Now the dust has died down a little with regards to Sherwood’s sacking, I’ve been trying to think about what it is exactly that Aston Villa need from an incoming manager.
I’ve said previously that the job has become a poisoned chalice and that’s definitely true, as although the manager and his assistants might change, the hierarchy won’t be.
I was hoping that there might be a root and branch change, with Hendrik Almstadt (sporting director) and Paddy Reilly (director of recruitment) getting the bullet too, as it strikes me they’re all part of the team that has overseen the disaster that has been the first quarter of the season.
Taking a retrospective view, there’s obviously been a divide at the club over the last few months, with the coaching staff on one side and if you believe what Sherwood’s said about who signed many of the players, the recruitment team.
But no, it’s obvious that Randy Lerner has sided with the team that recruited the players that frankly haven’t performed and most likely aren’t going to as things stand.
Just before I explain what I think that means, can I just say how glad I am that Wilkins has gone?
I fail to see exactly what he added to the setup and as far as I know didn’t seem to offer much advice to a beleaguered Sherwood.
Did he really approve of the team selections and tactics? If so, I doubt he’ll ever manage again.
I suspect the only contribution he made was probably “keep playing Westwood”, but it’s by the by.
I’m digressing, but just wanted to say that, sorry.
So it doesn’t take an Einstein to work out that it will be business as usual, with any new manager having to work with mostly the players that Almstadt and Reilly’s policy decide to bring in.
A policy that is based on Moneyball tactics.
It’s a nice sounding policy, but it’s basically a different version of what we saw under Lambert, in that you look for young, up and coming players.
Ok, they’re bought based on statistics, with a view that we can make money on them, if they perform and the chances are that you’ll get some players who might make a profit. Indeed, it looks like we could possibly turn a profit on Amavi.
But they’re still ultimately cheap; that’s the whole idea, after all, isn’t it?
Now, it’s a great policy if it works and any profits are re-invested in the team, with a view to constantly improving the squad.
But Lerner hasn’t invested any decent money for a long time now, so I doubt anything is going to change and it strikes me that any profit we might make will only go to Randy Lerner’s back pocket.
So what’s the point?
What it basically says is that we have absolutely zero ambition, in my opinion.
Which is why I don’t believe that any manager that has ever been in a higher position than we currently are will countenance the idea.
Now I have no idea what sort of setup David Moyes is working under at Real Sociedad, but I think it’s safe to say we have no chance whatsoever of getting him in. Or any other previously reasonably successful Premier league manager, including Rodgers.
So who’s going to come in then?
Well, it’s going to be someone who thinks that £15 million (if we’re lucky) is a decent spend.
Someone who has demonstrated that he can work without a boatload of money, but still achieve at a decent level.
Hence Remi Garde, as has been alluded to in The Guardian, The Daily Mail and various other news sites, fits the bill perfectly.
Assuming he’s used to working with a setup where he doesn’t choose the players, that is?
But it’s an appointment that’s not without risk.
While foreign managers are seen by many as the way to go, they simply don’t always work.
Villas-Boas was seen as THE next up-and-coming manager, for example.
Not that I’m saying we shouldn’t go for a foreign manager (although I might question why he’s been out of work for a while?).
It’s more that I don’t think that whoever comes in will make much difference, at least in the time allotted.
We need someone who can revitalise the team quickly, pretty much in the same way, erm, Sherwood did.
Will any foreign manager, who will be coming in to a strange country be able to do that?
It’s why Garde is probably our best bet, in that he knows the English game to an extent, having played for Arsenal.
He also knows the country, obviously.
But while I will of course support any manager that comes in, I believe his tenure will be ultimately doomed to failure.
Because nothing has really changed and we’re stuck in a loop.