Villa Newspaper Wrap: Garde Replacements, Football Board Chat and Cruyff

Moysey and Co.

The papers have been preparing fans for the imminent sacking of Remi Garde and discussions of his replacement were already rife this week. Nigel Pearson, David Moyes, Steve Bruce and Gary Monk were the four names that the Villa fans will have been choosing their favourites from.

We had news early in the week about Pearson being the favourite to replace Garde, but then Moyes and Monk were both also thrown into the hat by other reports. There’s no doubt that Villa would have put the feelers out to candidates while the wrangle over Garde’s severance continues.

On most polls newspapers have been running online, Moyes has come out on top as the fans’ favourite with Pearson still holding the bookies’ spot.

A whole host of newspapers reported Garde’s inevitable sacking but we’re still anticipating an official word on the Frenchman’s future so all this replacement talk is still very much hypothetical. When you see an article with the headline ‘The Latest on Rémi Garde’ that means he hasn’t gone yet and the paper are just rebooting the story for advertising clicks!

Football Board Update

After the announcement of a newly created football board being brought to us by the club and the positive fan reaction that followed, David Bernstein and Brian little were both attending to their media duties. Firstly, Bernstein, the former FA and Manchester City Chairman discussed the planning for the new football board and how it’ll work day-to-day, as well as a few other key issues such why he took on his new job and need for unity throughout the club.

Next, Brian Little, a man who knows the club inside and out, also had an interview for the club’s website and he discussed his sheer pride about being appointed as an advisor to the board, how he’ll approach his position in an honest but ruthless way and how the new board is a positive step in the right direction for the football club.

Both of these interviews were a step in the right direction by the club’s communication staff for the fans to get some clarity in terms of how the new changes will be implemented and how these changes will actually help. It’s nice to be well-informed by the newly built board, who’s clear aim to reconnect and communicate regularly with the fans is already being held seriously.

Clark in France?

A few Villa players were on International Duty this week, but it’s pretty shocking to come to terms with the fact that only Ciaran Clark of Ireland will be representing his national team in France this summer.


Clark and the rest of his Irish teammates played Switzerland on Friday night and Clark grabbed a headed goal that saw his country win 1-0. The academy graduate has been selected sparingly this campaign with Joleon Lescott, Jores Okore and Micah Richards all preferred as centre-back options. Something that Villa fans may look back at as a poor managerial decision with Clark impressing for his national team and our other starters consequently performing so poorly.

Clark looks like one of the players who could stay for next season and would probably thrive in a lower division, but it’s too difficult to call what our squad will look like next season. Either way, if the lack of quality in this squad hasn’t been sign posted to the club’s hierarchy and fans already, the fact that only one player will make it into their European side for this summer’s tournament is abysmal.

Cowans’ One2Eleven

The Fantasy Football Club brought us some nice Villa coverage for once as club Legend Sid Cowans talked Paul Merson through his ‘one2eleven’. Plenty of nostalgia was present as Cowans recalled some greats that graced the Villa Park turf. Names such as Ken McNaught (get well soon) and Glenn Hoddle (from his England days) were mentioned and it’s definitely a good watch, so look out for the full video of Sid recalling some fantastic memories.

Cruyff’s Standing Ovation

Some sad news was brought to us in the week as Johan Cruyff lost his life battling against cancer at just 68 years old. The Dutch master developed a brand new way of football for all to admire during his life and it was nice to revel in some of his genius view of the beautiful game “My qualities, technique and vision are not detectable by a computer.” A quote which may have been helpful for the Villa scouting team to have rehearsed last summer before buying through the knowledge of player’s statistical data.


When Cruyff was at Barcelona he played twice against Villa in the 1978 UEFA Cup. The game hosted at Villa Park, saw the Dutchman receive a spine tingling standing ovation from the Claret and Blue faithful who clearly admired how much of a talented and intelligent individual he was. I’m sure it evoked some great memories for a generation of Villa fans who probably still hold great pride in their hearts that a footballer like Johan Cruyff played in our stadium once upon a time. RIP Cruyff, a pure footballing genius.

An interview with Cruyff in 2014 the Guardian 


Follow Chad on Twitter – @ChadBillyWrenn

Follow MOMS on Twitter – @oldmansaid


  1. I was at the game in ’78 – Cruyff ran the game and you’ve chosen the right words about the standing ovation – it truly was spine tingling. I’d never been at a game before when we stood and marvelled at an opposition player … and I’d been there when Pele played at Villa Park for Santos. If I remember rightly, we grabbed two late goals after they took Cruyff off at 0-2, which rounded the game off nicely. 🙂

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