The caretaker boss is an unsung hero at Villa Park, having spent years nurturing the talents of players such as Gabriel Agbonlahor, Nathan Delfounseo and Marc Albrighton and whilst his work is appreciated within the club many people on the outside will have overlooked him until now.
Since the departure of Martin O’Neill, Aston Villa’s form under MacDonald has deviated between buoyancy and dejection; a 3-0 victory over West Ham on the opening day had players pouring in with glowing references but since then a 6-0 hammering from Newcastle, being dumped out Europe by Rapid Vienna and a plucky 1-0 victory against Everton has split opinion on whether he should take the reins on a permanent basis.
But if one thing is for certain, the Villa vacancy has highlighted the paucity of Lerner’s options. Names such as Alan Curbishley, Sven Goran Eriksson and Bob Bradley may fail to inspire the Villa Park faithful – so why not hand MacDonald the chance he deserves after 15 years of fantastic service to the club?
Graham Taylor recently backed MacDonald for the hot seat describing how it would allow MacDonald to showcase the man-management skills and aptitude for developing talent that has made him successful as reserve team manager and emerging star Mark Albrighton claims he is “more of a man manager” than Martin O’Neill. Luke Young and James Collins also backed him.
He knows the club inside out and perhaps it would be best for him to continue in his role until the end of the season. This may offer a better alternative than a new manager coming in and changing things when Villa appear to be just getting going under a caretaker boss they all seem to enjoy working with. Although he has never pursued a role such as this, his appointment would end the uncertainty and the team may be able to instigate a good run of form in the Premier League.
MacDonald said he would like the position at Villa but knows there he will be amongst other strong candidates: “Who says I will be chosen? Whoever gets interviewed, if they come up with the right solution on how to take the club forward, that would be the right person for the job.
“It would help me being in the position. That would put me in a more favourable position than people who come in from the outside.
I believe that MacDonald could be the man to continue where Martin O’Neill left off, part of the Liverpool 1986 side that won the double, described as a man who gets on with his job in a diligent way – he may be the answer at Villa Park.