I like Dean Smith, he’s a decent bloke and he’s Villa to the core like all of us.
He had some fantastic highs along the way as manager of the club he loves – Ten straight wins followed by promotion via the Play Off Final. Hammering Liverpool 7:2 under the floodlights and it could have been double figures, a League Cup Final, the double over Arsenal, a win at Manchester United, and taking the club forward each and every season.
But this season has been indifferent and 2021 hasn’t been that good as a whole (as Christian Purslow said in the Club Statement).
The media have been touting his sacking for a while now and it seems the board have agreed and bowed to the pressure.
Five defeats in a row, conceding 13 goals in the process from a defence that last season was one of the best in the division, players pointing fingers at each other on the pitch, had Deano lost the dressing room?
I get where the board are coming from, we cannot wait until January to do something if we are in a relegation fight, a new man will have very little time to get things turned around and going down, especially in the wake of the vast sums of money paid out to take us towards European football in the last 3 years, is not an option and would be a financial disaster and undo everything achieved so far.
Many, myself included, found it hard to reconcile with Dean’s insistence on 433 for much of his tenure. It could be argued he was limited by what was on the staff roster, and it almost cost us our Premier League status in our first season back. Did our great start to last season raise the bar too high for our players and our expectations for greater things?
If the board have high hopes for Europe in the next two seasons then the next incumbent HAS to be a big name manager with a proven track record, who will bring leadership and the tactics to gel the squad and find a way to make us a team not only well worth watching with exciting football, but very hard to beat.
As to who, I haven’t a clue but I hope the board have someone already lined up who will galvanise the whole club and get us believing again.
Thank you Dean for returning the Villa back to the top flight.