Almost certainly Di Matteo. And Villa to spearhead a footballing network.

Nigel Pearson has signed on for Derby then and that’s disappointing on my part as I was convinced he was the man that was needed for our current situation.
We all know there seems to have been a massive lack of discipline down the Villa for a while and my thinking is very much in line of lots of comments I’ve read in that we need a strict disciplinarian who will sort out the wasters.

Which is exactly the reason I don’t understand why it seems we’re going to run with Di Matteo.
He seems far too nice to me.
I’m also in agreement with the views that he’s never really rebuilt a team in the same way that we need rebuilding, whereas Pearson has.

So what can we take from things, if indeed we do appoint Di Matteo?

Well, it totally convinces me that Holis’ and Brian Little’s choice have been ignored.
Which can be taken as a plus point as surely it means that all parties involved on the Villa side must be convinced that Dr Xia will pass the required tests, no problem?

It also shows that Xia will be the one who firmly calls the shots. Or has this decision come from his advisors?
Either way, whether that’s a good thing, I’m not so sure.
It’s always struck me that if a club appoint a manager that’s frankly not wanted by the fans, it doesn’t bode well further down the line, just as we saw with McLeish.

While I love the things Xia is coming out with, so I also have to question how realistic they are.
Of course, anything’s realistic if you continually pump enough resources in and have enough patience.

But I wonder what the owner’s viewpoint will be if we fail to get promoted straight away?
Xia has admitted that buying the Villa is mostly business, something I have to confess worried me, but if it’s true that he’s already in the process of buying another club, it gives me hope that he’ll stand some loss in the earlier year(s).
And it would also convince me that he’s deadly serious, regardless of if the money’s his or China’s.
If, as he’s said, we’ll be the main club in any Manchester City type network (let’s face it, the Premier League is the big one, money-wise and will be for a while yet), then so much the better.

It’s all about Xia backing up the rhetoric now.
And while I think many of us fans think he will have made his first mistake in appointing Di Matteo, equally, massive investment might retrieve the situation in the winter window.

I predict a roller-coaster ride this season.


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  1. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum May 28, 2016 at 8:12 pm . Reply

    Unless Dr X pulls a rabbit out of the hat, it’s looking like same old Villa. Bruce, Pearson, Moyes et all all passing on us.
    I hope Dr X (I like saying that!), has someone awesome lined up, however it may well be RdM…We’ll have to wait and see once again. Venglos anyone??? Either way, we’re taking our time…

    1. Andrew
      Andrew May 29, 2016 at 4:04 am . Reply

      Pearson passing us up… For Derby? Lets be real, no chance he rejected us. Bruce hasn’t been talked too. Moyes is the only one known to have rejected us.

  2. KentNielsen77
    KentNielsen77 May 28, 2016 at 9:31 pm . Reply

    I think Pearson would have been no better than installing Roy Keane – an angry / unpredictable man with a Championship promotion under his belt. Pearson hasn’t really won anything (the Championship…. Pfffft) and very few managers out there actually have so it’s a bit of a lottery – you might as well take any manager that’s gained promotion.

    Please remembered that while Pearson got Leicester up, other than a couple of months of goods results at the end of the season he managed then to the bottom of the Premier League and looked a massive twat while doing so.

    Still think it’s going to be Bruce.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain May 28, 2016 at 11:06 pm . Reply

      The only place I’ve seen Bruce’s name linked with Villa is on here – and even that seemed to be a ‘2nd hand’ rumour that he’d apparently been seen at BMH in the last few weeks by a mate-of-a-mate, etc.

      Be amazed if he walked away from Hull, especially after today – and I guess it’ll only be a day before someone will post that he’s ‘turned Villa down’…

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath May 28, 2016 at 11:18 pm . Reply

      Bruce won’t come now hull are up. Why drop into the championship

  3. pat57
    pat57 May 28, 2016 at 10:50 pm . Reply

    Still think that we won’t know whi the new manager is until the FPP test has been passed and Tony Xia is confirmed as chairman.

    We’ll just have to be patient but I dare say that the bookies don’t really know any more than we do at the moment.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain May 28, 2016 at 11:15 pm . Reply

      Bookies [Oddschecker] still show DiMatteo as favourite tonight, although since they’re still listing Moyes and Pearson, it does look as if they haven’t a real clue about any dark horse in this race!

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath May 28, 2016 at 11:19 pm . Reply

        I noticed that why is moyes and Pearson still on there ffs

        1. Ardent Villain
          Ardent Villain May 28, 2016 at 11:22 pm . Reply

          I guess that there’s been so little money going on this ‘race’ that they’ve not updated the sheet for a few days?

