Does he stay or does he go? That’s the question some Aston Villa fans raised after promotion, and again at points during our less than stellar season. A year ago I thought Dean Smith should stay; he’d done a great job getting us up the table and through the playoffs, and we had to see how far he could take us in the Premier League.
Season over, the question rears its head again, against a background where the owners will want us to push on and reach a significantly higher level in the PL. Does he stay, does he go? This time, while thanking him for his efforts, I’m opting for go. Here’s why.
Vital Villa’s Dean Smith Forum Thread
(1) The current team (team, not individuals) is poor. Apart from getting a defence to play at acceptable levels over recent matches, I can’t see where it’s going. We don’t have an attack worthy of the name; without Trezeguet’s opportunistic goals in the last four matches we’d be well and truly down. I can’t see how DS will improve it; even if we get more players in, I can’t see how he’d put things together to make a competitive team capable say of mid-table. We don’t have the sort of identity where we can say we need a player of type X to fit in position Y.
(2) I question his coaching. Jack is a player who is crying out for top level coaching. If he stays under DS, I think he’ll stay at his current level. Some players have improved, notably Douglas Luiz and Ezri Konsa. But Luiz came with a good reputation and you could say he’s only getting back to that level. Other players looked good to start with but seem to have tailed off; Freddy Guilbert, Bjorn Engels and Marvelous Nakamba, for example. Mbwana Samatta looked OK for a couple of matches then looked lost.
(3) I think he’s too close to the players. After West Ham, he said something about “going to get drunk with Jack”. That shocked me, for a manager/coach. He has to have authority, respect. He has to have trust. Add in the fact that several players are probably teetotal, and I think he’s operating on the wrong level.
(4) We need a coach who matches the aspirations of the owners. That means top level coaching, ability to forge players into an effective team, and tactical nous to get the best out of each and every match. To me, DS just isn’t at that level.
That’s me. It’s over to the owners!
With Survival Secured...
Smith Has Earned Next Season
Thanks But We Must Kick On