Remi Garde is set to be named as Aston Villa boss, according to Sky Sports.
The French boss comes with glowing references from respected bosses such as Arsene Wenger and former-Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier.
Villa have turned to the Frenchman after sacking former-Spurs boss Tim Sherwood, who had overseen six consecutive Premier League defeats that saw the team slump to the bottom of the table.
Club in decline
Garde is taking on mammoth task in the Villa job. One of English football’s tradition old clubs has fallen on stony ground of late. For a lot of football fans Villa are no longer a big club, but more of a footnote in English football history.
The grand old club has become a relic of English football history. The last decade, or more, has seen a chronic level of poor management by both the club owners and bosses.
The current state of the team’s fortunes has been coming for a long time. For too long the Villans have sold their best players and have been unable create anything worthwhile. The result is the current malaise at the club.
Villa continued the trend of selling their quality players this summer by losing captain Fabian Delph and star striker Christian Benteke. Reportedly Sherwood did not want to sell the pair, but the both had release clauses in their contracts. In truth Benteke and Delph were the only quality players the Villans still possessed.
A mediocre squad
The departure of the aforementioned Benteke and Delph left Villa with a mediocre squad. The over-confident Sherwood attempted to strengthen his squad with an assortment of young and more mediocre players this summer.
The arrival of a whole new team of players was never going to end well. There are some young players who joined in the summer that may go on to be a success, but by in large the recruitment drive seems to have been a major failure by Sherwood.
Villa did spend a bit of money this summer, which is not the usual thing for the Villans to do in recent transfer windows. The arrival of USA businessman Randy Lerner as the clubs owner in 2006 promised a brighter future.
Instead Lerner has shown little, to no ambition for the club in recent years. The vast majority of the money spent this summer came from the sales of the team’s best two players.
Following last season’s terrible campaign in the Premier League, Villa should have been looking to strengthen their squad in the summer. Sherwood did his best, but his shortcomings as a boss were frightfully exposed by the team’s performances so far this season.
Both Lerner and Sherwood have to take a portion of the current Villa mess, simply because the players in the team do not seem good enough to even maintain the clubs top-flight status, let alone help the team progress.
Staying up a major challenge
Remi Garde has an unenviable task on his hands in taking over at Villa Park. He not only has to get his ideas across to the players, he needs to try and integrate the summer arrivals into the team, which Sherwood failed to do.
As previously mentioned Garde will arrive in the Midlands with glowing references from compatriots Wenger and Houllier, who know a bit about football coaching.
Garde’s spell as boss of Ligue One Lyon brought fourth, third and fifth place finishes in the French top-flight. It was a far cry from Lyon’s previous glory days, but Garde had to operate with a strict budget and, slightly like Villa, lost a lot of his best players.
One factor that may work against Garde is the fact that he has never managed in the Premier League. However, his time at Arsenal during his playing career means that he can speak English, but that will not matter much at Villa, as many of the players speak French.
Garde arrives in the Midlands with decent credentials. However, many high-rated bosses have come to the club and struggled to make them a success. For Garde the priority this season is just to stay in the league, with the Villans second favourites to go down this season at odds of 4/9.
For me even with Garde in charge Villa will be relegated this season. The poor management at board level and in the dugout has led to a dilution in the quality of the Villa team and this season it seems the Midlands club will finally pay the price for that poor management.
Can Remi Garde save Aston Villa from relegation?