One of these will likely be the next Villa boss. But Which?By: Rob | August 11th, 2010
The race is on then, for Aston Villa to get a new manager. The season is just days away, and having lost Martin O’Neill due to “Not sharing a vision on how to go forward” (Translation “He wanted more money than I was prepared to give him, without selling any players either”), they need to find someone who can share that vision. Below are the bookies tips for who will be in the dugout, and whether they’d be any good for Villa/likely to join them in reality.
Bob Bradley is currently the bookies favourite. Known as the USA coach, he has expressed a desire to come and coach in Europe, and rumours are helped by the fact that Villa chairman Randy Lerner is also American. If he can tear himself away from international football he could be a good bet, although I have no idea what his club management is like – the Prem would be a world away from the MLS anyway, just in terms of how things operate.
I do know all about the bookies other favourite, who has also thrown his hat into the ring – Sven Goran Eriksson.
The former England, Man City, Lazio, Mexico and Ivory Coast manager has plenty of experience. He gets a fair bit of stick here, due to running into a wall with England, but with every passing year we realise what an achievement three successive Quarter-Finals actually was. However, whether Villa would be willing to pay his notorious wages/give him any money to spend, is probably a couple of reasons why he won’t be the new Villa boss, unless he really, really wants it.
Jürgen Klinsmann is another name been associated with the job. Well liked in this country after his spells at Spurs as a player, and on the BBC as a thoughtful, funny and charismatic pundit (which is unusual) the German former striker has just a successful period as German National Team manager, and a unsuccessful spell as Bayern Munich manager to his name. He probably could do a decent job away from the pressures of Bayern, but whether Villa will want to take the risk remains to be seen.
Gareth Southgate was a popular figure during his playing time at Villa, where he spent most of his career, although some fans will still remember the acrimonious way he left the club (told them just after reaching an FA Cup final that he wanted to achieve things and then joined, er…Boro). Has recent managerial experience at Boro, although he technically did get them relegated. I think he’d be a risky choice, but I think he is much more a favourite for the job than the bookmakers are making out, without the lack of too many strong candidates, he could be the one.
Alan Curbishley is another who could easily get the job. He’s been out of management since walking away from West Ham a couple of years ago and if he wants back in, now could be a good time. He has a great track record with taking underperforming clubs to the next level, so it’d be interesting to see what he’d do at Villa.
Martin Jol took Spurs to within touching distance of the Champions League, before it went horribly wrong and he was axed. He’s now at Ajax, and could not be prized away by Fulham, I’d say its pretty unlikely that Villa will do any better at pulling him away to be honest, so I don’t think this is all that likely.
David Platt, like Southgate was a fan favourite at Villa Park. But his managerial record is absolutely not the best just ask Nottingham Forest fans. He’s currently number two at Manchester City, and if he was going to get a last chance at proving himself as a manager proper, this could be it. To be honest though, he isn’t first choice.
Gianfranco Zola is also a bit of an outside bet, and some bookmakers are also talking about Sean O’Driscoll, the Doncaster manager. The latter has done a great job, but the step up to Villa would be huge (remember Paul Ince did a great job at MK Dons and then was out of his depth at Blackburn). Zola has recently been let go by West Ham, but he’s not going to be a frontrunner for this job, even if he’s the most likeable football manager of all time.