ENGLISH FOOTBALL

What next for Aston Villa as they sack Dean Smith?

Premier League player

After a poor run of form, Aston Villa has decided to sack their manager Dean Smith with immediate effect. This will bring an end to over three years of relationship between the club and the manager.

Dean Smith has been instrumental in the progress of Aston Villa, helping them in their promotion to the Premier League in the very first season. Though his second year saw them barely escaping the relegation, he lead his side to an EFL Cup final against Manchester City that year.

Aston Villa was excellent last season finishing 11th, but the club could not transfer that form to the new season. The club is currently 16th in the league table with just 10 points from 11 matches. A run of 5 successive defeats in the Premier League prompted Aston Villa to finally say goodbye to Dean Smith.

ASTON VILLA SACKS DEAN SMITH

The announcement of Dean Smith came after his sides defeat to Southampton on the weekend. Aston Villa made an official club statement on their website thanking the manager for his service.

“The Board would like to sincerely thank Dean for his many excellent achievements, on and off the pitch, during this time. Everyone knows how much Aston Villa means to Dean and his family. He has represented the Club with distinction and dignity – universally liked and respected by everybody associated with Aston Villa – our staff, players and supporters alike. We wish him the very best.”

For Aston Villa, it is vital to find a good replacement for Dean Smith. The club has spent good money in the summer to reinforce their squad. The likes of Danny Ings, Leon Bailey and Emiliano Buendia were bought for big fees, though they did sell their best player Jack Grealish.

UNDERWHELMING AT BOTH ENDS

The major issue for Aston Villa this season has been the lack of defensive solidity. Villa finished 11th last season, on the back of a good defensive performance. Their 15 clean sheets in the 2020/21 Premier League campaign was only behind the champions Manchester City and Chelsea.

Aston Villa conceded 46 goals last season while managing to score 55 goals. However, this season they have already conceded 20 goals but only managed 14 for themselves. Jack Grealish has been a major factor in driving the team forward especially in attack, but the club has brought in enough replacements to fill the void. Yet, Smith was not able to find the best formation for his side this time around.

While there is a Grealish shaped hole in the attack, the same cannot be said about the defence. The club still has the same backline and have the impressive Emiliano Martinez at goal. This dip in defensive quality is now being associated with the departure of John Terry this season.

The former Chelsea legend was an assistant coach at Villa. With the club now without a manager, Terry is also being linked with the managerial job, but the chances for the same looks dim.

NEXT MANAGER FOR ASTON VILLA

So who would be the next Villa manager? The hunt is already on, with the club owners looking to bring in an excellent replacement who can push them to the top half of the table. As a result, multiple names are being mentioned in the media.

One of the favourites for the job at the moment includes the likes of former AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca and Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. The Denmark men’s national team manager Kasper Hjulmand is also considered to be in the mix.

Other managers like Frank Lampard and Ralph Hasenhuttl are also being mentioned for the job. But all these are currently just rumoured as nothing solid have taken shape.

ROAD AHEAD

Aston Villa seems to have decided with the international break in mind to help the team. The club will have a week more before they welcome Brighton Hove Albion in their next Premier League match.

The priority for the new manager would be to stop the leak in defence. Aston Villa is having a tough few fixtures ahead and anyone appointed will have their task cut out. In their next 5 matches, they will face sides from the top half of the table including Manchester City, Liverpool and Leicester.

As for Dean Smith, it is still not sure if the 50-year-old would want an immediate return to management. With Norwich City sacking Daniel Farke, Smith could make a swift return to Premier League if he decides to do so.

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