Date: 12th July 2020 at 12:53pm
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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.


Writer: Merd

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.


Previous Article by JPA – Left needing snookers – the verdict is almost in on Villa’s season


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2 Replies to “This does not change the “project” – why relegation may not be the end of the world”

  • The task of successfully converting the side into a Premier League standard squad was always going to be tough. Smith took over a Championship side laden with old timers and loanees. Following a great run to promotion, once the dust settled down, we found we were left with one injured senior centre back and no proven striker. There were many gaps to fill.

    Despite the club’s aggregate spend, it was very difficult to strengthen with many experienced recruits with Premier League CVS. Fees for such targets were just too high.

    Maybe there was a case for buying less numerically in order to raise the quality bar. Certainly, some of the new recruits were real gambles. However, it is easy to be wise after the event, particularly when the play offs left Smith and co. with very little time to seal up deals.

    I agree that the wheels have not come off the longer term plan, even if they have wobbled horribly. My hunch is Smith will be given longer, although one or two others from the back room team might disappear.

    Yes, the last few months have been depressing on a number of fronts, but all is not lost. I can see some positive signs for next season, even if one or two of the
    fans’ favourite faces are absent. UTV!

  • I said a year ago promotion was too soon and we were better off staying in the championship winning a lot of games than going up and winning a few. The entertaining games we had last season like the 4-4 draw with Forest was great for our fans. So we went up and we have struggled. Smith has been out of his depth and could have done with some Premier experience around him both in his coaching team and on the pitch.
    The players recruitment was a disaster and Pitarch must be held responsible. If we do go down then why change the Head Coach he knows the Championship as well as anybody and its his level. Keep changing the boss achieves very little. Look at Grealish he’s had 16 years at the club and in that time 13 managers/coaches. That’s ridiculous and all the changes with the way the academy is run, no wonder only Grealish has come through to play regular alongside Albrighton, who we virtually gave away.

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