Aston Villa sack Dean Smith: But was it the right decision for the Lions?

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It was confirmed on Saturday that Aston Villa sacked their manager, Dean Smith, following the narrow 1-0 defeat to Southhampton on Friday in the Premier League.

Aston Villa are 16th in the Premier League table, having picked up just 10 points from 11 matches. While their defeat against Southampton meant that Aston Villa had lost each of their last five matches in the Premier League.

Dean Smith was hired in October 2018 with Aston Villa 14th in the Championship. The English coach helped Villa gain promotion into the Premier League during his first season with the club. Thereafter, he led his team to an impressive first year back in the top flight.

However, Aston Villa lost club captain and star Jack Grealish in the summer to league champions Manchester City for a British-record £100m fee. After which Villa spent £90m on Danny Ings, Leon Bailey, and Emiliano Buendia to replace their club captain. But things have not gone according to Aston Villa’s plan as they sit just above the relegation zone, in the 16th place.

Firstly, Leon Bailey has spent most of his time at the club on the sidelines with constant injuries. While Danny Ings has missed the last couple of matches due to a hamstring problem. However, he is expected to be back to face Brighton on November 20 at Villa Park. Lastly, Emiliano Buendia has also struggled to maintain the numbers and from which he displayed in his previous season in the Championship.

Villa’s CEO, Christian Purslow said:

“This year we have not seen the continuous improvement in results, performances and league position which we have all been looking for”. For this reason we have decided to make a change now to allow time for a new head coach to make an impact.”

Cureent favourites to take over as the new Villa boss

Danmark boss Hjulmand, is currently the favourites to take over as the new Aston Villa manager. Hjulmand led Denmark to the Euro 2020 semi-final this year. While Rangers boss Steven Gerrard and Southampton head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl are also linked to the Villa job. Smith’s former No. 2 John Terry is also being linked to the job.

It will be interesting to see who takes the throne at Villa Park now.

Was it the right decision to sack Dean Smith?

Dean Smith is a boyhood Villa fan. And since taking over as the head coach at Villa he helped the club get promoted to the Premier League in his first season in charge. Villa however did struggle in their first season in the top flight. But Smith led his team to the 2019-20 Carabao Cup final. Moreover, he also led Villa to an impressive 11th place finish in the Premier League 2020-21 season.

Meanwhile, Dean Smith’s trusted defence kept 15 clean sheets in the previous season. This term he has struggled to keep the opposition at bay this season. Club captain Tyrone Mings and Matt Targett who won Villa’s player of the season last year have shown a massive dropoff in their performances from last season.

The manager was a fan favourite and thus he should have been given more time to settle with the new summer signings into the club. With club football coming to a small break with international fixtures to be played. It would have been the perfect time for Dean Smith to work with the players over the break and end the bad run of form. However, Villa owners had different plans and now instead of settling the players, they will now have to go back to the drawing board again and start afresh.

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