Today is the ancient holiday of Festivus. For the uninformed Festivus is the holiday that has arisen in protest to the crass commercialism of Christmas. A typical Festivus celebration consists of three integral parts: the Festivus Dinner, the Airing of Grievances, and the Feats of Strength. It's a little late for me to invite the disparate readers of this blog for the Festivus Dinner, and if anybody on the squad tried any of the Feats of Strength, the way this season has progressed it would inevitably lead to more injuries. That leaves us with the Airing of Grievances. Let's face it, the way things are going there are not another more aggrieved group of fans in the Premier League this year.
Ashley you are our best player, but you are not as good as you think you are. I know how much you love playing in the hole. You get to play up front, but are just far enough from those big, bruising Center Backs. The problem is that you are just not that good at it. You make dangerous runs, but are not clinical in front of net. If you are going try to play like Steven Gerard, you might want to score some of the clutch goals he is known for.
Gabby, its not your fault you have been hurt most of the year. But when are you going to finally live up to your potential. You are not the phenom from the academy anymore, you are actually the most senior player on the side. At some point you need to put it together for a full season and score 20+ goals like you are capable.
Dude you have to lose the emo haircut. We can't send out an emo kid in the most physical football league in the world, we would be a laughing stock. To paraphrase Crash Davis, if you score 20 goals or win some caps with that haircut you are colorful, if not you just look like a pussy.
Why are you still here? You are like the one guest at the party who leaves an hour after everyone else and can't take the hint their company is no longer wanted. If you couldn't break through this year, I'm going to guess its not going to happen.
You have to be a moron. With all of the physical tools you have, the only reason I can think of as to why you have not been given more of a run is that you must be a complete tool.
Carlos, you are just too nice. That has to be why it took you so long to unseat Dunne in the first XI. Houllier must have thought you were not tough enough to be a first choice Center-Back. Give Ireland a studs up challenge once in a while in training just to remind the staff that your disposition on the pitch diverges from the tone of your blog and twitter feed.
Bob you have been with the club for five minutes so this might be difficult. I will say this if you are supposed to be this Yoda like mentor to the youngsters, brush up on the English. How are Marc and Baz supposed to soak up your knowledge like a sponge if they can't understand what you are saying?
Brad we love you. Especially with the American bent we have here at 7500 to Holte you will always have a special place in our hearts. When we say it's over don't take it the wrong way. Other than a few blips you have been as solid as ever, but it's still over for you at Villa. The manager is going to tear the whole house down to the foundation, and build anew. By the time our young core is ready, you will be too old and we will have to find a new keeper. Villa is just going to start looking now. You can come home and ride off into the sunset in Columbus or wherever. Hopefully you start talking like an American again.
You just suck.
Nigel you were one of our best players before your injury. But what makes you think you deserve £50,000 a week? Well we know why, the wages on this squad are so bloated you feel underpaid by comparison. Well that's why your old nemesis Martin O'Neil is gone. Nigel you are not worth the money because you are the most useless Midfielder in the final third in the Premier League. You make Ji-Sung Park look like Messi. Sure you are very good in your role, but a club with our ambition needs more than a glorified sweeper which is what you are. Come next fall you will not be missed.
Stan you are our captain and a warrior. You are just washed up. Your best game was the first game of the season when your legs were still fresh, and its been downhill since. Last year the goals evaporated from your game and if we are going to keep playing 4-2-3-1, we need more of a contribution. If you would like to stay as a defensive sub/squad player we would love to have you, otherwise thanks for your service.
Luke you have done a nice job reestablishing yourself as a competent Premier League starter this season. Unfortunately the only difference between your situation and Friedel is that your replacement is already in house. Thanks for keeping the seat warm for Lichaj.
Stephen get your head out of your ass. Stewart Downing is more than capable of creating width. Stay at home and stop making stupid fouls. If you do that everything will be copacetic and you might actually have a future with the club. There are rumblings that you are among the malcontents at the club. Again get your head out of your ass and don't let the losers and ingrates brought in by the previous manager drag you down.
James, be better. You haven't been as poor as Dunne, but you also have not played as well as last year.
