Roy Keane Leaving Aston Villa is a Warning of Danger Ahead for the Club

Short-term Fix

There was a logic to Roy Keane joining Aston Villa as Paul Lambert’s assistant manager in pre-season. It was a stop-gap appointment with the club up for sale – a new owner would come in and potentially also bring in a new management team.

Keane was short-term help to Lambert, who himself was still only in his job after a season of 38 points and a record 10 home game losses, due to the club being in limbo awaiting a new owner.

Alas though, Tom Fox came into town as the new Aston Villa CEO and seem to indicate in his first interview that Randy Lerner’s heart was back in the club and he was with Villa for the long haul again. This would have potentially altered Keane’s position, but you always got the feeling Keane was never going to make the end of the season at Villa.

In terms of the long-term picture, Randy Lerner must stop farting around

Irish Excuse Myth

The former Manchester United midfielder came to Villa with an in-built excuse to leave, one which he played this morning after informing Paul Lambert he was indeed off.

‘Ultimately, my roles with Villa and Ireland and combining my commitment to these have become too much,’ Keane said.

‘It isn’t fair to either Villa or Ireland, so I’ve made this decision.”

Well, considering Ireland don’t have a game until the 29th March 2015 (against Poland) you’d think the hard part in terms of juggling the jobs was done for Keane. With Villa approaching four key games – Burnley, Crystal Palace, Leicester and West Brom – that will no doubt determine Lambert’s future, his timing to leave is odd.


Stand by Your Man?

Keane doesn’t strike you as a quitter, so why would he leave Lambert in the lurch at a key period of the season?

Keane had said when he took the Villa job on that if Ireland lost three or four on the bounce he would quit Villa. It was a disrespectful comment to Villa that supporters on the whole let slide. There was no public proviso in place for if Villa went on a similar run. In fact, they managed an even worse run, losing six games on the trot. Should he have quit Ireland or even Villa, after that?

Keane’s six months will be ultimately regarded as a failure despite Lambert and Tom Fox putting a brave face on it. When Villa started off unbeaten in four, chalking up three wins in the process, Keane with his beard and his book was a welcome distraction for Villa supporters from the general woeful performances on the pitch. But as the results started to match the performances, Keane’s only contribution seemed to be making newspaper headlines during international breaks.

Odd Timing

Resigning from his post at Villa is his biggest headline of the season so far and its timing is indeed strange. A day before the match against Burnley? You would have thought if he was struggling with balancing his two jobs, he would have timed it a lot neater and given the club notice and time to replace him.

The timing would support the rumour of a training bust-up with a player (Gabby) after the Southampton game, which would mirror to some extent what happened with the previous Villa assistant number two Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa who left last season after an inquiry into matters related to ‘bullying’.

The Latest Farce

To be honest though, it’s neither here or there in the scheme of things why Keane left, but most pressing concern is a solution must be found pronto to save a directionless club lumbering helplessly to the potential mire of relegation.

The starting point must be Lambert’s dismal, if he fails to get acceptable results in the next four games. In terms of the long-term picture, Randy Lerner must stop farting around. Is he now here for the long haul as Tom Fox suggested? Some communication would be nice.

Lambert always pulls out the go-to excuse in interviews of “everyone knows what’s been happening at the club”. The truth is nobody seems to know, even the people supposedly running it.

With or without Keane, this club is seriously starting to worry me.


Follow MOMS on Twitter here


  1. yes agree with MOMs. I do everything to get people to go to vILLA and last weekend a friend took a car load of 6 people to the Leicester game. But half committed people don’t go to watch defeats, no goals and poor entertainment.

    And worse than that, the boxes are empty. Allegedly more than half the boxes are empty, and those people pay serious money. The companies that hire the boxes don’t do it because they are Villa fans, but to entertain customers and reward their workers for good performance.

    I don’t know how many boxes are empty, but the ones behind me on the North Stand on Sunday were largely empty, a few were taken. You can’t force people who are not committed supporters to go down and even less can you get companies to spend tens of thousands of pounds if not more to hire boxes to watch rubbish.

    Its not the hard core supporters you should be exhorting, but the people who run the club. I have some sympathy with Lerner and Lambert, they run a club which is regarded badly by the media (another article yesterday saying Benteke should leave to join a ‘big club’ I notice) which makes it difficult to recruit top players, as we can’t offer top dollar or champion’s league

    But the way the club is run and the entertainment on offer are both poor. The prawn cocktail brigade to quote Keane is fickle. Nothing fans can do to change that. It is up to the club to provide some entertainment. ANd for the first time on Sunday in the whole of the Lambert period, I actually enjoyed the team’s performance.

