People can say a lot of things but RL hasn't let us down yet and I believe he will continue to do what is best for Aston Villa even if it means selling the club (worse case scenario).
He backed MON financially and give us our best shot at reaching champions league even if that didn't quite work out as everyone hoped.
He appointed Houllier to try and get Villa playing better football as the counter attacking approach can only take you so far. Technically we improved (especially the youngsters) but unfortunately with many injuries and then some of the senior professionals rebelling it was obvious we didn't have the squad to play the sort of football required to achieve success.
Randy saved last season by putting his money in his pocket and buying a natural goal scorer to keep us up. I honestly wonder who's idea buying Bent was as I'm not so sure Hou really knew that much about him (but that is irrelevant now anyway).
Come the end of last season we were back to square one: Manager-less. Except this time we had more time to appoint someone. As a businessman Randy went about appointing a replacement the best way he knew how, even if the fans weren't happy with the result.
One thing he must of been certain on is he needed to continue to balance the books (the club needs to remain solvent) and he already has his eye on the leagues new upcoming financial regulations. However, he didn't want a repeat of the problems of the last campaign so needed the right man for the job to bring harmony back to the dressing room.
To begin with he listened to the fans on McClaren, then approached Martinez with little luck but eventually he was left with no other choice but McLeish. He needed a good man manager to stop the falling outs and to work to our strengths which unfortunately is now our defence (believe it or not), since our best attacking options and flair players have moved on which to be fair no one could of done anything about.
Randy was never going to spend a fortune this close season which is probably why we had no chance of getting any of these high profile managers that were being branded around by our fans. Our wages are still too high and we still have far too many players on our books that are a waste of space and need off-loading one way or another.
Maybe when these players are gone we can look at strengthening the squad with quality rather than mediocre quantity but I do hope some of our youth can continue to step-up and fill some of the void. Don't get me wrong I do believe RL will spend big come January if we find ourselves in the dire straights yet again but only if we really need to.
When all is said and done, we are in a transition period at the moment and at present our only priority right now is staying up. At best mid-table is all we can really hope for but I do think that within a few seasons (if not sooner) we will be pushing for top 6 again once everything is sorted out. Whether big Eck is the man to take us there I'm still not sure as he still has a lot to prove.
Eires that IS! the first time you have talked some sense.
I think that if you're content with being a mid-table team when "everyone forgets who you are" and nobody cares when you get close to the relegation zone, then, yes, Randy Lerner has been good and keep the faith.
Is that really where we want Villa to be????
I think Villa has much more heritage than that, and for that reason alone, I am DISAPPOINTED in Lerner over the last 12 months....before I was impressed.
That said, I am supporting the club top to bottom, I have my concerns but I'm not running away from my passion, my life, my VILLA!
It amazes me that many on SW start off with Lerner needs time, McLeish needs time, then I see the winds of change...(an about turn is not unusual). You all fight and moan and slag each other off but it all boils down to us all being passionate about our club....some think a time of consolidation is in order, some think we need investment and success....
I think we need a bit of both....Lerner still needs to feed us crumbs from his table ..if he does not then then I have totally lost faith. yes, he funded MoN...but MoN has gone and we are HERE and the time is NOW with Spurs and Man City overtaking us (and others)....action is needed...standing still is really going backward, so total consolidation without any investment is a retrograde step and a move towards O'Dreay times. If nothing happens we will be staring towards (notice towards, not AT) the bottom of our table...if results don't go our way then we are in trouble.
I want us to be great again...a top 6+ club and this is an achievement to be recognised in today's game. It will take time but Lerner has to acknowledge this and support the club....I find the silence at the board level deafening and I'm worried Lerner is now cutting (and running?) for his profit. We sell Young, we sell Downing....and NZog is an average/poor replacement...we should demand more as fans but united in one voice that Villa need to be up there in the top 6.
I am equally sad that we constantly bash each other on the head on this forum....opinions are just that and need to be respected even if you don't agree with them...stop slagging and get on for the common goal....Villa (at some point) being great again!
IMO Randy Lerner broke his promise of a "five year plan" even with only two games left of O'Neil's last year we were STILL in the hunt for a champions league spot. YES! two games left.That is how close we came.