James, I realize that the career of a footballer can be fleeting. At best you have 15 years to make as much money as you can, and with some luck you can live off of that for the rest of your life. You left Aston Villa in as classy of a way as is possible considering that you had two years left on your contract. You never trashed the club, leaked anything to the media, never striked, and even played in the season opener, scoring a goal and helping Villa get the most money they could in the transaction.
Look at you now James. You played so well for us last year as a Central Midfielder, but now you play for an Italian who hoards Holding Midfielders like Martin O'Neil hoarded Center Backs. He plays 2-3 of them at a time, and you are relegated to the wing where you are fighting for, and beginning to lose time to David Silva, Adam Johnson, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Michael Johnson, among others. This might be sad if it wasn't [predictable. You could have stayed, received a new contract, and been our talisman. Now you are well on your way to being an afterthought.
As owner the buck starts with you. Reasonable Villa fans don't expect you to keep pumping £20m-£30m a year into a club that is hemorrhaging cash. Likewise we underhand that our wage bill was about £10m more than Tottenham and £20m more than Everton. Given the quality of the three squads you had every right to question how wisely that money has been spent. As owner you have to make sure everyone in the club is on the same page and is aware what the plan is. The fact that after the big end of season meeting where Martin O'Neil agreed to come back, only to quit five days before the start of the season, part of the blame has to lie with you. Imagine how much better off we all would have been if Martin had moved on after last season, and the new manager had all summer. You are party to blame Mr Chairman.
John you have been the second largest disapointment on the team this year. The fact you have been our leading scorer the past few seasons is an indictment on the sqad. Even then the goals you have scored have been meaningless. You are Aston Villa's Alex Rodriguez. I would love to know how many times you scored the only goal in a 2-1 loss. Now its to the point where you are slow, can finish, hold the ball, link up with midfield, and never track back. Other than that you have been awesome.
Richie what the hell happened. You have been the biggest disappointment on the team. And then to top it all off you spout off at the manager. Do you realize how awful you have been? You are lucky the manager didn't drop you weeks ago. You still have that loser mentality from years at Man City. You had a new manager every year and never won anything. Houllier is here to stay, and he has won more than you could ever imagine. Adapt or die. it appears you make your choice, and the club will be all the better for it.
You are everything that is wrong with the modern athlete. All you care about is the trappings of fame, but not any of the work. It makes me sick that the one good season in your life was enough to fool our club (and me) into thinking you could help us. Gerard is a measured man, and for him to call you out like that you really must be an abomination. I could go on but everything has already been said, I will just get more angry, and I need to save my energy for the final guest at our virtual Festivus dinner. Just ride off on your pink rims and we will try to pretend this never happened.
Who the hell do you think you are? The wage bill was clearly bloated. Your boss told you that you needed to sell players to cut the payroll. You had all summer and failed to sell Curtis Davies, Luke Young, Steve Sidwell, Habib Baye, or Nigel Reo-Coker. And then you have the audacity to complain that you would not be given all £18m? Why so you could buy another 2-3 players so the wage bill is even higher? Who did you want to buy? Aiden McGeady? Just what we needed, another winger. Another overpriced British player to block our youngsters. The Golden Rule of player personnel in any sport is "Know Thy Own". You obviously failed to realize that Marc Albrighton was already with the club and was already better. Despite outward appearances your man management was terrible. Your selection and tactical limitations have been hashed and rehashed, and won't be missed.
Leaving those issues aside, what were you thinking? You will never get a bigger job in England. Do you honestly think United, Man City, or Chelsea would hire you. You did such a great job recruiting foreign players with us, I'm sure you are exactly what you are looking for. Other than City none of them are spending the large sums of money you evidently require.
We all know you would never go to or last on the continent. Going back to Celtic is problematic. You won everything there and if you really wanted to go back you would have to knife your former captain in the back. Maybe you could manage in Dubai or something and get a huge payday. Perhaps you could attain the poisoned chalice of managing one of the home nations. Good luck with that. I hope you realize that the pinnacle of your managerial career has come and gone. In the meantime enjoy watching Law and Order at home on the couch.