Next Aston Villa manager: Christian Purslow sent warning over Villa Park appointment

Aston Villa fans at Villa Park

Journalist Luke Hatfield has warned Aston Villa that going after left-field manager options has not served them well in the past.

The club’s board, led by chief executive Christian Purslow, are currently looking for someone to replace Dean Smith, after he was relieved of his duties on Sunday.

Who’s in the running to become the next Aston Villa manager?

It has been less than 72 hours since Smith was sacked, but already a number of names have been thrown into the mix.

According to reports, Steven Gerrard and Roberto Martinez are both on Villa’s shortlist of candidates, while Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is also believed to be a person of interest.

Another option that Villa are believed to be exploring is Denmark head coach Kasper Hjulmand. He has only been in his role with the national team for a little over a year, and has never managed in the UK.



What has Hatfield said about Hjulmand?

Trying to land Hjulmand could be considered a risky move given his lack of experience on these shores. 

Hatfield has compared Hjulmand to former Villa manager Remi Garde, and made the point that thinking outside the box does not always work.

Speaking about the possibility of the Midlands club appointing Hjulmand, Hatfield told GIVEMESPORT: “Villa have done that before where they’ve gone for appointments which are maybe left of centre and managers that you might not expect, and they haven’t always worked out.

“You only need to look at the likes of someone like Remi Garde. I know they were dreadful that season, Villa, so I’m not trying to label those two managers together. But they’ve done that before, they’ve gone for an interesting or slightly off-centre manager and it’s not worked.”

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Should Villa take a risk on Hjulmand?

There can be little doubt that Hjulmand has done a fine job with Denmark over the last 15 months.

The 49-year-old led his country to the semi-finals of the European Championships in the summer, and that has helped them secure a place in the top 10 of the men’s FIFA rankings.

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However, there is a considerable difference between club and international management. Hjulmand has not managed at club level for over two-and-a-half years, so giving him a Premier League job would be somewhat throwing him in at the deep end.

Of course, he may well succeed, and continue on from the excellent work he has done with Denmark, but there must also be the concern that it will take him time to settle.

Given that Villa are in a precarious position, just two points above the bottom three, they may want to go with a safer option rather than gambling on Hjulmand, as things could go badly wrong like they did under Garde in 2015/16. 

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