Now lets be honest O'neil near the end was kept hanging about investment.That is why he left with short notice. Allegedly meetings had been arranged on numerous occasions only to be cancelled at SHORT NOTICE by RL.WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Simple he probably wanted Mr O'Neil out.
A smart way to get rid of somebody.Now think about it what I ask would anybody do getting mucked about like that?
O'Neil is a proud man and new they wanted him out.The timing was poor but i do believe he was pushed into a corner.Without doubt he was correct like it or not the Premiership is tough,you need to spend money just to stand still our new position confirms that.
My pain is this.When will the club come out and tell us,the fans our new targets,because before it was top five before we invest any more money.
Spinky it is old ground and we have debated it many times.Spinky you know the board early on talked about a five year plan and even O'Neil mentioned it,and because you cant find a link for it dose not mean that it was not true.
We had a target of a top five finish from O'neils FIRST! year in the job coming from a finishing place of 16th.We really spent very little in the first year.We can argue all day AGAIN.
Moving on where are we going? Big Eck is not the man.Seriously! where in the list did you have him for the job?This shows what kind of people are running the club.
We need a statement from the club on where we should be in two or three years.I think they have thrown the towel in and are happy to finish mid table and I am afraid IF! this is the case RL should sell us to someone who can push us on.We have the best training facility in the Prem and a stadium and potential fan base which could with the correct marketing push us on.
And hear lies the problem with the board thinking that our club could come from 16th to "the highest level" which you know is the champions league not the prem.
The bottom line is That RL whether you like it or not thought that he could climb this leauge putting a new man in the job and selling good players.He was wrong big time and i think deep down even he knows it.
As far as i am aware he was told that we had young players and plenty of them good enough to do the job by a certain "coach" who remains nameless.
This was a huge mistake and i am afraid although he was not my favourite GH paid the price.He found out too late that this was not true.
You know if you know how Academies work and im sorry you don't,it is in the "coaches" interest to promote his players for "THEIR" financial gain.,
Like it or not this is true.
And that is the story RL listened to people who gave him very poor advice.
Stephen Ireland was a great eg recommended by somebody.Not O'Neil
"Surel you aren't suggesting that someone from within our club claimed that a considerable number of the academy were dead certainties to replace our best players."
That is exactly what i am saying.
The bottom line is that unless RL puts substantial investment in January we will be lucky to finish top ten.Not good enough for me.
It's poor very poor and if RL hasn't the stomach any more he should sell to someone who does. I believe that there would be plenty of takers.
The General on Vital Villa posted a few comments over the summer to try and send messages to the fans. They mentioned the need to re asses the 5 year plan due to ManC progress, change of regulations and world financial changes. He kept pointing out that RL has never failed to back a manager financialy and this will not change.
I very much doubt it will be easy to sell Villa though. Look at Everton theyve been looking for a buyer/investment for the last 2 years. they are in a very situation to us. similer PL finishes, similer ground size, similer history, both have good training facilities and youth accademies. The only real plus I think we have over them is the potential to have a larger local fan base. As Everton have to compete with Liverpool and we dont have anyone in the PL. Newcastle were another team who couldnt find a buyer but I think that was more down to Ashley asking for too much.
People seem to think money grows on trees. We're on the verge of a double recession and people still want lerner to be splashing the cash willy nilly like its nothing. As previous posters stated unless we dramatically increase our turnover via tickets and merchandising i don't think it is acceptable for us to expect Randy to keep bailing us out all the time.
Lets for example take Everton, who haven't got a pot to piss in. I think most Everton fans would be overjoyed if Lerner was their owner and spending the sort of money he has done here. We need to be realistic. People keep mentioning Spurs and Man City as if they're on the same level we are when they've clearly above us in terms or squads and revenue. Its beggars belief that Spurs have a lower wage budget than us and yet have a far superior squad apart from the strikers.
7th - 10th is where we should be aiming for currently as the top 6 will be filled with - Man C, Man U, Spurs, Arsenal, Pool, Chelsea in any order. In any villa fan can honestly tell me we're honestly good enough to finish above any of those sides they're deluding themselves. Get real and wake up we need to stabilise before we can push forward.