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Will McLeish sacking start a snowball effect?


Football News 24/7
It's hardly a surprise that Aston Villa have sacked manager Alex McLeish after 11 months in charge. The 53-year-old former Scotland manager said his farewells to the club's staff on Monday morning.

Villa have endured a poor Premier League campaign, finishing just above the relegation zone after winning only four of 19 games at home. And their performance against promoted Norwich on the last day of the season was pathetic according to most pundits - especially as Paul Lambert's men (ironically he is now the bookies favourite to take over at Villa Park) were well under strength.

McLeish was an unpopular appointment as he arrived from Birmingham City last year but poor results and performances worsened his relationship with fans.

A club statement read:  "Aston Villa can confirm that Alex McLeish's contract has been terminated with immediate effect. The club has been disappointed with this season's results, performances and the general message these have sent to our fans.

"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."

Villa chairman Randy Lerner said: "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.

"The most immediate action that we can take is to look carefully at our options in terms of bringing in a new manager who sees the club's potential and embraces our collective expectations."

But, looking at the Premier League there look certain to be more changes in the summer break. Obviously Norwich fans will be worried that Villa will come after Lambert. But other hot properties include Brendan Rodgers at Swansea and of course Roberto Martinez at Wigan. Alan Pardew's stock has also risen immensley.

West Brom already have to find a replacement for the departed Roy Hodgson, and rumour is rife on Merseyside that Liverpool's Kenny Dalglish will be booted upstairs by their American owners. Whilst Martinez heads the betting lists as next Liverpool boss (and Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan has already been quoted that they will not stand in his way if a top European club comes after him) don't discount Pardew.

We talked to our colleagues at www.­footyinsider.­co.­uk and they tell us that Newcastle will do well to hold onto Pardew if, as seems likely, they sell some of their stars.

They also have an suspicion that Harry Redknapp is no cast iron certainty to be Spurs boss come the end of the season. Whilst fourth place is a decent effort there are those that think the current Spurs team have under achieved in the final run up after Redknapp became distracted with the England job.

Of the sides that have been relegated, Wolves already have a new boss lined up, but it is unusual (although the likes of Ian Holloway are an exception) for releagted sides to stick, and Steve Kean and Owen Coyle at Blackburn and Bolton respectively seem vulnerable.





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