  4. Dan Cook
    Dan Cook May 28, 2016 at 11:24 pm . Reply

    Dr Xia is talking the talk at the moment and pinning hopes at a very early stage in his reign. A manager is more than likely to be announced once the ‘loose ends’ are tied up and we can then start to construct a fresh structure and system to our team/club.
    For me, I don’t want to see excessive money being chucked at the team as possibly suggested by Dr Xia. I believe, much like many other fans I am sure, that our success will lie with stripping back the team and building for the future whether it mean promotion next season or in 2 seasons time. What I want is a manager who we can commit too, a team we can look at and say ‘yes we may not be strolling this league but we are playing with style and youth and growing a team and structure into something more solid for the premiership’. Let’s get some players in that are hungry, whilst also nurturing our correct young prospects whilst also adding in some veterans to lead the line.. The problem is getting this mix right, too much youth COULD cause a subsequent ar*e beating and too much ‘been there done it’ veterans could cause a lack on effort and drive..
    For me, Go back to getting the English players in and creating a team who will fight every match and become unpredictable yet solid.. Get behind the team and get the basis of the team (youth) ready for the step back up to the prem

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath May 29, 2016 at 8:12 am . Reply

      Youth players will get kicked all over the place. We need men not boys for championship

      1. Dan Cook
        Dan Cook May 29, 2016 at 5:44 pm . Reply

        A mix was what I said.. We are building for the future and want a new platform to build from.. Having men, which I assume you mean experienced and probably towards the end of their career/past there peak, then this will mean come promotion we will have a team in the prem full of old’uns with no hunger or future.. We don’t want to be Sunderland do we

    2. Jvillan
      Jvillan May 29, 2016 at 9:35 am . Reply

      Lescott Richards Richardson gabby Ireland and Hutton yes let’s sign more British and Irish overpaid crap

      1. Dan Cook
        Dan Cook May 29, 2016 at 6:18 pm . Reply

        What’s so let’s buy some foreign players who have no idea of England let alone the championship.. They will take 2 years to settle and by then we will be in league 2.
        Yeah good one

        1. Jvillan
          Jvillan May 29, 2016 at 8:53 pm . Reply

          Gana ayew two best players last season
          Smack looked the part before injury
          Trade was overlooked?
          Vertout was poor
          It wasn’t foreign signings relegated us more like
          Guzman Hutton Richards lescott Richardson and gabby

          1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath May 29, 2016 at 11:37 pm . Reply

            Guzan bacuna Lescott and gabby have to be the first to go they will hold us back next season if still here

  5. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 May 29, 2016 at 7:16 am . Reply

    Bruce being coy about his future and is he implying that he has other option(s) but not in the PL? There are ownership issues at Hull whereas if Dr. T passes the FPP test then there could well be a major long term opportunity with Villa.

    On the other hand would Steve Bruce be the face to sell Villa shirts in China?

    1. OriginalLondonLion
      OriginalLondonLion May 29, 2016 at 7:32 am . Reply

      No, but his face could sell boxing gloves and gumshields

    2. nath
      nath May 29, 2016 at 7:37 am . Reply

      steve bruce and mick mcCarthy are the type of managers, that have experience of championship in abundance. either would relish the job of waking villa up. but i think like hitch is stating, is bruce known around china, will he excite the Chinese investors. seems the parameters set by hollis on grounds to find new manager isnt the same as the DR X guy.

    3. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath May 29, 2016 at 8:13 am . Reply

      Bruce could help the potato economy compete with China’s rice monopoly 🙂

      1. steve
        steve May 29, 2016 at 9:35 am . Reply

        probably the biggest British club in China is man it’d and Bruce was their successful captain in the 90s.
        I am sure he is as well known as RDM.
        RDM however is more photogenic.

        1. Hitchens60
          Hitchens60 May 29, 2016 at 1:07 pm . Reply

          Good point Steve

      2. Bill Pearson
        Bill Pearson May 29, 2016 at 3:20 pm . Reply

        Oohah, give it a rest mate, get real, saying negatives don’t help does it ,slagging Bruce don’t help our plight, anyone that has the CV is welcome. You’ve won on many arguments but please understand kicking out dont help.

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath May 29, 2016 at 11:35 pm . Reply

          Fair enough Bill just wish there was something to be positive about. Dreading next season

  6. steve
    steve May 29, 2016 at 7:38 am . Reply

    I was told Hollis said it was between Pearson and Bruce. Dr Xhi may have other ideas. I never come on here with ITK stuff but the person who told me I have known for years and has no reason to make it up.

