By George Adams
With Rémi Garde gone, the Villa Park managerial helter skelter claims another victim, the third in just over a year.
Garde’s candidacy was aided by a familiarity of working with a ‘moneyball’ transfer policy and in a backroom set up at Lyon that Villa have tried and spectacularly failed to emulate. Quite how these advantages matter when the club fail to sign a single player in January and subsequently sack and reshuffle the club’s hierarchy is beyond me, beyond common sense and seemingly beyond Remi.
Had Bruno Genesio and Gerald Baticle been allowed to join Remi from Lyon and provided him with some much needed back up, then things may have turned out differently, or at least, less catastrophically. But, it hasn’t worked out and it seems likely that Garde will end up back with Genesio at Lyon in one role or another.
So, onto his hypothetical replacement, looking at MOMS’ list of 30 Managers that was drawn up around this time last year when Paul Lambert was on his way out, it is depressing to see what some of these managers have gone on to do and how many have to immediately be ruled out due to our relegation status.
So, who would the new-look Villa board consider to be their new man to lead them out of the Championship next season?
Fan-favourite: David Moyes
While MOMS isn’t convinced, Moyes seems to lead most fan polls on various online media, more on the ex-Everton and United boss in our article here.
The non-starter: Steve Bruce
Recent stories have seen ex blues boss Bruce linked with the role but given Hull’s potential Premier League status it seems, for the time being, to be a bit of a non-starter.
He may be tempted if Hull fail to secure promotion, but that wouldn’t be a great indicator of his suitability, and he may fancy continuing his work at Hull. No stranger to a Championship promotion bid, he was successful in achieving this at St Andrew’s and earlier in his current reign at Hull. Stand up potato-head?
The ex-Villa man: Simon Grayson
Grayson prevented Preston from relegation to League Two in his first season before securing promotion to the Championship via the play offs in his third season. Preston North End currently find themselves in the top half of the table, despite spending next to nothing this summer.
Grayson seems to have got more out of Villa academy products than any recent Villa manager has. He signed Daniel Johnson for £50,000 and after losing his first match with his new club the Lilywhites went on to lose one of the next 22 matches that he featured in, and, he’s currently their top goalscorer in the league with 7 goals.
Combined with Villa loanee Callum Robinson’s contributions, the two academy products were instrumental in securing promotion to the Championship. Grayson is no newcomer to a promotion push; he’s taken Huddersfield, Leeds and Blackpool to the Championship from League One. Addressing defensive issues at Leeds and Huddersfield, Grayson has deployed a 3-5-2 formation this season and Preston have shipped fewer goals because of this, a more attacking adaptation would be required for the Villa role. Four promotions with four different teams, surely his name should be mentioned more prominently?
The East Midlands maverick: Nigel Pearson
Unless you’re an ostrich and have had your head in the sand you will definitely have seen Nigel Pearson’s name banded about and even demanded by some Aston Villa fans.
Although Claudio Ranieri clearly deserves the plaudits, it is important to remember that Leicester’s Premier League status was only made possible following Pearson’s promotion and consequent great escape with the club.
Ranieri himself has also stated how he hasn’t tinkered too heavily with the foundations laid by Pearson’s reign and he partially responsible for the blueprint of their success. In his previous spell with the Foxes he guided them to promotion to the Championship from League One and then took them to the play offs the following season.
Not one to shy away from controversy, both his spells at Leicester broke down due to a conflict with the board. However, his appointment would be greeted warmly by some Villa fans and he has turned down various jobs waiting for the right one since his dismissal last summer.
However, there is one major question mark about Pearson on the football side of things. A lot of the recent success of Leicester was also down to Pearson’s previous assistant managers Craig Shakespeare and Steve Walsh, who remain in the same roles at Leicester and have played a big part in the Foxes being top now.
Would Pearson be successful without them? Because there is very little chance they would leave Leicester now to follow him anywhere.
The ‘future England manager’: Garry Monk
It wasn’t too long ago that the Guardian ran a piece identifying Garry Monk as a candidate to replace Roy Hodgson, yet now the promising young coach finds himself out of a job with things having derailed severely at Swansea.
Perhaps this should serve as a warning but Monk has a reputation for being incredibly hard working and meticulous in his detail. His style came under criticism at Swansea as it lacked consistency and towards the end they really struggled to find the net. But he is certainly not the most negative of managers by any stretch.
Few doubt that he has a huge future ahead of him in the management business, could that bright future begin at the Villa?
See the next page for FOUR more possible managerial candidates.