Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Dan Bardell drops behind-scenes Dean Smith claim

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Aston Villa reporter Dan Bardell has featured on the latest episode of the BBC Football Daily podcast to discuss all things relating to the Midlands club. 

Bardell’s appearance on the podcast came just a matter of hours after Villa parted ways with Dean Smith following their latest Premier League defeat on Friday night against Southampton.

Was it right for Villa to sack Smith?





Some of the names to emerge as a possible replacement for the 50-year-old included Steven Gerrard and Belgium’s Roberto Martinez.

Smith had signed a four-year extension with Villa back in 2018 to see his contractual stay taken up to 2023, and he was able to guide Villa to their highest placing in 10 years with last season’s 11th-placed finish (via Transfermarkt).

However, speaking on what went wrong for the former Villa manager, Bardell had the following to say on what he has heard from within the club.

“I think by the sounds of it, from the people I speak to at the club, it just sounds like the owners were worried about standing still, or just not progressing season upon season.

“And that’s what they’ve done every year under Dean Smith. So they obviously thought there was a chance they weren’t going to be able to do that this time around. So they’ve opted to make the change.”

TIF Thoughts on the sacking…

There was an element of surprise to this sacking, in our view, as we thought Smith may have had a little bit more credit in the bank with the Villa owners to turn around the recent form given what he has achieved at the club.

However, when you look at the timing of it, it suggests the decision was made with the international break in mind to get their new man in, with time to work with the side before their next league game.

We do think Villa will be hoping to get someone in quickly to capitalise on the upcoming window, however, the two managers currently being tipped as the favourites (Gerrard & Martinez) are both in work.

In other news: ‘Central to a lot of the problems’ – Maher drops ‘big reason’ for AVFC issue

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