New Aston Villa Manager – The Candidates
With the inevitable departure of beleaguered and bestraggled boss Paul Lambert, Aston Villa are now in search of a manager for the final 13 games – 13 cup finals – in order to save their season.
The strange situation Tom Fox – Villa CEO – finds himself in is, does he appoint a short term, experienced hand to guide the club to safety, or make an appointment with a view to the long term, possibly increasing the chances of relegation even more.
We take a look at some possible, realistic candidates in both categories.
Short Term Bosses
Currently out of work, former Netherlands, PSV, Rangers and Zenit coach, Dick Advocaat would be a quite savvy pick right now. Having won three league titles in three different countries and amassing a win percentage of nearly 55% over 800 games.
Still revered within some football circles in UK, even now, the former England manager has been out of the football management a long, long time. He has remained coaching, though – his Academy in Spain for youngsters – and most recently at QPR under Harry Redknapp. Clearly talented in his day, he remains a viable short term option for Lerner and Fox.
Footy fans generally guffaw whenever his name is mentioned, and he has been out of the game for a number of years for some reason, but Curbishley is a proven Premier League manager. He was hard done by during his stint at West Ham in which he actually did quite well. A former Villa player, he would be known to most of the players and his experience could be vital.
Another of the old, experienced brigade, former Palace and Reading coach Steve Coppell would be a good fit for a short term appointment. Renowned for being a good coach and man-manager, his abilities would be perfect to get the most of out this Villa squad for the final 13 games of the season.
Long Term Bosses
Former Villa centre-half and current England U21 coach, Southgate is highly regarded in management circles. An articulate, intelligent man, his U21 side play some sparkling football. A coaching tag-team of Southgate and former defender Martin Laursen would have Villa fans’ tongues wagging.
Currrent Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has garnered himself quite the reputation over the last couple of years on the South Coast. Having taken the Cherries up from League One, they’ve sat at the top of the Championship for most of this season playing some incredible football. Another one of the new breed of young coaches: clever, eloquent and plays football the right way.
Currently on a one year sabbatical from the game, Thomas Tuchel has gained a huge reputation in Germany after a massively successful stint at Bundesliga club, Mainz. The unfashionable eastern club finished 7th on a budget the size of a Championship club playing some incredible football. Due to a dispute with his former club, he wouldn’t be attainable until the summer and even then he will have some other big offers but Villa should have their oar in for him.
Having recently taken the Real Sociedad job only a few months ago, it would be unlikely he would uproot so soon but Randy Lerner remains a big fan of the Scot and may be tempted to go back in for him in the summer should Villa stay up. With a proven record of rebuilding historically big clubs, Moyes may just be interested in such a task. La Real look like ploughing around midtable in Spain for years to come no matter what Moyes does so coming back to the Premier League could tempt him.