Alex McLeish Brings Defensive Acumen To Aston Villa - 7500 To Holte

There's no question that there are some Aston Villa supporters out there who absolutely refuse to see any positive to hiring Alex McLeish away from rival Birmingham City. The folks at 7500 to Holte, SB Nation's Aston Villa blog, are not quite so myopic, though. They hardly seem enthused about the hiring, but do see how a manager like McLeish could be good for a side that allowed more goals than all but four teams that escaped relegation. They see an Aston Villa team whose personnel practically guarantees a more open style than McLeish played at Birmingham City:

Logically, there is no way McLeish can use Aston Villa as he did Birmingham. We've got one of the most dynamic goal-scorers in the game in Darren Bent, and one of the most creative midfielders alive in Barry Bannan. (Heck, maybe the fact that Bannan and McLeish are both Scottish will mean that we see more of Wee Barry.) Couple that with Marc Albrighton and (hopefully) Stewart Downing, and this is a club that begs for a flowing game. Villa almost always looked best last season when they were on the counter-attack. They were incredibly opportunistic at times, and it is possible that McLeish takes advantage of that.

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