This caused huge amounts of controversy surrounding Birmingham as Villa fans were totally against the appointment and Blues fans felt betrayed by the Scot. Villa fans protested outside the ground and the club had to remove graffiti which had been sprayed on the training ground. Birmingham also filed a complaint to the Premier League as they claimed McLeish was still under contract whereas Villa stated he was a free agent.
Aston Villa agreed a compensation fee with Birmingham City in order to cover the two remaining years on Alex’s contract. The fee was thought to be in the region of 5.4 million which made the appointment a costly one for the Villa.
Villa have had a disappointing season sitting in 15th eight points clear of the drop zone. All season fans have let their feelings known to the ex-bluenose who has struggled to win over the fans with results and the football being played. Alarm bells are ringing for the historic midlands side as Darren Bent was recently ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Fans are worrying where the goals are going to come from as Robbie Keane’s loan deal has ended which leaves the burden on Gabriel Agbonlahor, Charles N’Zogbia and Emile Heskey. Along with this Richard Dunne has been side-lined leaving James Collins without his usual partner alongside him at the heart of the Villa defence.
Sitting on 30 points I’d be surprised to see Villa go down as I think a points total of 36/ 38 should be enough to see a club stay up in this tight season. Villa have two huge games next up with Fulham and Bolton both visiting Villa Park over the next couple of weeks. Villa need to be picking up points against the lower sides in the division as they are still to play: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, United and Tottenham.
They should be fine but I don’t think they will pleased with a survival scrap when they reflect on the campaign and can’t see Alex McLeish taking the team on in the following season.
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