and interviewing Zapsportz team leader and football legend Glenn Hoddle up for grabs. Here’s Stefan’s contribution…
It’s just a question of weeks now before Aston Villa are officially relegated. After losing their 18th game of the season against Manchester City (their most defeats ever in a season), Villa’s misery just goes on…and on.
But where has it all gone wrong for Aston Villa who only four years ago were challenging for Champions League football?
Since the departure of Martin O’Neil in 2010, it looks like there has never been the right man for job at Villa. They have brought in too many people who had little experience of the industry.
The club replaced their chairman (Doug Ellis) with the inexperienced Randy Lerner who doesn’t get football at all.
They replaced their Chief Executive (Paul Faulkner) with an inexperienced CEO (Tom Fox) who had only had a short spell at Arsenal and then replaced an inexperienced manager (Tim Sherwood) with another manager who had never managed an English team (Remi Garde).
Those are the series of woeful appointments by the club. But arguably what went most wrong is their transfer policy. Patrick Riley (head of transfer recruitment) is for most people the man to blame in this decline as he is the one who chooses what players to buy.
Club recruitment has simply not been good enough. Villa bought a lot of young players from lower or foreign leagues and very few of them stand out. In the last three years it can be argued that only two or three players adapted well to the Premier League.
The Villa fans are fed up of this situation and want their old club back, the one which had big ambitions. The fans decided to protest with a 74th minute walkout at three home games, hoping that it will have an impact.
With the club almost certain to play Championship football next season, the question now is will Villa ever manage to return to the top flight?