The list of managerial favourites for the vacant Aston Villa job has been revealed, after the Club parted ways with manager Steven Gerrard following a 3-0 loss away to newly promoted Fulham on Thursday. The result brought an end to an eleven-month spell at the helm, with Villa currently lingering just above the relegation zone. The Club had been lining up replacements for Gerrard over the past few weeks, as his sacking became increasingly likely.
Aston Villa have had a torrid start to the new campaign, only winning two of their opening eleven games. The Villains currently sit 17th in the Premier League standings, level on points and goal-difference with rivals Wolves who occupy the final relegation spot.
Villa released a statement on their website following the defeat in London:
“Aston Villa football club can confirm that head coach Steven Gerrard has left the club with immediate effect. We would like to thank Steven for his hard work and commitment and wish him well for the future.”
The current favourite to succeed Gerrard appears to be former Spurs and PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine has been without a job since being let go by PSG in the summer. However, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reports that Pochettino is in no hurry to take up a managerial role as he waits for a good opportunity.
“Let’s see if Aston Villa will be able to convince Pochettino,” said Romano on the House of Champions podcast. “But what I am told is that Pochettino prefers to wait at least until the World Cup.
“After the World Cup there will be a lot of managerial changes with important national teams, so this is why Pochettino is waiting. Let’s see if Villa will change his mind, but I don’t think it’s going to be easy, because Pochettino is focused on waiting until after the World Cup. As of now, I am told it is difficult.”
Another former Premier League manager linked with the Villa job is Unai Emery. The current Villareal boss has had a successful stint in Spain since his departure from Arsenal in late 2019.
Emery led Villareal to the first ever piece of major silverware in the Club’s history, winning the Europa League in 2021. He then followed that up with another impressive performance in Europe the following season, guiding the Yellow Submarine to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals before getting beat by Liverpool.
Current Brentford boss Thomas Frank has also been linked with the vacancy. The Bees have been a solid force since being promoted last campaign, finishing 14th on their return to the top-flight.
Brentford currently sit 10th in the PL standings after a solid start to the season, picking up points against Man United and Chelsea. Given how far Frank has taken them, as well as the relationship he’s built with the fans, Villa may prove to not be as much of an appealing offer to the Danish coach especially considering where both teams sit in in the table.
It remains unclear when Villa plan to have hired their replacement, but since fixtures are coming up thick and fast as we approach the World Cup, the Villains may be wise to hasten their efforts.