    1. Dave67
      Dave67 May 29, 2016 at 10:17 am . Reply

      Steve your friend might be right. I heard Bruce ,s comments this morning he is not happy with the situation at Hull. I would take Bruce over RDM.

      1. Ardent Villain
        Ardent Villain May 29, 2016 at 1:27 pm . Reply

        From his reported comments, Bruce seems to be using the ‘doubt’ as to whether he stays at Hull as a bargaining chip with the prospective owners up there. He’s apparently asking for some ‘assurances’ about future spending, his authority to OK deals, etc.

        I’d still be very surprised if he gave up a PL place just to have to go through another big re-build and promotion push [??] out of the Championship with Villa; Xia would have to offer him a fortune if he really wanted him at VP…

    2. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain May 29, 2016 at 1:22 pm . Reply

      Steve,I wasn’t knocking your source – he may be correct. My point was just that I’d not seen the “Bruce” rumour anywhere else except here!

      1. steve
        steve May 29, 2016 at 2:25 pm . Reply

        I didn’t think you were Ardent. I too would be surprised as Dr X may go against hollis. i just repeated what i was told from someone I trust.

  7. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 May 29, 2016 at 9:23 am . Reply

    Bruce or Di Matteo – I suspect either choice is going to split the fans straight down the middle

  8. Stubbs
    Stubbs May 29, 2016 at 9:54 am . Reply

    The likes of Bruce, McCarthy, Warnock and Pulis are exactly what we need. Any of the above mentioned would get us up and give us stability for a more attractive (not as in better looking) manager to could take us on to the next level once we are back where we belong, The Premiership. Di Matteo is NOT what we need.

    Bruce would be ideal and I’d be delighted if he is announced this week.

  9. pat57
    pat57 May 29, 2016 at 11:45 am . Reply

    I wouldn’t be totally against Bruce either but I’m puzzled as to why he’d want the job. He’s got a team he’s put together who will be playing in the PL next season. Why would he even remotely want the Villa job?

    Still hoping its Flores but then again I was ever the optimist.

    1. Stubbs
      Stubbs May 29, 2016 at 12:05 pm . Reply

      Maybe because Villa in the championship is a bigger lure than Hull in the PL.

      1. steve
        steve May 29, 2016 at 12:08 pm . Reply

        doesn’t Bruce live in Solihull

        1. Stubbs
          Stubbs May 29, 2016 at 12:11 pm . Reply

          I know a few years back he lived in Knowle. I’m not sure weather he still does now though.

          1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath May 29, 2016 at 12:44 pm . Reply

            Dorridge to be precise

      2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath May 29, 2016 at 12:45 pm . Reply

        I’m not so sure our stock is at an all time low

  10. pat57
    pat57 May 29, 2016 at 11:47 am . Reply

    ‘Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone says he will “start thinking” about his future with the club after Saturday’s Champions League final defeat’

    Co-incidence or has Dr. XIa tapped him up? 🙂

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath May 29, 2016 at 12:45 pm . Reply

      Ha ha I wish that would be a dream manager for us but no chance whatsoever

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 May 29, 2016 at 9:43 pm . Reply

        Maybe if we were still in the PL but in the Championship – he would be like a fish out of water. We all need to take a realism check here – Warnock would do a better job in the Championship that Simeone ever could – and that’s not me knocking his managerial credentials.

        1. Andrew
          Andrew May 30, 2016 at 3:39 am . Reply

          Simeone wouldn’t join us in the PL. He’s a manager who only wants to manage clubs he’s played for. Inter’s next once his Atletico contract’s up.

          Simeone’s style would easily get us up. It’s defensive, quick counter attacking. Although far too technical for any team in the Championship.

  11. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 29, 2016 at 9:42 pm . Reply

    It seems that Villa are off to a good start , no player knows yet when to start training for our coming season, to me it showing lack of care from internal management.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 May 29, 2016 at 9:58 pm . Reply

      Bill – it’s old news rehashed to rebuild interest in a story (the Villa) fast losing interest other than with Villa fans. First they try and dig up dirt on Dr. T, then they throw concerns around about the make up of the Board and FPP rules and now they try and suggest the club are in complete disarray.

      It’s inevitable that uncertainty will exist mainly because of the PL / FL’s FPP charade which feeds their desire for authority and power but has proved to be completely ineffectual (Reading, Portsmouth, Blues, Blackburn, Leeds – need I go on!). It seems to me that Villa have set out a sensible course of action in the circumstances but then a headline to that effect doesn’t sell newspapers.

