Next Aston Villa Manager: Who is in the running?

by Jack Kitson / 03 October 2016, 11:18

Aston Villa’s woes sunk to deeper depths after the Roberto Di Matteo experiment came to disappointing end. Villa endured an horrific 2015/16 season under Tim Sherwood, Remi Garde and Eric Black, and their troubles overlapped into the new campaign under Di Matteo, who lasted just 12 games in total.

Attention has now naturally turned to Di Matteo’s successor in the dugout, and we take this opportunity to look at five of the early names in the frame in the Next Aston Villa Manager Market.

Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce is the man who tops the betting at this early stage in proceedings. In the last week the out-of-work manager has been linked with both managerless England and soon-to-be-managerless Derby, but he now finds himself as the favourite to replace Di Matteo at managerless Aston Villa.

Bruce has an abundance of experience in the dugout, overseeing nearly 800 matches since entering the managerial arena with Sheffield United in 1998. The 55-year-old, who left Hull in the build-up to the new season, has a whopping four promotions to the Premier League to his name. However, the fact that two of these promotions came with Aston Villa’s fierce rivals Birmingham could put many fans off, although he is currently leading the poll (see above).

David Wagner

David Wagner has become one of the most in-demand Championship managers following Huddersfield’s superb start to the season. After 11 games the Yorkshire outfit lead the way at the summit of the table with 25 points and eight wins to their name.

It was only a matter of time before heads would turn and now the German finds himself in the running for the Villa hot seat. However, all the momentum is with league leaders Huddersfield at the moment, in contrast to Villa who are struggling down in 19th, meaning it would take something staggering for Jurgen Klopp’s best pal to suddenly switch dugouts.

Sam Allardyce

What a story this would be. Just under a week after Sam Allardyce’s disgraced departure from his “dream job” in charge of England and he’s being hotly linked with an instant return to the dugout with Aston Villa.

Realistically it will take some time for Big Sam to get over his England heartbreak, and with this in mind he’s more than likely to take a considerable amount of time away from the spotlight.

However, football is incredibly unpredictable and surprising - just look at the events of last week - meaning there is a very slight possibility that Big Sam could just say “scrap it” and jump straight back into the managerial arena.

Just imagine the scenes.

Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke has been installed as the club’s caretaker manager while the search for a new boss gets underway. The 53-year-old has enjoyed a successful career as a No.2, but his managerial jobs with West Brom and most recently Reading didn’t go entirely to plan.

For the moment the 53-year-old will look to steady the ship following Di Matteo’s exit, but as it’s the international break he may not get the opportunity to take charge of an actual match. However, if the club still haven’t found a new manager come the 18th October then Clarke will be given the chance to prove himselg against Wolves.

Dean Smith

Dean Smith has been gradually enhancing his reputation with Walsall and now Brentford, with whom he’s been in charge of since November. This season Smith has caught the eye following Brentford’s bright start to the season, with his troops 7th after 11 games, but will his head now be turned by a certain new vacancy in the Midlands?


Managers Departed

Last man down

Mick McCarthy
(Ipswich Town)
10th April


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