    CRedit if he is getting it right, lets hope he has. But negative tactics and a lack of goals is the problem

    trevor fisher.

  2. I’ve been reading these threads/forums far too long now without joining! Every single comment on here makes me sick! Our attendance and support at home as of late has been absolutely shocking!! Do you honestly think a half empty stadium full of whinging fans is actually helping the team? Instead of spending half ur lives on here whinging, spend it convincing ur m8’s to get back up villa park! Hi ho ho it’s up the holte we go! Vtid

    • Why do you think supporters are aren’t going to Villa Park, Dan? You can’t expect people to fork out hard-earned cash on sub-standard performances. you can’t blame them. Plus, it’s not the supporters fault there’s plenty to ‘whinge’ about. Cause and effect.

  3. If you don’t get results, you should get sacked. It’s as simple as that. How many seasons of mitigating circumstances & excuses can supporters stomach? If anybody is happy to put up with the current situation at the club then they don’t have the club’s best interests at heart.

    • That is a VERY short sighted view of the problem . Lerner has put a lot of money into the club to make it fit for the 21st century but even he has admitted that he has made mistakes !
      But to understand the current situation one has to look at the whole picture and not just the current situation
      Sacking manager after manager solves NOTHING but could cause collapse of the club . .
      So what has / is happening ?

      the MON era was only a partial success and it raised fans expectations . Expectations that could only be met by more & money being poured into the club whilest the debts got higher . But few fans could see pending disaster as MON’s tactics of getting players to perform when they were not 100% fit and with no replacements of good enough standard could only lead to the trashing by toon that happened soon after MON left when half the team reported unfit . And was something I’d been suggesting could happen for much of the previous season

      Maybe if the club could have been turned round in the 1st season things might be different , but that did not happen and for what ever reasons Lerner desided enough was enough . And given the changes in his own social life perhaps it was .especially as some fans were giving him grief
      But enough of that except that I suspect that McCleish was appointed as a fall guy with the task of cutting the budget , keeping the club up and if he could get some success that would be a bonus . He failed in the later and club & fans became alienated so he had to go !
      That brings us to Lambert who it would seem was tasked with building a NEW squad that could bring long term success to the club . But as Lerner admitted the remit was too restricted as was the budget controlled by a CEO who was more interested in the balance sheet than how it restricted the managers ability to get the team /squad to improve .
      It’s easy to say Lambert has had 3 season to get things right and the squad is his , but I strongly suspect that what he have is the cut price version of the squad he’d have bought if funds /Faulkner would allow
      It’s easy to say injuries are an excuse but they are fact , and as Cole prooved on Saturday injury prone players can be an asset when fit . Signing players like Cole is a gamble but performances like his on Saturday prove that it can be worth while but but not when a not insignificant number of the squad has problems , and especially when the squad is limited by numbers as even if a club has players on the books it is restricted by howmany can be used in a season . And whilest players may be sent out on loan to get experience/ keep fit squad size may restrict the use of extras apart from the U21’s except at the discretion of the FA
      What has this to do with Lambert ? —————- I think he is being judged too harshly and we should wait and see whether with our new CEO he can make the changes needed to turn the club around . But perhaps tomorrow night will be a pointer towards how the rest of the season wil go

    • see your farting well Terri ! something your evidentally well practiced at ! But presumable rational thought is clearly not your forte sounding like the Queen in Alice in wonderland ,running round shouting sack ! sack him , rather than off with his head !

      • Never been in the Sty, built on the council rubbish tip in Small Heath and would never want to, although I have been close enough on a bus to smell the stench from it a few times !
        As for same sex relationships I’ll leave those to you !
        As for our manager & all those results that irritate you so much , maybe it’s you who should man up and rise above the critism our club is currently getting . As the results are just part of the stage the club is at in the rebuilding of the squad . Sure it would be good to get a few wins and like every support I’m not happy that we’ve been winless for so long . But I can see why that is so and am hoping the problems will be rectified when the window opens . As Fox’s appointment signalled a new phase in Lerner’s ownership of the club and an infusion of cash to buy players when the window opens

    • Whilst I do agree with your initial sentence it is more relevant to a club with bigger overall spend on players, Man City, ManU, and Chelsea come to mind immediately. In the specific circumstance of AVFC however I believe it however needs much more qualification. Lambert and Lerner are not blameless for our situation, and would like to see some viable options, who care about the history, community, and fan groups as much for instance, but sacking the manager a few months into a four year contract is not looking long term. Better spend the inevitable comp on a player or two.

