Alex McLeish: My tactics are not negative

Alex McLeish today hit back at the critics who have perpetuated the “myth” his Villa side play negative football and urged them to “examine the facts”.

Alex McLeish today hit back at the critics who have perpetuated the “myth” his Villa side play negative football and urged them to “examine the facts”.

Villa have not scored in their past three Premier League games which has led to a section of supporters and a number of pundits questioning McLeish’s approach.

But the Scot insisted his philosophy as a manager is not negative and the teams he has selected have been attacking ones even if results and performances have not always reflected that.

“I think it’s a myth, I just think it’s a myth. I think in all my days as a coach and manager I’ve had pretty dynamic teams all the way,” said McLeish.

“Even the Birmingham team that went down when I took over from Steve Bruce; James McFadden and Mikael Forssell were magnificent until McFadden got injured for the last few months.

“I don’t think they’re examining the facts, so there’s nothing much I can do about that, but it’s a myth. That’s for sure and that’s a fact.

“I shouldn’t have to explain it, if they examined the facts and they looked at my teams over the years you’ll see that they were entertaining teams. I think the guy that took over at Hibernian recently said it would be great to get a Hibs team playing how McLeish’s team played.

“Why don’t they look at other things as well, rather than just looking at the manager?”

McLeish also revealed his players have been working hard in training to address the lack of goals in the side but has asked for patience and understanding during a transitional period for the club.

“Do you think we don’t work on finishing? Every single day we end up with a finishing session, practising shots on goal and getting strikes on target,” added the Villa boss.

“But at the same time the engineering of chances is the thing and at the moment we’re still working to get to a better level. I’m hoping and believing that in one of the set-ups everybody produces a top performance on the same day.

“I feel the pain when we lose, I feel the pain when we don’t perform well. Just like everybody else I’m extremely proud. But I’m totally focussed and I’m determined to do a great job for Villa.

“I don’t think we’re doing a horrible job at the minute, but I think people have to be understanding of the young players we’ve got at the moment who are trying to become Premier League players.”

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Comments for: "Alex McLeish: My tactics are not negative"


Weak. In English football, his teams have never scored goals. He's picked teams to defend all season and even picked 1 at Spurs to just keep the score down. However you look at it - Hutton and Heskey on the wings is an incredibly defensive option when both Albrighton and N'Zogbia were available, Zog had even just had his best game for Villa the week before.

Dan Wain

the bloke is completely deluded, dynamic teams? what planet is he on?

He gets the players to work on finishing, all well and good if he gets the team to play as a unit to attack in the first instance I couldn't care less that he came from the blues, what I care about is the Villa and he isn't good enough. My old man tries to stick up for him saying we have no money and we are playing it safe to survive in the prem but how is it safe employing somebody with a 66% relegation record in England.

I could give a bit of slack if he came out and said we have no money I cant do anymore, at least he would be honest but apparently it is everybody else's fault. My parents always taught me that If i was saying one thing and everyone else was saying another I must be wrong, well that goes for you Mcbore.


He also says we have a young team, well the only youngster he plays is Herd, who I have been impressed with but that doesn't wash 1 out of 11 players.

Get Gary Gardner back at least the fans would acknowledge that you are trying to have a go and maybe a bit more of a dynamic team. Saying you had a dynamic team with McFadden is laughable because we are in the premiership and at best he is a Scottish/Championship player.

Sorry for the rant but it needs to be said, I will support the Villa whatever happens, even if we go down but this has to be said.


dave par

im sick of all this stuff about kids if there ready then there ready, look back at players they was all young owen, rooney, gabby all started playing and never stoped. not a big fan of bannon but his looking better and albrighton should start every time for me. heskey shouldnt be on bench he is the worst player i think i have seen at villapark (that plays all the time). time to start playing the right players all the fans see it so why cant mcleish. would love to think he will be sacked but i just dont see it happening cause lerner will give him time.

Dee Gee

I think someone needs to show hm some stats. Low possession, fewest shots in the League.

He is a disease. Cut him lose asap.



Unbelievable. That's the only word to describe that interview. The man must be deranged to come out with such stuff. He does not have a clue how to set up a team to attack which is why we are playing the worst football in the league at present. Selecting Heskey out of position in midfield or on the wing is not an attacking move - it is an innately defensive one. He brings brute force and nothing else, certainly no creativity in positions that demand it. Selecting a right-back on the wing is innately defensive. Selecting central defenders in full-back roles in innately defensive.

This is a manager who thinks in terms of damage limitation and nothing else. That he should describe this team - or any of his previous ones - as 'dynamic' is an insult to any supporter that has ever paid to watch them.

One way or another, this man will leave the Club and the sooner the better for all of our sake's.


Enough is enough this man has completely lost the plot...Negative, boring, awful,out of his depth, useless, clueless, loser, rubbish, tripe are all words that were made for this man.


If he wants to look at the facts then they are all there for people to see. Bent has had the least amount of touches in the league, we dont create chances, we dont score goals, Oh and does he forget that he took small heath down TWICE.

He is another fact, why did he when he met with Fans before the season start, say he would play more flowing football, that Gabs wouldnt play wide left as he isnt a winger ??


Dan Heskey is rubbish granted but looks world class when put next to Hutton a player that is to football what McLiesh is to football have these 2 losers at our once great club is a disgrace and an insult.

John Baldwin

Think they might as well skip the Season Review 2011/12 as we'll get more entertainment from X Factor and i hate X Factor


Old Mcloser is more deluded than i thought he was. I have never seen such negative football in my life. We need to get this man out of our football club as quick as possible before we are watching championship football. Our club has become a laughing stock.


you lot should go.


mr learner sack him sell up and clear off

The King of Bilstonia

Its not that your ginger,

its not that your Jockanese,

its not that you managed the Blouse

Its purely that you are monumentally rubbish as a manager - Randy do us a favour, give us a proper christmas present and sack the clown NOW