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.