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath May 29, 2016 at 11:38 pm . Reply

        Fit and proper test is simply Brown envelopes of cash doing the rounds

        1. Andrew
          Andrew May 30, 2016 at 3:41 am . Reply

          No… Oohah, just no… Fit and Proper Test is legit, and they’re making it harder to buy clubs because of the crap like Yeung and Venky’s. Not at all about cash doing the rounds.

    2. Andrew
      Andrew May 30, 2016 at 3:43 am . Reply

      There’s no one to tell them. Hollis is gone, we don’t have a new owner yet and clearly Lerner’s done with Villa. Unless Little’s in charge, no one is going to tell them when to come back. Much like the reason the manager hasn’t been brought in. No one too appoint him.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 May 30, 2016 at 7:48 am . Reply

        Andrew, Hollis and Eric Black are still Chairman and manager at least until the acquisition is confirmed or in the latter’s case a new manager appointed. Black has merely said that it’s pointless him setting out a schedule (for the players) as he won’t be the manager for much longer.

        Of greater concern is that the club has no CEO, no FD and no functioning Board with an owner who has turned his back and taken the mighty General with him. The PL and FL need to think carefully about the damage they are doing to the club by not quickly dealing with this discredited test.

        1. Andrew
          Andrew May 30, 2016 at 5:23 pm . Reply

          Figured Hollis was more or less gone. Won’t be surprised if he was.

          I don’t think they’re worried how long it takes. They’re solely looking at the owner and want to make sure they’re not made fools of like Yeung and Venky’s have done. Not much Villa can do anyways, bar appoint a few board members. My guess is Xia knows who he wants. Former Everton guy, someone has even said his wife could be on the board. He seems a pretty intelligent guy, I’m sure he’s working in the background while this goes on, especially if he said he’s not afraid of the test and that he’ll pass it.

  12. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 30, 2016 at 6:24 am . Reply

    Andrew, I don’t know what to think? Hitch might be right in saying paper making waves, so why no news when times ticking down , this arguably no good for us fans having seen the worst performance ever fron Aston Villa football club, surely they are not on a break still and not training are thy?. Disgusted.

    1. Andrew
      Andrew May 30, 2016 at 2:06 pm . Reply

      What can be said though? Xia isn’t going to know what the Premier League and Football League are talking about, no one at the club is. We have no board anymore bar Little, we have no manager and Lerner’s clearly nowhere to be found (which you can’t blame him for). Xia’s the only one who can talk and there’s nothing more he can really say until he’s given the green light to talk.

      Who’s going to train them? We have no manager. You want Black training them? And yes, they’re on break. They get those, it’s called vacation. No matter what, most employees get those at full time jobs, even after recent bad performances. In fact, they can be incredibly helpful. Some players are on International duty, some get to rest. Nothing disgusting about it.

  13. nath
    nath May 30, 2016 at 7:56 am . Reply

    they used to say the team winning the championship playoffs. has a massive disadvantage, they only know which division to prepare for weeks after the end of season. well we still don’t know who manager is or owner. so we are gonna struggle big time. no plans could have been drawn up for preseason. no transfer list could have been handed in. players scouted how could this happen with no transfer system installed.

    yeah i know they have too wait for the owner receiving the green light. but this seriously will hinder the start and maybe whole campaign. sort yourselves out,
    we are making the likes or leeds and big noses, look like fit and proper clubs in compared to us

    1. Andrew
      Andrew May 30, 2016 at 2:08 pm . Reply

      Speculation. Maybe Xia has his manager already? It’s very well possible he knows who the manager is targeting on transfers. We don’t know what his plans still are. He could be talking to his manager every day over transfers. But we have no one with the ability to appoint anyone.

  14. steve
    steve May 30, 2016 at 8:11 am . Reply

    if we are waiting for the fit and proper tests from the fa and the football league before we can move forward with any authority (or not) then that is just it.
    the Birmingham mail last Thursday said it would be about 10 days.
    we are just going to have to patient. annoying as it is.
    a new manager coming in surely would want to know who his boss is and what the club’s plans / ambitions are.
    players not knowing when they are coming back is rubbish. they always come back first week in July and you could say they did not come back at all last season.
    most transfers are done a couple of weeks before the deadline as clubs hold out for the best deals.
    if nothing has happened by this time next week then everything might be going pear shaped.

