McLeish sees similarities between Villa and his relegated Birmingham City

Alex McLeish can’t help but draw comparisons between his Aston Villa side and the Birmingham City one he suffered relegation with last season.

Alex McLeishA 1-0 home win against Fulham last month ended a five-match winless streak for Villa, and was thought to have all but assured them of their Premier League status. However, successive defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea, coupled with wins from those immediately around them in the table, leaves them standing just five points above the relegation zone with eight games of their season remaining.

This sinking feeling will be one McLeish can relate to, having failed to keep Birmingham in the top division last season. When they won the Carling Cup final against the Gunners all the talk at St Andrews was of building on this success, yet they lost seven of their last twelve league games – winning just twice – and were relegated on the final day of the campaign when they went down 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur.

McLeish cited the number of injuries he had to contend with as a major factor in this fall from grace, and this is a situation he feels is repeating on him at Villa. As the season enters its final straight, the Scot has been hit by the absences of Darren Bent, Richard Dunne and Charles N’Zogbia, whilst last week Stiliyan Petrov was ruled out for the foreseeable future when he was sadly diagnosed with acute leukaemia.

“We have been weakened by injuries,” McLeish told the Daily Mirror. “Birmingham were also definitely significantly weakened after winning the cup final, losing about five or six key players. That does make your job much harder without a doubt.”

Villa could face two of their former players, Stewart Downing and Ashley Young, within the next fortnight, when they travel to Liverpool and Manchester United respectively. Losing two of their key players in the summer, as well as Nigel Reo-Coker, Luke Young and Kyle Walker, without properly replacing them, is another reason why McLeish feels his side have been engulfed in a battle to retain their top-flight status.

“I did say at the beginning of the season it wasn’t the greatest experienced squad, though,” he added. “I said it would be a tough challenge for us and a transitional period. It has been proven and we are weaker than the players here last season at this stage. They had Ashley Young, Stewart Downing and Kyle Walker – three terrific players.”

As well as those trips to Anfield and Old Trafford, Villa must also make the short journey to the Hawthorns to take on West Bromwich Albion before the end of the month. Home matches against Sunderland, managed by their former manager Martin O’Neill, and top-four chasing Tottenham also present stiff challenges. The crunch could come for McLeish when fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers visit Villa Park on 24 April, in a fixture which was postponed last month when Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest three days earlier.

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14 thoughts on “McLeish sees similarities between Villa and his relegated Birmingham City

  1. The obvious comparison between the two teams is not the injury list, but the incompetent, blame-seeking joker in charge of both teams. Relegating two teams from the same city in consecutive seasons – now there’s an achievement!

  2. The only similarity between the two is McJudas is manager and they play in the same City.
    What a waste of 2 minutes of my life reading this nonsense about a non-entity.

  3. Vile go down vile go down vile go down together blues go up win the cup kick @*@* out the…………baggies!

  4. He’s a class manager, Stick with him, ask your chairman who paid 3 million for him 😀 😀 :D.

    Will you survive the relegation battle you’re in ……. Errrrrrr No! 😀 😀 😀


  5. Keep up the good work Eck. No matter what people say and write about you, ignore them, your a great manager. k.r.o to the chamionship

  6. 1 year ago today, Villa were 16th, with 34 points from 31 games (which at the time was 1 place lower than Blues). All that before McLeish. So is it really all his fault? He inherited rubbish, the decent ones left (Young, Downing) and whilst he hasnt improved the Vile, he hasnt improved them either.


  7. Thought i would never say this but i feel sorry for the villa fans,you spend all your well earned money on a season ticket just to see your team win just 4 games at home!
    When he was at blues he would only play one player upfront usually cameron jerome when the fans were screaming at him to play 2 upfront but of coarse he knew better as we found out by being relegated.
    Cant see where the next points are coming from for villa.

  8. When McLeish was appointed, my mate Will called me and said, “Baz we have to travel up to Birmingham NOW!” When I asked why he replied, “I want someone else there to help me push him through traitor’s gate just in case he changes his mind!” 😀 Can’t disagree with that sentiment; if McLeish gets Villa relegated I will personally write his citation to the Home Office for a knighthood; he should also be given the keys to the city! 😀


  9. Unfortunately villa will survive as 3 teams need to overtake them to put them in the bottom 3. I can’t see it happening myself. It would be funny if it happened though.

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