Aston Villa next manager odds
It’s too late for Aston Villa to bounce straight back after suffering relegation from the top flight last season. Yet, after starting the campaign with a poor run which left them in 20th place in the Championship heading into the Christmas period, the Villa board will be happy to see the club finish in a mid-table position this season.
Their resurgence was largely due to the arrival of Steve Bruce, who has turned the club around and now hopes to guide the club back to the Premier League within the next few years.
However, given the high turnover in managers in recent seasons, there is likely little room for mistakes at the club. Should they suffer a similar poor start this season, Bruce would likely find himself out of a job. Yet, should they part ways, who is likely to be brought in as his replacement?
Usual candidate Dean Smith would likely find himself on the list once again. The Brentford boss achieved a ninth place finish in his first season with the club and looks on track to produce a similar result this year. He has previously stated that he wants to guide Brentford to the Premier League, but as a lifelong Aston Villa fan, he could be tempted to jump ship should an offer materialise.
Smith isn’t quite the big name that Villa have targeted in the past and there will be doubts about his ability to manage at the highest level due to his lack of experience. However, Smith is well known for his excellent man management skills, which could help to get the best out of club’s players.
Should they wish to target somebody with the experience of taking a team from the Championship to the Premier League, Aitor Karanka could be a good choice.
The former Middlesbrough manager parted ways with the club in March after falling out with the board. That will undoubtedly raise concerns about his attitude, but the Spaniard’s time at Middlesbrough speaks for itself. He took a side that were consistently finishing in the middle of the Championship table and made them a Premier League side within three years, which is exactly the kind of transformation that Aston Villa will need if they are to regain their place in the top flight.
Another name that has been mentioned is former England manager Steve McClaren, who would certainly fit the bill if Aston Villa are looking for a similar manager to their recent acquisitions. However, should Villa decide to appoint McClaren, the decision is unlikely to go down too well with the club’s fans. Following Roberto Di Matteo’s sacking in October 2016, fans pleaded with the club to reconsider after reports emerged suggesting McClaren was being lined up.
There have been plenty of ups and downs throughout McClaren’s career, but he certainly has plenty of experience to call upon. His latest stint came at Derby County earlier this season, where he lasted just five months, despite embarking on a ten game unbeaten run.
If Aston Villa seriously hope to regain their place in the Premier League, they will need a manager with the experience of competing at the highest level in the Championship.