Often Partisan

Is McLeish a Judas?

Well, it’s never been dull being a Bluenose. There’s been a ton of rumours today about Blues, McLeish and Villa – the facts however are the club have said that there has been no contact between Villa and Blues about McLeish. I thought I’d look at the “Judas” allegations though.

Yesterday I said that if Eck took the Villa job he’d be the most hated man in Birmingham. I still stand by that to a degree; I’ve seen enough reactionary types on Facebook mock up pictures of Eck with a Villa shirt captioned with the word “Judas” to know that there is a portion of the Blues fanbase who are incensed by it all. I suppose Lichfield, Bromsgrove and such don’t really count as Birmingham, but it appears that most of the Villa faithful are up in arms about the whole idea. There is talk of a protest outside Villa Park tomorrow, and the bed-sheet signwriters have been at it again.

The thing is, whilst part of me will be disappointed if Eck takes the job, particularly in the manner of his resignation, I can’t say I’m that bothered by it. I think it’s a doomed relationship from the start, and the idea of fans boycotts, protests and whatnot over B6 makes me smile. It points to a board that isn’t in touch with it’s fanbase, and maybe it points to a board that is desperate to appoint someone – anyone – to a job that no one else wants.

I’ve been a harsh critic of Peter Pannu in the past, but right now I think he’s played it right. By choosing not to comment other than to say the club aren’t accepting Eck’s resignation and will not allow him to talk to the Villa without sufficient compensation, they’re playing hardball. If Eck doesn’t take the Villa job, we’ve lost a manager who was prepared to jump to our nearest and most hated rivals, and it’s not cost us a dime. If he does, we could be in the black by a couple of million. It’s win-win. Peter Pannu needs to keep his head, let the lawyers do the talking behind the scenes and do what he can to bring in the next manager. He can be bombastic, but if (as he currently is) he keeps listening to his media department, and just releases stuff with a bit of professionalism, then he is going to come out of this with some plaudits.

As Raj, an esteemed messageboard poster on smallheathalliance.com pointed out, Blues fans get behind their club more when backs are to the wall. We’re like cornered cats, we all arch our backs and hiss at the enemies circling us, and we bond together more as a fanbase. Things have been stale for a little while at Blues, despite the win at Wembley, and this pre-season has given the club the chance to sweep clean the deadwood, and start again to a degree. It’s not going to be easy, but interesting times are afoot at St Andrews.

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4 Responses to “Is McLeish a Judas?”

  • Kendall Was King says:

    What’s been lost in all the emotion over the Villa position is that there’s two sides to every story – and until today we’ve only had Blues’ playing the victim.

    As reported on BBC 5 Live, LMA chief Richard Bevan said “Alex decided to resign because there were serious issues… it dates back to May when Alex’s chief scout was sacked and not being consulted over player transfers.” McLeish doesn’t strike me as someone just to walk away Kevin Keegan style. Could there be circumstances at the club that we aren’t aware of..?

    If it’s not working, surely he has the right to resign and find another position, after all it’s his career that’s at stake as well.

    • almajir says:

      You’d expect the LMA to come out and publicly defend one of their members.

      The fact is, if McLeish didn’t want his players from being sold underneath him, he shouldn’t have got the team relegated. If he was that unhappy with the amount he had to spend, the sacking of Montgomery etc he should have walked away two months ago. He didn’t because IMO he wanted his payout – which I guess is a normal human emotion. He’s not coming out of this with much plaudits, and every action just serves to show him as someone who is only chasing the buck.

      • Kendall Was King says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I blame McLeish for Blues going down, he’s the one who decided the tactics and picked the team, for example selecting a striker week after week when it was plainly obvious he could score goals. I’d have sacked him before we reached the Carling Cup Final, relegation was staring us in the face.

        I just think the Villa position is exacerbating the whole episode and we may never get to the reasons why he left.


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