Paul Lambert’s torrid time at Aston Villa is finally over after the Scot was sacked last on Wednesday due to Villa dropping into the relegation zone.
Villa sank to the bottom three after a 2-0 defeat at Hull, a result which proved to be the final straw for owner Randy Lerner.
Lambert averaged less than one point per game during his time at Villa and this season has been horrible for the Claret and Blue faithful. Their 12 league goals from 25 games is the lowest in Premier League history - just one Lambert's records this year.
According to Oddschecker, Tim Sherwood is favourite for the job with Glenn Hoddle, Michael Laudrup and Jurgen Klinsmann also in the mix.
Sherwood seems to be linked with every managerial vacancy but never seems to get the job. He had an impressive record during his time at Tottenham Hotspur finishing with a win percentage of 59 percent but club chairman Daniel Levy became unhappy with Sherwood and they parted company.
The 46-year-old was recently linked to the QPR job but distanced himself from the vacancy after disagreeing with the direction the club was going in, so at Villa Sherwood should have a field day.
An American connection?
Klinsmann is also in the running but the USA manager is under contract until 2018 after his impressive work at the World Cup last year. However, there is some unrest in the USA camp as banners reading “JK OUT” and “Red Card the Coach” were held up when the USA played Panama this week.
Even with the slight unrest towards Klinsmann, the German seems unlikely to leave is post unless Lerner can propose an offer the 50-year-old cannot refuse.
Another option for the Midlands club is Laudrup, who is currently in charge of Qatari side Lekhwiya since his sacking from Swansea last year, and you would presume the Dane is on a remarkable salary.
Forget about a style of play
Laudrup had an impressive career as a player and he coaches his players to play fluid football which is easy on the eye. However, is that what Villa need in this current situation? Any style of play will suit Villa fans as long as it keeps them in the top flight.
The 50-year-old would be a solid addition if Villa were not in such a dangerous situation but the club may need someone with a bit more grit to their coaching style.
Other outsiders include Real Madrid's assistant manager Paul Clement and ex-QPR coach Glenn Hoddle who are both highly respected contenders.
The club ideally needs an experienced manager who can come into the vacancy with a calm head despite the immediate situation.
However, Lambert is not the only manager to struggle since Lerner took over at Villa, begging the question: who is the problem, the manager or the owner?
Lerner must invest in the team if the club is to take a step forward as opposed to the aimless process the club currently sees themselves in. However, an issue for whoever takes the job at Villa Park is obviously the January transfer window has been and gone - leaving Lambert’s predecessor to work with the current squad.
Villa's squad on paper is fairly impressive but confidence is so low that the players are not performing anywhere near their ability.
If Lerner wants a manager to come into the job and work with a tight budget, the decision to axe Lambert will have been pointless. Money talks in the football business and the Villa owner must help his new manager.
No doubt whoever takes on the role will be fully backed by the Villa faithful who dread to see their side relegated for the first time since 1986-87.
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