McLeish- I don’t condone but can understand


February 1, 2013 by Made In Brum

As we play Nottingham Forest on Saturday, for the eagerly awaited return of Mr McLeish, I’d like to talk a little bit about the circumstances of his departure for our arch enemies Aston Villa. I can completely understand why he’s hated for doing so, and as a biased Blues fan I loved watching Villa struggling near the bottom for a season, thankfully Paul Lambert has continued his good work.

However – and I’m prepared to come under some criticism from fellow Blues fans for writing this – I’d like to question: from an entirely neutral viewpoint, did McLeish do the right thing in moving to Villa at the time?

Of course I was horrified when I found out he’d left. He’d already signed 4 players for us that summer, including Chris Burke and Marlon King, so he’d very much prepared us for an attempt at a promotion push in the Championship.

Then Villa came calling for him as Gerard Houllier had been taken ill, and they’d decided not to stick with Gary McAllister, who was made interim manager towards the end of that season. Now, if I was in those circumstances, I would definitely have rejected the offer to go to Villa.

Firstly, having won the Carling Cup with Blues, I’d want to, in a sense re-emphasize the glory of doing so by getting the club back into the Premiership and establishing us there. Although it was a day I’ll never forget, relegation certainly sobered the experience of winning the cup and I’d want to put that right. 

Also, the Villa fans didn’t want him, which you can understand. It’s a very strange decision from the board to go all out for a manager who has recently relegated their rivals by playing defensive, it has to be said: boring football. If they could have persuaded Roberto Martinez to come, that would have been a much better choice, and would have got more out of their talented attacking players like Bent, Agbonlahor and N’Zogbia.

However, it was hardly McLeish’s fault that Villa came in for him. He must have known the perilous financial situation Blues were in under Carson Yeung. So, from his point of view, the choice was: Would you rather manage a club with no money, a questionable owner in charge, having to sell it’s best players and potentially facing a decline in English football. Alternatively, would you rather manage a club that finished 9th in the Premiership last season, and one that can pay you a lot more money?

If Aston Villa weren’t our arch-rivals, it would have been a complete no-brainer. I’m not saying here that the fact that Villa were our rivals shouldn’t have been a factor at all in his decision, but if he was able to put that aside in his mind and value ambition over loyalty, then I can begin to understand why that was the decision he made.

From his point of view, all he needed was a few good results at the start of his career at Villa and all of their fans would have been swayed. He ended up completely failing with them and bored Villa fans to tears, which no-one will be happier than me about – whilst we got to watch some fantastic entertaining football in Europe for a year under Hughton – and I sincerely hope his career crashes and burns at Nottingham Forest.

I think he’s a boring, negative manager and to leave your club for your local rivals is an immoral decision. However, you have to look at football as a whole and accept that morality has very little place in it. If you kid yourself that most players/managers are going to be loyal to the club they love when a better offer comes in, football will invariably disappoint you.

By Gabriel Sutton (_@thescore)


15 thoughts on “McLeish- I don’t condone but can understand

  1. avfc says:

    As a Villa fan I completely agree. I hope he leaves Forest soon before destroying them though.

    If there’s one thing that can unify Villa/Blues fans it’s McLeish.

  2. Dazzavilla says:

    LOL!!!!!!! Yes he left for villa but in football u don’t do that!! He’s got a top job in the championship and somehow always lands on is feet ” it’s a pity villa won’t play u next season as u can’t go down twice (L1).

    UTV. N KRD

    Carson u legend !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh N


  3. Ian Cameron says:

    Interesting from Dazzavilla….Vilers continually claim to be a Birmingham club, yet typically Dazza ends with SOTC…ie Shit on the city. The city of Birmingham? He is similar to thousands of Arsetown Village supporters who seem to hate Birmingham. Perhaps they should go back to Stafford or wherever they came from. KRO SOTV

  4. Tony says:

    Before ginger left we had already decided not to renew our season tickets as i couldn’t watch another season of negative drab football.Then for him to leave and we got compensation was brilliant,straight up the blues to renew 4 tickets and sit in the pub laughing at the prospect of ginger doing to the villa what he did to us…So i old no malice him going to the vile just relief he left us.Saying that though tomorrow should have a better turn out and atmosphere too abuse him if nothing else and lets hope we finally get back to back wins…sotv

    • Made In Brum says:

      Maybe not the big crowd. I’ve been told 15-16,000…

      • chrisj says:

        not surprised when the club are trying to rip off their own fans at £30 even in the Tilton.
        they are milking the fact Mclies is coming back, but missing the point that a decent price would have attracted more people for the price and Mclies, which in turn would have helped the team in front of 20000 plus

  5. KINGY says:

    “Would you rather manage a club with no money, a questionable owner in charge, having to sell it’s best players and potentially facing a decline in English football”. This is how you above have described Blues…….Sounds just like The Vile to me….KRO

  6. Brummie jimmy says:

    Big Eck gave me the greatest day of football I’ll ever have.

    He was naive thinking the villa supporters would accept him though and never had a chance really – but had more of a chance then Lambert

    I’ll cheer and clap him – then join in with the rest.

  7. Sean Flanagan says:

    He gave us the greatest day in the clubs history. Everything else is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned

  8. Bromsgrove Blue says:

    He had the chance to be and immortal hero for the day at Wembely. He got us relegated and we would have stuck by him. It was like your missus running off with your next door neighbour in the house opposite – rubbing salt into your wounds. He knows what to expect tomorrow … and who can blame anyone. Show no mercy.

  9. Texas Pete says:

    I didnt care about boring football when we ended 9th in the Prem nor after the cup final.With his knowledge of thevteam and club I think we would be in a better position right now.
    Does anyone know……Was there or was there not a report that AV approached Mcg just before or just after the league cup final? There’s a lot of implication of a pre emptive Mcg exit set up if that was true.

  10. les says:

    love this and agree IMMORAL.
    sums up mcleish and will never be forgiven.
    cant wait for 2.55 today but more importantly 3 pts please.k.r.o

  11. Andy says:

    Would he have left Rangers for Celtic? Enough said. He destroyed his legacy as a Blues Legend with that decision. The Viler’s didn’t want him either and he was on a losing wicket before he started. Any other club but A rival and he would have been forgiven. It just amazes me how he got another job at Forest. They sacked a decent manager for him! These owners are clueless when it comes to the fans sensibilities and McJudas is quite happy trampling over them as well.

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