Against a backdrop of near-certain relegation after just one season back in the Premier League, the debate continues in the forum on the future direction of the club.
Much of the focus is on head coach Dean Smith’s future, but the roles played in this seemingly disastrous season by Christian Purslow and Jesus Pitarch are also under scrutiny, as well as the ‘ambition’ of the club’s owners and whether they will accept the ‘failure’ unfolding before us.
Plenty of fans want to see the back of Smith, Purslow and Pitarch, citing disastrous and naive recruitment during the summer and the January window, alongside Smith’s apparent lack of a Plan B for much of the season.
But others feel we are losing sight of the longer-term project, and that while promotion was a bonus probably achieved a year too soon, it would set us back further by trashing everything and rebooting yet again.
Forum regular Merd has posted an interesting and level-headed opinion on where we need to go from here.
I don’t see it as a foregone conclusion that anyone will be sacked. Everyone inside Aston Villa knew the size of the task, said we were a year ahead of schedule and in all honesty, expected a relegation battle.
This does not change the “project” and while it appears that the project is somewhat derailed, the investment in youth and the academy is probably “the project.”
The short term is to be a Premier League club, mid-term to be pushing and long-term to be sustainably pushing. This relegation is an annoyance to the owners, not devastating like it would have been to Xia. As fans, we don’t see the whole picture.
It is therefore very plausible to think that Dean Smith and co will be retained unless someone like Pochettino is available and will come.
We are all driven by emotions as fans. Obviously, it’s a results-driven business, but that is not the only key metric our owners will be looking at. We can rant and rave all we like, but it is the owners who will decide when and if change is required.
I like Dean Smith, I know some family members, but JF has been spot on all year with his game analysis. The only defence I can make for Dean Smith and co is the lack of plausible options – our bench is cr*p.
We need clear heads at the top, making rational decisions for the overall health if the football club.
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