      Should I mention we’re 4 points better off now than my first post.

  4. Ooooh, steady Mr Gale!!! I thought it was you he was giving Terry Jones some stick earlier about name calling!! Calling me a quitter because I emigrated to Australia is a bit under the belt isn’t it! As for being called an old grouch from the muppet show, where do you get off, to call me that!. I think you’re right, Terry, Mr Gale is just some frustrated loon who is full of wind. I think you’re forgetting that I gave you the benefit of suggesting I can understand your point of view as happy clapper,to some degree, Mr Gale. However, why bother with people who are so sadly frustrated because other people don’t agree with your delusional arguments . As for nailed boots, (or studs I think you mean), it was 1971/2 when Villa were in Div 3 and bounced straight back up as Champions, not 1950. However, you’re right about the tactics, Mr Gale, that’s why Villa ain’t doing well… we have very little of them.
    Good to see Joe Cole was finally given a start and young Jack Grealish came on for a decent period. Cole did more than N’Zogbia has done all season. If Lambert sticks with that, along with the Beast coming back, things should improve. Still the same old, same old though. Giving away a lead, falling back and not pressing for more goals. I still say, Lambert and Lerner out, Mr Gale.

    • Eric you and Terri seem well suited to each other perhaps you could have a romance !
      As for going down perhaps you should think back to 1967 for when the slide to near oblivion occurred ,
      As for N’Zogbia I’m glad somebody agrees that he’s a waste of space ,trouble is there are too many who only think of his glory moments few as they are ! But problem is that Cole can’t stay fit !

  5. Apart from his immediate family and friends, I cant believe that anyone is still backing Lambert…and yet here they are! Have none of you seen Villa play for the last 2 and a bit years?! We are woeful!! We can barely put 3 passes together, cant defend and are probably the lowest scoring team in Europe!

    Yes, there are financial constraints. There have been cut-backs, we have had to sell a few players, but thats how every team outside the top 6 is operating.

    We need change so badly it hurts! Lambert has to go.

  6. Massive changes are needed. I can understand the attitude of so-called ‘happy clappers’ like C Gale… to a point, but blind faith is not what is required now. Lambert has had plenty of opportunity to stamp a positive forward looking approach on the club and he has failed miserably. He is totally uninspiring, from his mumbling press conferences, where he visibly looks totally uncomfortable and out of his depth, to his poor tactics and failure to use the players he has to best advantage.

    The standard of football is dire and despite the PR spin coming out of Villa Park, I strongly suspect that team morale is shot. The plain and simple fact is that there is no belief or fight in the team…. I’ve suffered watching EVERY game over the last three seasons, admittedly from the comfort of my lounge here in Oz, but that doesn’t change the facts. Besides, I’ve probably seen more games LIVE than C Gale and his ilk have had hot dinners, being as I began supporting them in 1956. Even the lows of being relegated to Div 3 do not compare to the current situation. Why? Because the team went out to try and win, TRIED to serve up good, exciting football and at least there always seemed there was light at the end of the tunnel. This current manager, and let’s not forget the owner, inspire nothing but abject failure and no hope for change. Enoughs, enough !!! Lerner and Lambert OUT.

    • If I’m a happy clapper that must make you one of the old grouches from the muppet show Eric !As for the old Div 3 don’t you realise that times have moved on since then and that player no longer play in nailed boots , or are forced to retire from pro footie because of rutured cruciate ligaments ?
      But that’s part of the problem with modern footie as Sports Science has players who at one time would have ended their careers because of injury can and do continue to play . But they are not robots and need more than the wet sponge that trainers used in the days of Div 3
      As for morale I suspect that you are confusing low morale with lack of confidense as their is a difference . As for the team that got relegated to div 3 I suspect that time has warpped your memories and that you only want to remember the wins and not the losses that got Villa in to Div 3
      Times have changed and it’s all about tactics and yes they have taken some of the excitement out of the game but it takes 2 to tango just as it takes 2 teams to have a game of footie and the tactics of the opposition as much to blame or other wise as to how a game is played out .
      But then what would a quitter comfortable in his arm chair in Oz know about going out to win ?

    • So terri your a beligerent old soak who knows nowt but but to name call coz things aint as you want them to be . As for seeing Villa win the cup in 57 lucky you to have parent that would take you , as I had to wait a few years untill I could earn enough to get my self to Villa Park !

  7. so your back with your name calling Terri but then what’s new ! But so that your clear in your bitter & twisted mind ,I’m on nobodies payroll ,& what income I have, was earnt by grafting ! As for not having a club no we will not if those such as you continue to try and make it un-manageable !

