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WED, 2:45PM ET
WED, 2:45PM ET

Aston Villa Appoint Alex McLeish As Manager

mcleish joins villa1 Aston Villa Appoint Alex McLeish As Manager

Alex McLeish is the new manager of Aston Villa Football Club.

This morning’s appointment is a significant achievement for the Scot who previously managed a host of different Scottish clubs, most notably Rangers, and then headed south to Birmingham where he managed City from 2007 to 2011 culminating in a League Cup trophy but eventual relegation for his Blues side. Now, however, he’s one of the most hated men in Birmingham after leaving City in the lurch and heading to cross-town rivals Aston Villa. And, not surprisingly, very few Villa fans want the Bluenose as the new gaffer at Villa Park. But it’s too late now.

Taking a big step back, I wanted to review the winning percentages of McLeish compared to some of his rivals for this past season:

  • At Birmingham City, his winning percentage from 2007 through 2011 was 36.9%
  • Gerard Houllier, the boss formerly in McLeish’s spot at Villa, had a winning percentage of 39% during the 2010-11 season
  • Wigan’s Roberto Martinez has only been able to maintain a winning percentage of 26.44% since the 2009 season
  • Mark Hughes, while at Fulham last season, had a winning percentage of 32.56%

While McLeish’s record holds pretty strong against other managers listed above, it’s not as impressive when you look at specifically the 2010-11 season. During that season, his winning percentage was 21.05% (8 wins from 38 games).

Personally, I think McLeish at least deserves a chance as Aston Villa boss to prove many of his critics wrong. My biggest concern is that he’s going to turn Aston Villa’s playing style into a dour version of what we saw from him at Birmingham City. I’m doubtful, but I hope that McLeish can piece together his team to be more mentally stable in defense but can still have the blistering pace up front with Gabriel Agbonlahor as well as getting the most out of Stewart Downing, Marc Albrighton and others.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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