Alex McLeish is an ex-Aston Villa manager

The season from hell is finally over and Alex McLeish’s Aston Villa career has, as expected, been terminated. His tenure has passed on. It’s no more. It has ceased to be. Expired and gone to meet its maker. A stiff, bereft of life. It rests in peace. Its metabolic processes are now history. Kicked the bucket. Shuffled off its mortal coil. Run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible.

This is an ex-Aston Villa manager.

Today is a very good

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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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Take Hart: Aston Villa are the draw specialists

As you’re probably all too aware, the 1-1 draw at QPR on Sunday was our 5th draw of the season. And we’ve only played six games. And we remain unbeaten. You knew that, right?

Of course you did.

You might not be aware that this means we’ve drawn 83.33% of the (admittedly limited number of) games so far, or that we’ll finish up drawing 31 or 32 games by the end of the season if this pattern continues. It won’t continue of

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Assessing the difficulty of the fixture list: When the sun shines you must make hay

We all know that Alex McLeish has a tough task ahead of him. We all know that he’s arrived with about as little goodwill as a new manager could possibly arrive with. We all know that he must win over large swathes of the Villa fanbase, and that there are significant numbers who will never accept him. We all know that a good start is vitally important. Vultures circle.

We’re probably all aware – or we should be – that the

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Boys back in training, clean slates all round and squad numbers up for grabs

It’s been a while since anything surfaced here at Aston Villa Central, I know. The last post confirmed Ashley Young’s somewhat low key move to Man Utd and since then very little of substance has actually happened. Well, the Stewart Downing “situation” has threatened to develop into a “saga”, but aside from a couple of actual bids from Liverpool being reported, nothing has changed yet; Downing is still an Aston Villa player. For now.

McLeish has stated categorically that he’s “not

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Alex McLeish officially unveiled as manager

I don’t know if a player or manager has ever literally been ‘unveiled’, but I’d love to see it happen once and, given the odd nature of this whole appointment, this would have been an ideal occasion. Can you imagine if a claret & blue chequered sheet was whipped away matador style to reveal the new manager sheepishly sat there waiting for questions?

No? Just me then. Oh well.

However the introduction went down, the press conference officially introducing Alex McLeish as

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