  8. Against most I say stick with PL, Pulis is a proven struggler, and not a fan of Moyes either he’s usually underwhelming. And this always likely outcome of the Keane months could rejuvenate the squad a bit. Although in the end he entertained me as much as Mourinho does in the papers. Will point out I mentioned that Gabby specifically might not take to him from the get go, referencing the bullying incident. I would like to see how we do over the next few games, which I believe was the request by the majority during the first few games of the season.

    As for the calls against Lerner, its old. Where’s the CEO gone in all this? Some nice fat sponsorship deals might help the balance sheet a bit. As for player contracts Delph’s said no, Vlaar’s laughing, and Hutton is all smiles. Admittedly he looks a decent player this season for the most part, but of the three I know who would be more expensive to replace, hint: not a defender. Players also need to step up a bit, some nice football was let down by bad touches (AndyW) or bad decisions (n’Zog) against Soton. The game plan was perfect if ugly until the changes, I wondered why Bent at the time, but the shop window was needed it seems. There are areas to improve in my opinion for both Lambert (player selection), and Lerner (communication), but on the whole they aren’t evil. Finally, a few wins in the next run of games will change Villa’s place in the table.

  9. to the dickhead – Lambert had all summer to decide if he needed to act on the absence of CB20 and Kozak ie bring someone in, or start Bent with some actual support as he had with Downing, Young and Milner…and he did, twat all. This guy needs to find his employment level away from Villa Park, eg a call centre manager in Silicon Glen, perhaps.

    • So you’d spend money you did not have buying strikers to fill slots in the squad that would be better filled with players for other positions coz you know more than the medics ? Sounds to me as if any excuse to criticise is good enough for some yet genuine problems are classed as inexcusable by those self same expert critics

  10. Lambert being sacked is now top priority
    Or Lerners ownership will mean he allowed
    Avfc to sink into the dross of incompetence it is
    Now.everyone can see it .its so embarassing.

  11. As Lerner said in his speech back in the summer most of the blame is down to him and not Lambert .
    We started the season without both of our senior strikers & the promice that they would be back shortly after the season started .But we are still without them . That’s not Lamberts fault ,as he like the fans was promised them back but it is a problem he has had to deal with ! And a problem that can not be fixed untill the transfer window opens in the New Year , despite fans wanting results demand that it be sorted . But then Villa don’t make the rules as they are down to the FA & the Prem.
    I can see that as I’m not tunned vision on the results , but clearly many just look to blame & the manager is the obvious target .
    Changing the manager will not change anything except give us a new face to hurl abuse at if the poor results continue which they may well do if changes to the squad do not happen .
    We can speculate on why Keane has left at this point in the season , and find reasons why he is putting Ireland above Villa . But surely this has happened just after he has returned from an International break so perhaps, just perhaps, after a couple of days back at Villa he’s had time to reconsider his position and his commitment to both jobs !
    As for his replacement well perhaps with Fox as CEO it’s time for Lambert to get a more permament assistant ?

    • Well I certainly am tunned vision on the results, lose enough games and we will be relegated, win enough games and we wont. Simple as that, although not really obvious to some……….

  12. Y’all some reactionary motherfuckers. Calm down. Lambert’s done some good for the club, you’re just hoping for miracles. Just wait till we’ve got our full squad back and you’ll see what Lambert can do.

    • ‘Reactionary’? Views based on two seasons and a third of suffering and watching poor performances with little sign of hope.

  13. I don’t think God has much to do with it. Pulis might. I would have preferred Moyes, but life moves on.

    Lets hope Lambert does


  14. Lambert’s judgement, players/coaching staff/tactics is the biggest threat the club has to
    deal with in living history, it is just so poor its beyond belief. he needs taking out of the job
    immediately, just looking and listening to him fills me with utter despair.

    How the hapless Lerner awarded utter failure with a 4 year contract strongly suggests he is plain incompetent.( unlike his astute farther)

    Really feel a Villa park boycott is the only way to get change, if you go and pay the money goes mainly into Paul Lamberts salary so think on that ! We are almost finished anyhow so support has to be withdrawn – tough love

    God help us !!!


  15. rumour is that if Lambert loses tomorrow Pulis will be in inside a week. We will see. Personally I would accept that. I cannot see anything but disaster if Lambert stays. By the Leicester game I want to see something happen. There is no doubt the vultures are circling round Villa Park. But the long term issue remains. WHat is Lerner doing with this club? How on earth did he give Lambert a four year contract?

    Lambert is on borrowed time and has to produce goals and points or the trapdoor has to open.

    Trevor Fisher.

Comments are closed.