Sometimes in football, as in life, you get presented an opportunity that is too good to turn down. The decision to take on a substantial challenge like Remi Garde did with Aston Villa came with obvious risks, but with a sense of professional pride, that he could be the man that could turn the club around.
Unfortunately for both parties it hasn’t been the case, with Villa rooted to the bottom of the Premier League and destined for relegation to the Championship, rumours have been flying around that Garde is likely to be shown the door this week.
While Garde’s record of two wins out of 20 league games is atrocious, in all honesty, he has precious little to work with in terms of quality. Despite promises of money to spend, Garde was unable to bring in any players in the January transfer window.
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Since Martin O’Neill departed the club in August 2010, Villa has sacked three managers in that timeframe (Gerard Houllier resigned for health reasons) and that number will increase to four with Garde’s departure.
That is some record and it is hard to explain how you can expect to have success by continuing to be a 'sacking club' as that is just the easy option. The tenure of owner Randy Lerner has come under ever-increasing scrutiny over the years, and despite presently becoming a more peripheral figure as he looks for an exit strategy, it is hard to see what impact his ten years at the club has been.
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While O’Neill was financially backed during his tenure, he knew the writing was on the wall when his best players such as Gareth Barry and James Milner were sold without his approval and led to his resignation. The decline in Villa over the subsequent period, has those who are close to the club fearing that their spell in the lower leagues maybe an extended one. The Championship is littered with big teams who, after being relegated from the Premier League, find it extremely hard to resurface.
Whoever takes over next in the Villa Park managerial hot-seat needs to be there for a sustained period and given unconditional support. There needs to be a specific plan in place so everyone is on the same page. At the moment, it would appear decisions are made at the drop of a hat, which is no way for a club to be run.