  15. OriginalLondonLion
    OriginalLondonLion May 31, 2016 at 1:03 am . Reply

    FPP is hopefully more onerous than it was. I think all we can reasonably deduce is that Xia has put the full purchase price into an Escrow account. I am still expecting the test to go either way.

    I read the FT on line as part of my work and get used to the very careful language the FT uses to describe people and companies. They are ultra careful not to describe anything as a lie or hooky or crooked in such blatant and unambiguous language in case they get sued. However there is a subtle code, and the two Chinese based reporters came as close as I have ever read to saying they did not believe a word of his background story that Xia gave Hollis for release.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 May 31, 2016 at 8:29 am . Reply

      OLL – maybe the question we should be asking is how reliable the outcome of the FPP test will be given how difficult (as I understand it) it is to check the veracity of information from China. It’s not just about proving the case but I imagine the PL / FL would need very solid grounds to disprove the good Doctor’s worthiness as owner of Villa.

      Returning to the article in the FT, did the two Chinese reports provide evidence to support their doubts or were they just that because they were unable to access the information they wanted?

      I’m desperately trying to keep an open mind over Dr. Xia but lack of evidential information makes that very difficult.

    2. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain May 31, 2016 at 2:01 pm . Reply

      OLL – Xia told UK papers a week ago that he’d deposited “£100m” into a “UK Bank account”, so you’re right on that part.

      I’m not sure how just onerous the “FPP” test might be: presumably the usual ID confirmation, plus a check on any criminal record, past business bankruptcies, etc.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 May 31, 2016 at 2:35 pm . Reply

        If that’s the case Ardent, it’s no different to checks undertaken appointing any Director – at least in a quoted company – to accord with company law and code of good practice.

        I think you could add to that source of funds to avoid money from dubious enterprises bring laundered through a football club – mind you how that would actually be achieved beats me.

        1. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 May 31, 2016 at 2:36 pm . Reply

          The checking of fund sources that is, not the laundering!

          1. Ardent Villain
            Ardent Villain May 31, 2016 at 2:56 pm . Reply

            H60 – that was my point really. I can’t see how the “FPP” can be substantially different to the standard checks that would form part of any ‘Due Dilligence’ anyway: Anti Money Laundering/Know Your Client/Criminal Records/etc.

            What else would they check, and where would they get the information for it?

            I can’t imagine that the PL or FL would have access to any more factual information than any solicitor or accountant couldn’t find already as part of the statutory checks with they have to undertake to comply with MLR/POCA legislation when dealing with any large transaction.

          2. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 May 31, 2016 at 3:35 pm . Reply

            Ah I’m with you and totally agree with your assessment. You would think the club would do that anyway but evidence points to the contrary – but then if you’re an outgoing owner and just want the cash…………..

            It happens all to often and not just with football clubs!

  16. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 31, 2016 at 6:38 am . Reply

    OLL, disconcerting that, two Chinese reporters not going with his business move sounds dodgy to me, I know the Chinese take chances and we don’t ,its going to be a rough ride in finding out if we have a genuine owner.

    1. OriginalLondonLion
      OriginalLondonLion May 31, 2016 at 8:28 pm . Reply

      From the FT
      The information raises questions not just about the truthfulness of the claims surrounding Mr Xia’s business dealings, but about the financial health of Mr Xia’s business group, which agreed this week to pay an undisclosed sum for Villa.
      The Recon Group does not appear to have ever published audited accounts.

      By the FT’s standards that is strong wording.

  17. pat57
    pat57 May 31, 2016 at 5:05 pm . Reply

    Don’t know about all of the financial in and outs being discussed here but the words of that great songwriter Ray Davies keeps going through my head –

    Yes so bloody tired of waiting for something to happen!

  18. nath
    nath May 31, 2016 at 9:19 pm . Reply

    got to hand it too wilkins, he keeps chatting it up, too anybody who will listen. he claims norwich and newcastle are better equipped than us too return to premiership lol. well i hate stating the obvious. but anybody who knows a little about football,will have already come to this conclusion before this arsehole claimed.he’s also partly responsible for the garbage. so shut the fook up. he should talk about QPR how great they are, or was>>>>>>>>>>>>>> NEVER

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain May 31, 2016 at 9:56 pm . Reply

      Just another rent-a-quote.
      Unemployed – go to keep his name in the media somehow.

    2. giddyvillan
      giddyvillan June 1, 2016 at 6:06 am . Reply

      Uncle fester is a pedigree gobshite & an insult to football management.

  19. Andrew
    Andrew May 31, 2016 at 10:42 pm . Reply

    Apparently Di Matteo will be done within 2 days if you believe the Sun.

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