Aston Villa are looking for their fourth manager in less than two years after under-fire boss Alex McLeish was sacked. The Scot, who has lasted just 11 months in the job, has ultimately paid the price for a truly torrid season, in which the Midlands club only survived the dreaded drop by two points. McLeish had been under intense scrutiny ever since his controversial move from Birmingham City last summer, which was always destined for failure.
Attention will now shift to finding a new manager, with owner Randy Lerner under pressure to listen to the supporters this time around. Lerner ignored fan protests last summer as he went against their wishes to appoint McLeish, who was then manager of the club’s fierce local rivals Birmingham City. It was always going to be a big ask for the Villa faithful to back McLeish but even they wouldn’t have envisioned the shocking season the club has had. Villa managed just seven league wins and failed to win any of their final 10 matches. They also endured their worst ever home record, with a pitiful four wins at Villa Park.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has emerged as the early favourite in the Next Aston Villa Manager Odds. The Spaniard was interviewed for the vacancy last summer but in a tremendous show of loyalty decided to pledge his future to Wigan. It will now be interesting to see if he can be persuaded to make the move this summer. Norwich City boss Paul Lambert is also attracting a lot of attention following an impressive first season in the Premier League. Elsewhere the out-of-work Alan Curbishley and Rafa Benitez are also in the mix as is Brighton boss Gus Poyet, with Celtic manager Neil Lennon an outside bet.