Not Sven again

Paddy Power suspended betting early on Wednesday afternoon, on Sven-Goran Eriksson becoming next Aston Villa manager after a massive surge of bets on the Swede to be the man to relace Martin O’Neill.

As is usually the case in these markets, Betfair is generally a good indicator to see if anything is happening, and they have Eriksson at 3.05 favourite. Liquidity is currently very low, which would suggest there is not much good information out there on the likelihood of this happening at the moment.

With a bit of luck all this is just a rumour that got out of hand, and Randy Lerner is not that desperate to give Sven the job. I do hope though, that Lerner dosen’t make a rash decision and give him the job just because he is available, and the season is about to start.

So far Eriksson, who seems to be the parasite of English football, is yet to claim to have always been a lifelong Villa fan, but his agent has thrown his hat into the ring on his behalf.

Lerner Defends Himself

It is hard to know what to make of the situation at Villa now. On one hand Martin O’Neill would appear to have damaged his reputation walking out in this way, this close to the start of the season.

From Randy Lerner’s response on Wednesday, where he stated that the two men “no longer shared a common view as to how to move forward”, it would suggest that he is saying that O’Neill didn’t except the financial restraints being placed on him.

On the other hand, it has been common knowledge for some time now that Lerner had called time on big spending, and he made it clear to everyone that players needed to be sold before new ones could come in, that the books needed to be balanced.

O’Neill would have been well aware of this. So why quit now?

Could it be that O’Neill maybe reluctantly accepted this, but then was told that the amount of money that would be made available to him from the proposed sale of James Milner to Manchester City would not be the full amount recieved?

If so, O’Neill could rightly say that Lerner has gone back on his word!

Henry Winter’s great idea!

If ever proof where needed that newspaper journalists are nothing more than deluded fans just like the rest of us, then it came in the form of Henry Winter’s article about who should replace Ashley Cole at left back should he not make the World Cup squad.

In his article in Friday’s Daily Telegraph, Winter proclaimed that none other than James Milner should play at left back, in Cole’s assumed absence.

Never mind Wayne Bridge, Stephen Warnock or Leighton Baines, no Winter says they are not good enough at this level. But apparently Milner is, on the back of a couple of impressive substitute appearances.

Let me get one thing straight before anyone says “Stop slagging Milner, he’s class”, I agree, Milner is a class player and deserves to be in the World Cup squad for me, but not playing at left back.

Winter is mad, who would back Milner against Ronaldo? What if England get to the latter stages and play the likes of Italy, Spain or Brazil? Is Winter seriously suggesting that Milner would be a better bet than an established left back in the latter stages of a World Cup?

It might work in the group stages but when you get in with the big teams you need someone who knows the job inside out, and that certainly isn’t Milner. We’re not overly blessed with right backs either, maybe he will be running a story next week suggesting we play Gerrard or Walcott there.

Winter’s thinking seems to be up there with the deluded Liverpool fans who think Rafa will win them the league, or the Geordie fans who thought that Shearer should be manager and got relegated as a result of forcing Sam Allardyce out.

It is also up there with one of the previous worst suggestions I ever heard, the time when the Daily Mirror’s Darren Lewis suggested on Sky Sports news that Arsenal should sign Darren Bent (then of Charlton) to replace Thierry Henry when he was first considering moving to Barcelona in the summer of 2006.

We had 5 years of Sven trying to put square pegs in round holes, thankfully Capello seems to be a lot smarter than that and I don’t think for a minute that such a ridiculous idea as this would even cross his radar.