Aston Villa and boss Remi Garde have parted company just four months after the Frenchman was brought in to revive the Villans chances of surviving the drop from the Premier League.
In truth Villa were in deep trouble long before the arrival of Garde, but the Frenchman failed to improve the clubs fortunes.
Villa are heading to the Championship with a whimper, as they are currently 12 points away from Premier League safety.
Garde won just two of his games in charge after taking over in November from Tim Sherwood.
Confirmation of exit
Garde’s exit was confirmed on the clubs official website. A statement read: “Manager Remi Garde has today left Aston Villa Football Club by mutual consent.
“The club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Remi for all his efforts during a difficult period and wish him well in the future.
“Eric Black will take over as acting manager until the club appoints a new manager. There will be no further comment from the club at this stage.”
For Villa fans it is just a case of wishing for the end of the campaign and hope that they can bring in a boss that can rebuild the squad and attempt to challenge for a quick return to the Premier League.
Players just not good enough
The rot has been setting in at the Midlands club for a long time now. Villa are being relegated because the players are simply not good enough for the Premier League and the current squad may even struggle in a competitive Championship.
Last summer and the sale of Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke must have frustrated Villa fans, as once again the club lost their two best players.
Relegation may yet be a blessing in disguise, as a number of the players who have performed so woefully for the team will leave the club. Owner Randy Lerner seems to have given up on the club and the fans know it.
The players that were brought in last summer were gambles and hardly any of those gambles have paid-off. The players have let the club and the fans down. Villa have been operating in the bargain basement of the transfer market and not many of the players have turned out to be bargains, more like flops.
There is unlikely to be clubs queueing up for the current Villa players and very few of them will be plying their trade in the top-flight next season, but hopefully the Villans can off-load a number of them to start again.
A fresh start needed
A fresh start is needed for Villa. Fans of the club would like to see a new owner, but that looks unlikely to happen in the near future. What the club needs is an experienced boss who can steady the Villa ship next season.
The two favourites for the Villa job this summer are former-Everton boss David Moyes and former-Leicester boss Nigel Pearson, with both odds of 2/1 to be next Villans boss. Both bosses have experience of dealing with difficult situations.
Moyes best managerial work came in a decade at Everton reviving the Merseyside’s fortunes and steadying the ship. His work with the Toffees earned him a move to Manchester United, where he struggled and a short-stint at Espanyol in La Liga.
His spell in Spain was not successful either. However, the Scot may be glad of a chance to work in England again at a big club. If he could start from scratch then he has the potential to turn the clubs fortunes around. The Scot seems to be the popular choice with the majority of Villa fans.
Pearson is a controversial and fiery character, but he has experience of helping a club to promotion from the Championship to the Premier League. He also had a hand in creating the Leicester team who are currently topping the English top-flight table.
Pearson seems like a less popular appointment simply because of his character and his confrontation nature. However, maybe the current group of Villa players need a bit of straight talking.
Whatever happens this summer at Villa, there must be a fresh start at the club. An almost complete clear-out of the players and a brighter outlook is needed, despite the presence of an owner who appears to be complete disinterested.
Who should be the next Aston Villa boss?