Martin O'Neill shelled out a fortune on big-chip players, but played kick and rush and we nearly went bust. It was exciting, but we cried out for the youth.
Gerard Houllier tried to get Dunne and Collins playing total football from the back. It was scary. And we cried out for the youth.
Alex McLeish played the long ball game. It was dire. And we cried out like never before for the youth.
Paul Lambert may be making a virtue out of necessity, but he has a vision and he is is sticking to it. He believes in his players, and tells anyone who will listen about that belief. Villa under Lambert are the Premier League's youngest team, but Lambert is resolute in his conviction that those youngsters can secure Premier League survival and then move on to greater things.
Finally, a vision. We'll suffer defeats, we'll get knocked - but with every game these young players will grow.
I know many will come back and say they'd rather have a sugar daddy Arab or Russian to spend zillions on Spanish and Latin American superstars.
I'd rather be Wigan than Manchester City. Playing the right way, scouting well, developing players, taking on the Premier League with intelligence and integrity. And, under the stewardship of an owner who cares and is loyal to his manager, making a profit.
I believe in Paul Lambert's vision, even if he's had no choice. I'm right behind him.We asked for the Academy graduates to be given a chance, and now they are getting that chance.
I applaud Lambert's resoluteness and his belief. And I think it will transfer to his players.Up the Villa!