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Can Alex McLeish Use Youth To Inspire The Fickle Villa Supporters
McLeish was always on a hiding to nothing taking the hot seat in B6 but team selections whose only ambition is to stifle the opposition, play for a draw or keep the deficit to a minimum simply polarises the arguments in the 'McLeish out' camp.
I must admit I winced when I first saw the team sheet against Spurs because the message it delivered was an admission of defeat before a ball had been kicked in anger.
I am not normally one for conspiracy theories but I actually suspect that McLeish has been given a mandate for premiership survival at all costs. This is the only explanation that makes any sense to me when analysing the line up for the Spurs game.
Alex McLeish is following a tried and tested method of using experience and discipline to grind out results and Villa are a side that is caught between their traditions of free flowing football and the dark dour spectre of defensive football.
McLeish should look at the talent he has available and pick a style of play that suits that group of players. Currently he has an experienced group of mid table premier league journey men with a sprinkling of under used talent that occasionally rises to the surface.
In Darren Bent Villa have arguably the best British poacher in the BPL, but if the defenders just constantly hoof the ball away in desperation to clear their lines then Villa will never get the best out of him.
What Aston Villa do have is an abundance of youthful talent chomping at the bit for their opportunity to shine in the shirt. They have been coached in the academy and taught the traditional Aston Villa way of playing football from European Cup winners such as Gordan Cowans.
The Villa kids are mostly technical flair players but if there is one thing you can be sure about in giving young players a chance, it is they will bust a gut to do well and work hard for the manager who picks them.
One of Villas best performances last season was against Man Utd at Villa Park when the Villa kids ran the United stars ragged for 70 minutes before Utd salvaged a point much to the relief of SAF.
The growing unrest amongst the Villa faithful is both worrying and alarming, the football being served up is neither palatable to the faithful nor inspirational to the fickle. Alex McLeish seems reluctant to give the youngsters an opportunity for fear of a big defeat blotting his Villa Park copybook.
These youngsters are good enough and it would appear that it is only fear of the impulsiveness of youth that is holding them back. Yes there might be some 3-3 draws, there may be be a couple of 4-0 beatings, but there will also be some handsome victories that the supporters can be proud of.
Villa fans will understand that going for the youthful approach may bring some topsy turvy results while they bed into the BPL but they are prepared to accept that. It would seem the only thing apart from a run of six straight wins that could buy Alex McLeish more time would be to give these youngsters an extended run in the team.
Villa supporters have long been labelled fickle, but the clock is now ticking and the question is can Alex McLeish use youth to inspire the fickle?