Inspired by Kirsten's plea to the newly unemployed Andre Villas-Boas, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about what an Aston Villa team under the former Porto and Chelsea boss might look like. It's an intriguing idea and one that I'd guess any rationally thinking Villan would support, but to be clear there's a better chance of Alex McLeish being appointed Chelsea manager than AVB setting up shop at Bodymoor Heath.
Still, it's fun to dream. After the jump, I'll share what it is that I envision when I allow my mind to wander.
May 14th, 2012: Aston Villa drop the season's final game 3-0 to Norwich City and finish level on points with 18th-placed Bolton, surviving the drop due only to goal difference. The following day Randy Lerner calls a press conference to reveal that he's raised a handsome sum of capital due to the sale of 100,000 shares of Apple stock. After announcing that Alex McLeish has been relived of his duties, the former Villa, Birmingham and Rangers manager is strapped to a rocket and fired into the sun*, making financial compensation for the early termination of his contract something of a non-issue.
- May 21st, 2012: Andre Villas-Boas is named Aston Villa's new manager to the surprise of pretty much everyone. It is reported that Villas-Boas also appeared to be surprised at the press conference, but it turns out he just looks that way pretty much all of the time.
- May 22nd, 2012: Villas-Boas' first interview as Villa manager takes a turn for the worst after his withering response to the question "How is the house hunting coming along?" reduces Birmingham Mail writer Mat Kendrick to tears.
June 3rd, 2012: Thanks to the expiration of several contracts, Lerner's financial windfall and Aston Villa's new kit deal with Macron, Villas-Boas announces that he expects to make an aggressive foray into the transfer market. CEO Paul Faulkner is seen making "cut-it-out" throat slashing gestures to the new manager's left.
- June 15th, 2012: A press conference to unveil AVB's first signing as Villa manager is announced; the manager praises the vision, hold-up play and powerful shot of little-known Brazilian target-man Emilinho, who was signed on a free transfer from an undisclosed club.
- June 26th, 2012: Despite being under contract with Chelsea, David Luiz is spotted training with Aston Villa; club officials confirm that the Brazilian defender had gotten lost after a particularly ambitious attacking run during a Chelsea training session and, in confusion, sought shelter underneath Villas-Boas' eyebrows.
- July 15th, 2012: Aston Villa host Porto in a pre-season friendly; after an attempt to knock winger Hulk unconscious with chloroform and tie him up in a burlap sack is unsuccessful, Villas-Boas dons a fake moustache and boards Porto's bus. Kevin McDonald retrieves the treated rag and now-shredded sack from the visitor's dressing room and "convinces" Villas-Boas to return to his office.
- August 8th, 2012: Villas-Boas is adamant that Aston Villa will play his preferred tactical style with their current personnel, emphasizing up-tempo, one-touch short passing and a high defensive line.
- August 12th, 2012: In his press conference following Aston Villa's 12-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, Villas-Boas admits that he may have made a "mis-calculation" and that he'd assumed James Collins, Alan Hutton and Stephen Warnock were just pacing themselves during the preseason.
- August 27th, 2012: Following an 0-0-3 start with a negative 18 goal difference, Birmingham area retailers report that sales of English-to-Portuguese dictionaries and bed linens have risen some 300%.
- December 30th, 2012: After wholesale tactical changes lead to a stunning run of form that sees Villa surge to 6th place, Villas-Boas again asserts that he will be given money to spend during the January transfer window. Paul Faulkner gestures wildly towards an unseen person to the left of the dais and AVB is yanked off-stage by a shepherd's crook.
- February 17th, 2013: Emilinho scores his 16th goal of the season and the 2-0 win over Sunderland puts Aston Villa into the top four. Turns out it actually was a Brazilian guy named Emilinho.
- May 12th, 2013: Aston Villa end the season in 5th place, narrowly missing Champions League qualification. Fans sing Villas-Boas' name as the team makes the Villa Park rounds. The following day, Chairman Randy Lerner announces that due to the undeniable progress made over the course of the season he will be making £75 million available to the manager for the summer transfer window. Paul Faulkner is heard vomiting in the background.
August 10th, 2013: Trailing defending champions Manchester City 2-1 in the 78th minute, Villas-Boas withdraws an ineffective and clearly exhausted Marc Albrighton in favor of new signing James Rodríguez. Deafening chants of "You don't know what you're doing!" break out from every corner of Villa Park.
*Both QIA and Randy Lerner have an affinity for both rocketry, astrophysics and creative dismissals. They actually met at a hobbyist's conference.