MacDonald may yet match Villa's job requirements
Tuesday 31 August 2010
Would-be managers and supporters were yesterday scrutinising the wording of Aston Villa's statement about the criteria required of Martin O'Neill's eventual successor. Issued after Sunday's win over Everton under Kevin MacDonald, it appeared to rule out the United States coach, Bob Bradley, as well as Slaven Bilic and Ronald Koeman – although not necessarily the caretaker manager.
The statement said the successful candidate must have "experience of managing in the Premier League". A curiously limiting caveat, in that Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger and Jose Mourinho would have been spurned by Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea if they had enforced it, it appeared to erase any remaining hope MacDonald may have had of landing the post Villa aim to fill before resuming league combat at Stoke City on 13 September.
The phrasing offered encouragement to a number of seasoned ex-Premier League managers, principally Gérard Houllier, Sven Goran Eriksson and the ex-Villa players Alan Curbishley and Gareth Southgate. Both the Ajax coach and former Spurs manager, Martin Jol, and fellow Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who had a successful interim spell at Chelsea and is now coaching Turkey, would be popular choices, although there would be contractual problems in prising either away from his present position.
Behind that clutch of contenders are Gianfranco Zola and Glenn Hoddle. A further group with the required background includes Iain Dowie, Paul Jewell, Alan Shearer, Gary Megson, Phil Brown, Chris Coleman and Alan Pardew. However, Villa's American chairman-owner, Randy Lerner, is highly unlikely to opt for one of them ahead of MacDonald.
Villa insiders point out that the 49-year-old does possess the experience, being in his second stint as an acting manager at the highest level. The first, with Leicester in 1994, produced a solitary point, but Villa currently stand fourth in the Premier League under MacDonald's stewardship after two wins in three matches.
After the Everton match on Sunday, Lerner told MacDonald they would talk within 24 hours. But MacDonald said: "I still don't know whether it's for me or not. There have been moments when I thought, 'Yeah, I'll do it', but also times when I thought, 'This isn't for me'. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it, but also lying if I said I enjoyed the past week [the defeat at Newcastle and exit from Europe]. The lows have been so low and the highs so high. After the game people said, 'You must be excited', but it was just relief."
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Latest in Sport
Manchester United official team photo: Antonio Valencia and Anderson pull the funniest faces
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt, including Danny Welbeck must be more clinical and Hector Bellerin debut
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal player ratings: How did Ozil and Welbeck do in Germany?
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
- 2 Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
- 3 Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
- 4 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes