Villa cause problems for rivals again

07 June 2012 05:16
Aston Villa are now making the search for a new manager an annual event and in doing so are causing their near neighbours Birmingham City more than a few problems. Lambert, replaced by Hughton at Norwich

Since Martin O'Neill decided to call it a day on the eve of the 2010/11 season it has been virtually a revolving door at Villa Park leading to and from the manager's office. Gerard Houllier arrived a few weeks into that season but lasted less than a year after he suffered more heart problems.

That's when the fun and games started between the two clubs in Birmingham. Alex McLeish was Brum's manager at the end of that 2010/11 season but suddenly decided he was going to resign amidst speculation that Villa wanted him.

When I say Villa wanted him, I don't mean their supporters. They fought tooth and nail to keep him out of Villa Park, gave him little support when the inevitable happened and he was appointed, and that led to them having a difficult season where, at one point, they were even challenging the Agent and the biblical character down at the bottom of the league.

Meanwhile, Birmingham had done OK for themselves in appointing Chris Hughton. They didn't quite make it back to the Premier League but reached the play offs and everything seemed to be fine, that was until Villa decided enough was enough and sacked McLeish.

Now, lightening was never going to strike twice. Randy Lerner is a quick learner when it comes to the rivalry between the two clubs, so he was never going to consider Hughton. Instead he managed to do something we were close to doing 18 months ago and prised Paul Lambert away from Delia and Norwich.

Birmingham fans smiled; they'd got their own manager in place and had no worries. That was until Norwich came sniffing and snapped him up leaving them again searching for a new boss, all because Villa had decided on another change.

It's been a week of managerial changes in the Premier League that have been difficult to keep up with, the result of which means Birmingham are now currently the only Championship club without a manager.

I suppose the moral of the story is not to take your closest rival's manager. It simply doesn't work. And when he's are doing as well as our closest rival's manager is doing right now he's best left alone to get on with it.


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