Former England international Stephen Warnock believes that Sam Allardyce could take over as manager of his former employers, Aston Villa.
As reported by EuroSport, Warnock tipped Allardyce to provide Villa with the swift fortune reversal they need on Quest’s EFL highlights show*. Steve Bruce was axed yesterday afternoon, less than 24 hours after being struck by a cabbage by a supporter.
The 36-year-old was a regular fixture in the Villains’ side for three seasons before falling out of favour under Paul Lambert and has weighed in on his former club’s current predicament.
Brentford boss Dean Smith has emerged as the early favourite to take over and Warnock insists that he would like to see the former Walsall manager handed the reigns:
“Personally, I’d like to see Dean Smith there, I think he’d be a great appointment. When you look at the amount of money he’s been given compared to other managers in the league, he’s done brilliantly. The style of football they play is superb, they tore Villa to pieces at Villa Park a couple of weeks ago. And he’s also a Villa fan, so he’d go into the club with a lot at stake and a lot of heart.”
However, with Villa in the midst of a transitional period, the former Liverpool man suggested that the experienced Allardyce may find himself in the Villa Park hot seat:
“However, they need to make an appointment quickly, and there’s plenty of time left in the season to get promoted. But it needs to be a statement of intent, do they go with longevity with someone like Smith or do they want the instant improvement but perhaps for a shorter period of time, which is what I think Sam Allardyce would represent.”
The club are currently languishing in mid-table obscurity and face a daunting trip to Neil Harris’ Millwall on Saturday. The lowly Lions have failed to find their feet in the Championship this season but will be looking to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding Villa Park. Warnock also discussed the key issues that the new Villa boss will need to address when appointed:
“Firstly, you have to get the fans to buy into what you’re doing. We’ve seen with the cabbage incident that they are passionate and will show how they feel. They need to get the fans excited again to go to the games, if you can get Villa Park as a fortress and get the fans right behind you it’s such a daunting place for away teams to go.
“You have to make sure you’ve got the confidence up in the changing room, because right now they’re not playing with complete confidence otherwise they would be getting better results. I think players should have a little more freedom; at the moment they play within a rigid structure, so I think some players need to be given the freedom to do what they do best.”
Despite winning just one of their last nine league games, the Villains only trail sixth-placed Brentford by two points. They will be keen to make a swift appointment as they look to return to winning ways and propel themselves into the play-off places.
*Watch EFL on Quest every Saturday at 9pm, also available on QuestOD