HOOF! Long ball statistics over the last three seasons

At the onset of his tenure, it wouldn’t have taken much effort to find predictions about the brand of football Alex McLeish’s Aston Villa side were destined to serve up. None were particularly exciting or encouraging.

I prefer a ‘wait and see’ policy myself, but I think we’re far enough into the season now to look at some statistics and draw some conclusions.

In this post, we’ll focus on the number of attempted passes that have been hit long as a percentage

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Darren Bent and Kasabian demonstrate when the manager should take all the blame

This is not an attempt to absolve anyone of any blame for the unacceptable performance at White Hart Lane last night, but it’s become painfully obvious to me in the last 18 months or so that in the fans’ eyes it’s players that win games… and managers that lose them.

Let me give you an example:

Towards the end of last season, in what would be Gerard Houllier’s final game on the sidelines, we took on the hapless West Ham at Upton

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Richard Dunne: I would have left Villa had Houllier stayed

Richard Dunne has confirmed what we already knew; he was heading for the exit door under Gerard Houllier. He’s yet another player to lift the lid on a testing atmosphere under the Frenchman last season.

Speaking to ESPNsoccernet ahead of Ireland’s vital Euro 2012 play-off match against Estonia the veteran defender said:

Last season was very difficult for me as I was not enjoying coming to work every day at Villa and there were some issues with the Ireland team as well.


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30-mile rule should receive the plaudits

One of the more interesting pieces of Aston Villa news to emerge during the international break was the club’s intention to include a clause in future contracts that would oblige players to live within 30 miles of Bodymoor Heath. Or at least have a base to use during what constitutes a “working week” for a Premier League footballer.

The rule is unlikely to be enforced to the letter, I’m sure living 31 miles away won’t be an issue, but the spirit

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The vital ingredient the next manager needs

Over the past week or so we’ve had bookies’ favourite after bookies’ favourite billed as the next Aston Villa manager, only to later be dismissed almost as quickly as they emerged. I could count all the posts on the subject from the various Aston Villa blogs and news outlets I subscribe to, but I’m pretty certain it’s easily in triple digits.

Attempting to sort the wheat from the chaff would drive me insane. I’ve taken the nuclear “mark all as

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Houllier: Aston Villa were traumatised by O’Neill exit

Gerard Houllier has reflected on his departure from Aston Villa and admitted that it was entirely necessary; it was just too risky for both the club and his own health. He also says that the club were “still traumatised” by the nature of Martin O’Neill’s exit five days before the season started.

He apparently spoke to France Football originally, but here are the translated quotes according to Sky Sports:

Gerard Houllier
I almost died. The doctors advised me to not resume before late

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Gerard Houllier “steps down” as Aston Villa manager

The official confirmation has just been published, Gerard Houllier’s tenure as manager of Aston Villa is over. Here’s the official statement:

AVFC Official Statement
The Club can confirm that, by mutual consent, Gerard Houllier has stepped down as manager of Aston Villa with immediate effect.

The 63-year-old took charge in September 2010 but suffered a dissection of the descending aorta in April 2011.

He was unable to take charge of team affairs for the final five games of the season and doctors have advised

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David Moyes’ fourth denial of interest in Villa job (Well, sort of)

David Moyes has been a favourite among fans for the Aston Villa job from the moment Martin O’Neill quit. Long before that in many cases truth be told.

He’s also been a hot favourite with the bookies; they even had to close the book on him at one point last year. That was after Bob Bradley had been the favourite for a spell as I recall. You know, just sayin’.

That episode at least forced Moyes to address rumours and he was

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A statistical and personal reflection on Gerard Houllier’s term at the helm

The headline I went with when Martin O’Neill walked out on Aston Villa was something along the lines of “They think he’s taken us as far as he can… he has now“. It was a reference to the persistent theme among the growing dissent that our club was stagnating under his stewardship and also the fact that the record would forever confirm that that would indeed be as far as he could take the club.

The truth is, we’ll never know

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