Sunday, 12 June 2011

Alex McLeish: Gone.

I was quite enjoying my nice, quiet Sunday afternoon but apparently Alex McLeish wasn't having any of it. After speculation surrounding him being targeted by Aston Villa for the vacant managers job, McLeish resigned from his post as Birmingham City manager.

It doesn't mean to say the two are linked, however it would be a very big coincidence were they not. But even if he is leaving for the job up the road, it's still poor form to resign at the start of June after having already signed two players, leaving us less time to get a manager and a limited amount of time for that manager to build his team around himself.

And, as if Blues fans weren't shell-shocked enough, we then find out in a club statement that he resigned via email. Email. Such is the modern world he decided that the best way to say "it's been fun, but I'm leaving" was via email.

This saddened me. Not only has he left us in the lurch, not only is it - most likely - for our nearest rivals, but he didn't even have the balls to meet or even phone a member of the board to tell them. Gutless, is one word to describe it, and I could think of a fair few other words too, but I'll leave that to your imagination.

A lot of fans are jubilant that he's gone because of the negative tactics he employs, but I'm feeling pretty betrayed at the moment. The heart was always there with McLeish and I felt he really made the team spirit at Blues. The players wanted to sign, and stay, because of him and I'll be pretty surprised if Foster et al stick around now.

McLeish gave me the happiest day of my life on that memorable day in February but that seems a long time ago now. Promotion at the first time of asking, that unbeaten run last season, finishing ninth, winning the Carling Cup. I'll thank him for that. But he's left on a sour note and if he goes to Villa, he will have gone down in my estimations.

It is true what they say: there is no loyalty in football anymore, and today we've experienced full-on the impact of it. The reasons behind his resignation haven't yet been stated, but it is probably a mixture of lack of funds and having to sell his best players that pushed him to make the decision, and maybe the fact that there is a vacancy at Villa that further tipped the balance.

I'm not sure what I'd prefer. For the board to have told him something he doesn't like - and therefore something the fans won't like - or that he saw a nice big pay packet and Premier League football and decided to quit to go for the job at Villa - making him pretty much a judas. Whatever it is, I feel somewhat saddened by the fact he's left us and not tried to get us promoted at least; not tried to finish what he started, if you will.

I just want this whole sorry mess to be sorted quicky, but I have a feeling next season is going to be more grueling than first thought.

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