In what will come as a massive surprise to just about no-one, David O’Leary and Aston Villa have bid farewall by the usual “mutual consent”. Allegations that he was behind the player rebellions were the final straw in what had already become a strained partnership with “Deadly” Doug Ellis. Though the change will be cheered by the majority of Aston Villa supporters, more than a few will wish that it was Ellis who was on the outs instead.
We’re not quite so sure ourselves why O’Leary has become the target of such hatred at Villa (or indeed at Leeds before this). He’s taken clubs that have been perennial underperformers, and made them into inconsistent performers. Surely that just adds excitement for the fans? Instead of being sure you’re going to finish around 10th, you don’t know whether its going to be one of those seasons where you’re fighting for survival or a European spot. Either way, its not Aston Villa fans who are going to have to endure David’s press conferences this season. For a bargain price (rumoured to be around Â£2m), they’ve been let off the hook. Sunderland are the rumoured “beneficiaries”.