Alan Curbishley was being listed as a 10-1 hope for the job of Aston Villa manager last night. It is understood that Curbs, who played for Villa, was hurt when he was not considered last time round and the job went to a relegation specialist. The difficulty is that the longer that you are out of the game the more the experience The Times refers to favourably this morning starts to look a little rusty.
Paul Lambert and Roberto Martinez are the favourites. Martinez turned down Villa twelve months ago, but he may consider that he has had his fill of pulling off spectacular late season escape acts at Wigan. The tide is turning against clubs funded by local boys made good.
Sheffield Wednesday may be a giant, but Villa are true sleeping giants. They are the nearest thing the West Midlands has to a regional team with a strong following in Leamington, for example. A broader question is why West Midlands football is so much in the doldrums with the Baggies under Roy Hodgson as a possible exception. Birmingham City have, of course, faced a very difficult financial situation as I discuss here: Blues.
Despite Birmingham being proclaimed as the second city, and some successful regeneration of the city centre, it often seems to lose out to Manchester, e.g., the running down of the BBC presence in the city and its move of, for example, Radio 5 to Salford. Having an elected mayor might have given it a boost, but Brummies thought otherwise.
Having talked about Curbs, we musn't forget our current manager, Chris Powell, who has won the League One Manager of the Year Award. It is difficult to see who else it could have gone to. The Massives spoilt their chances of a trophy that would normally have gone to them by changing managers midstream.