It's weird isn't it?
As fans, the direction we want the club to pull towards is always charged with emotion. We want Brian Little as CEO because he's a Villa man. We want John Gregory involved because he's a Villa man. We want Petrov, Taylor and Hendrie involved with Villa because he's a Villa man. We want the club to spend big bucks because in a sense, it rewards us for paying money and devoting our time to watching Aston Villa. This decisions aren't the smartest, but it's what we want and there's really no advanced thinking behind these decisions that we can explain.
We can say 'Oh, these people know Villa in-and-out and will help them hit the heights again' - but there's no basis that decisions made solely by emotion will come to the same outcome one believes they might have had. Especially in the cut-throat world of football.
Tom Fox was guilty of leading with his heart, instead of his head. Even though it may seem like it was the other way round, there's no reasonable logic to back up the decisions he had made in his time at Aston Villa. He was swayed by the grandeur of a team he wanted to make his own and stuck to a plan he had made, with pretty much no-one telling him it was a path to failure.
The decision to hire Tim Sherwood instead of other candidates was purely emotionally charged. The fist-pumping oozing charisma of Sherwood won over many, and the hiring initially worked as Villa stayed up, but had Fox performed any ounce of research before letting Sherwood take the reigns, he would have changed his plan as it was clear that Sherwood would chafe and fail under the pressures of authority. He was the man to make his own plan, not do what others think to be right.
Trying their best not to spend during January, Fox and Almstadt clearly wanted to 'rebuild' Villa in the 'easier' league of the Championship. This decision led to a lot of quite handily screwed up moves and arguments with Remi Garde. Aston Villa could have easily persuaded 2 or more players to jump ship to Villa, but they didn't and failed to do so. They didn't aim for any targets or let Remi Garde be involved at all. Villa's head honchos thought they were being rational, but in fact - they stuck so firmly to a plan that they wanted to work up to a point where sticking to that plan was a decision formed from loyalty to the plan, rather than moving to a new plan that was demanded by the dire situation Aston Villa were in.
Remi Garde's decisions are clearly not motivated by emotion as Joleon Lescott would have had a foot planted so firmly up his arse he'd have to retire and claim some sort of 'unfit-to-work' benefit (HA! like those exist in the UK anymore). But being Villa's best defender, he can clearly be a prat and allowed to play for the team. What contradicts this, however, is the fact that Gabby Agbonlahor, the stats defier himself, remains near the first team at all in his current spell of form. Unable to create, make or finish chances, there is no point to Gabby being in the team other than the fact he is a 'Villa man'.
If it's not a decision made from loyalty, there are decisions that have been made due to anger. Villa fans were left frustrated, confused and upset by the destruction of season tickets on the orders of Tom Fox and more fans were angered by stewards tearing down banners.
Even when Steve Hollis was hired by Randy Lerner, we as fans turned our anger on a man who self admittedly has nothing to do with football. It was an easy decision to make and even easier to see him as the villain of the piece - a no nonsense business man who has come to turn Villa into his own profit.
The trouble with making decisions is that they almost always have a 50% chance of failure. The problem with making decisions based on emotion is that they can be made on such a broad spectrum of feelings which makes it hard to see the full picture whilst the issue with rational decisions is that they almost never come to us when we need them to do so.
An upset manager, players who have had the confidence stripped from them and whole bunch of angry fans.There's no place for emotion at the top levels of football clubs, especially when all it does is seemingly ruin everything. Steve Hollis has shown that the decision-making at the top can change with his 'review' of Villa leading to the firing of Fox and Almstadt as well as the hiring of David Bernstein and Brian Little (as an advisor to the board until further notice). In one move, Hollis managed to almost appease Villa fans as well as put the foundations in place for a revival next year.
And that's decision making that I think we can all get behind.