Yet again a ‘must-win’ game ends in defeat and Aston Villa now rock-bottom of the league. It’s curtains for Tim Sherwood too, as he’s fired. Just when you think things couldn’t get much worse for Villa, they do.
There’s a lot for those supposedly running the club to sort out, but in the meantime, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Aston Villa fans…
1. Bye-bye Timmy
Tim Sherwood’s dismissal was to be expected after Aston Villa’s shocking start to the season, so we can at least be thankful that the club’s board have reacted to do something about it, although the board themselves remain very much part of the overall problem.
10 games was enough to see that Sherwood’s team selections and in-game management left a lot to be desired and faith in him turning around Villa’s fortunes quickly vanished. You can’t argue the sacking after his team had gained just four points from 30.
There were always doubts about Sherwood being successful long-term as Villa boss, but he had gained a lot of goodwill from fans due to the life he injected into the club last season, the highlight of which was a double-Wembley date in the FA Cup. For that, we must be thankful to Sherwood, as he did at least briefly give Villa a glimmer of ambition.
2. Not Impossible
There’s been some misinformation going around social media that no team has avoided relegation after being on four points after 10 games. Not true. Two season’s ago, both Sunderland and Crystal Palace avoided the drop despite terrible starts of four and three points respectively.
3. Ayew Promise
Perhaps the highlight of the Swansea City loss was the performance of Jordan Ayew, whose tireless running of the channels was rewarded with his first goal for the club.
If he had a smarter right-back than Alan Hutton to play with down the right-hand side and more midfield support, then he could have done more damage to the Swans.
One thing is for sure, he’ll need to keep making progress and getting amongst the goals if Villa are to have any chance of surviving this season.
4. Gana Pivot
Tidy and comfortable on the ball, Gana is fast becoming a genuine pivot for the Villa midfield. Alongside Jordan Amavi, he is also one of the more impressive of Villa’s French Ligue legion.
If there was one thing apparent from the Swansea game though, it was Gana needs help in the Villa midfield. With a lightweight pairing of only Bacuna and Grealish alongside him in a midfield three against the Swans, Gana was under constant pressure and often just keeping his head above water.
What has happened to his supposed wing-man Jordan Veretout? There’s one player that has perhaps been the biggest disappointment of all Villa’s summer signings, after being tipped to be one of the best.
At the moment Gana is replacing Fabian Delph and Tom Cleverley on his own, and Veretout’s lack of contribution has been a big influence on Villa’s current predicament.
5. Swift Action
It seems Sherwood will be replaced swiftly, with Remi Garde becoming a firm front-runner to take over. MOMS featured the Frenchman as a possible candidate to take over as Villa boss when Paul Lambert was sacked, earlier in the year.
The former Lyon and Arsenal player used to work as an assistant under Gerard Houlier and was once predicted to be Arsene Wenger’s successor. Since leaving Lyon to take a sabbatical, the 49-year-old has been linked to jobs at Brighton and Newcastle.
The concern about Garde, as I stated back in February, is:
‘Whether he’s the real deal is open to debate. Would he have the stomach for the relegation battle ahead? Too many question marks perhaps to take a punt on Garde in Villa’s current situation.’
In many ways he is the managerial version of the kind of players Villa have largely signed in the summer; a long-term prospect that might not be able to hit the ground running. Also, for a 49-year-old, he has not done that much to suggest that the hype of him being the next Wenger, actually has any substance.
With Villa at the bottom of the table, Garde is certainly a risk and no one will be able to currently prove otherwise. UTV
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