Villa and McLeish Part Company

Villa and McLeish Part Company

Aston Villa have sacked manager Alex McLeish with immediate effect, the Birmingham club announced earlier today. A club statement read that “The board wishes to assure supporters that we are conscious in every sense that Villa expects and deserves more and we will strive to deliver this.”

After just 11 months in charge after taking over from Gerard Houllier, the Scotsman was dismissed due to a run of poor performances, leaving the club in 16th position in the Premier League, just 2 points clear of the relegated Bolton Wanderers. Calls have been made from outraged fans for months now for McLeish's dismissal, as they witnessed their club sliding further and further down the table.

Villa chairman Randy Lerner announced: "We need to be clear and candid with ourselves and with supporters about what we have lacked in recent years.

"Compelling play and results that instill a sense of confidence that Villa is on the right track have been plainly absent.”

This is contrary to McLeish's statement in the wake of the Villans' draw with Tottenham last week: "I think Randy will be pretty pleased with the outcome.

"He's been very supportive in texts over the last few days, which indicates great support for me.”

The need for a quick appointment was stressed by Chief Executive Paul Faulkner. "We are mindful of the club's need to prepare thoroughly for the new campaign and for the new manager to be able to begin working with the board so that he is quickly immersed in these preparations and also in the long-term objectives of the club.

"Our focus now will be driven by these imperatives and we will update when appropriate."

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez and Norwich City's Paul Lambert have emerged as the early frontrunners to become the 4th Villa manager in under two years.