Aston Villa are still searching for a manager to take over following Steve Bruce’s dismissal after just one win in nine Championship games. That run was extended to 10 matches as Villa lost 2-1 at Millwall, despite taking a first half lead, under the caretaker management of Kevin MacDonald.
The Villans have been linked with moves for managers without much experience of the English second tier, with the likes of Thierry Henry, John Terry and Paulo Fonseca all being linked Bruce was sacked.
All have coached and or played at the highest level of English and or European football, and could provide a similar ‘big name’ effect as what both Rangers and Derby County have experienced since appointing Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard respectively over the summer.
However, having just dispensed with Bruce, a manager steeped in Championship experience, having achieved more promotions than anyone else from England’s second tier, it would signal a dramatic change in direction for the club to appointment a big name, rather than an experienced manager at Championship level.
Towards the end of Bruce’s reign there was a growing discontent from Villa supporters towards the style of play, and the over reliance on key players producing individual moments of quality to win matches, rather than implementing a clear tactical plan to achieve exciting attacking performances that would earn those victories.
One manager who the club have also been linked, Dean Smith, could provide both Championship experience and the potential to implement a more attractive and attacking style. Smith has proven himself more than capable of managing in the Championship since leaving Walsall to take charge at Brentford. Smith’s Brentford side play some of the most attractive football in the division, with a possession-based style that encourages The Bees’ creative players to express themselves going forwards.
Whoever Villa’s hierarchy appoint in the coming days or weeks, whether a big name or experienced manager, it is vital that they select the right manager, with the ability to take the club forward and guide them back to the Premier League. The Villains have already experienced financial difficulty after missing out on promotion, losing the play-off final last season to Fulham, and being taken over by new owners. it is crucial for the club’s future that they get back to the Premier League in the next few years, this next managerial appointment will have a major impact as to whether they can achieve this.