Sunday, 12 June 2011

McLeish Resigns

Where next?
More managerial changes over the summer are to follow as Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has resigned.

It is thought that he must have a better job lined up as at the end of the season Birmingham assured him and everyone else that his job was "safe" and they were looking for him to lead them back in to the Premier league. There are jobs available in the Premier league such as Chelsea and Aston Villa, Birminham's fiery rivals. However, Villa already rejected Steve Mclaren because of the bad response from the fans so surely he will not be signed considering he comes from Birmingham, Villa's hated rivals.

Birmingham won the Carling cup this year by beating Arsenal 2-1 in the final meaning they will be one of the only clubs to play in the Europa league at championship level next season. However they were also relegated from the premier league and it, until now, was Mcleish's job to get them back to the promised land.

It is an odd ime to resign considering his job was safe and would have surely left earlier if he knew he wanted to which is why there are so many rumours that he already has a job lined up somewhere. Chelsea and Villa have been managerial less since the end of the season however Chelsea are expected to hire Gus Hidink shortly.

"Birmingham City Football Club can confirm that Alex McLeish has resigned as manager," said a statement on the club's website.

"Acting chairman Peter Pannu received an e-mail resignation from McLeish earlier today [Sunday] while away on business in Amsterdam.

Alex took over the Birmingham job in November 2007 and in that year the club were also relegated from the premier league, however the club decided to keep him as he had not had a full season. Birmingham were promoted back to the premier league at the first time of asking which is what they wanted Alex to do again next season.

"There is talk that Alex McLeish is now the number one target for Villa," said BBC Radio 5 live's Midlands football reporter Pat Murphy.

"This is fascinating because if McLeish is the number one target, Randy Lerner, the owner of Villa, is fully aware there will be a backlash from some Villa fans even in terms of approaching him.

"Lerner was concerned about a backlash in terms of possibly appointing Steve McClaren last week. I'm not sure what the fans would say about the manager of the Blue Noses going across the road to Aston Villa."
He added: "McLeish, in my opinion, should be in the Premier League as a manager. I'm told that Villa like him, they respect him.

"I've heard from various sources that he is very much in the frame for Lerner. I'm not saying that it's a given but that's an intriguing name to throw into the mix, isn't it?"

Villa have already made an approach for Wigan's Roberto Martinez but he decided to stay at Wigan as he had "unfinished business" there meaning Villa's search to replace Houllier continues. 

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