Dean Smith has been sacked by English Premier League side Aston Villa. The decision was reached after Villa suffered their fifth straight league defeat in the hands of Southampton on Friday. It is rumoured that Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand is set to replace Smith, albeit on a caretaker basis.
After “not seeing the continuous improvement in results, performances, and league position” last season, chief executive Christian Purslow says the club has decided to make a change during the next international break.
Smith, who led Villa back to the Premier League in 2019, guided them to an 11th-place finish last season, spending around £90 million on new players while selling star player Jack Grealish to Manchester City for a British-record £100 million.
Following Friday’s 1-0 defeat at Southampton, Villa sit 16th in the Premier League and only two points outside the bottom three as the November international break approaches.
Villa haven’t decided on a preferred candidate and will go through a comprehensive process to choose who will be their next head coach, but Hjulmand is well-known to Villa sporting director and fellow Dane Johan Lange.
More news on the same will be made available on soccer scores as they unfold. The EPL resumes after yet another international break, and all matches can be wagered on Vwin, the top ranking bookmaker from Vietnam.
After Smith became the sixth Premier League manager to lose his job this season, Steven Gerrard of Rangers and Ralph Hasenhuttl of Southampton have been connected with the post.
With two weeks before the team’s next match, on November 20, at home against Brighton, the Villa leadership believes they have some breathing room and will not rush the new appointment.
There is a notion that whomever takes over must be of the appropriate caliber to take Villa to the next level, with a group capable of contending consistently in the Premier League’s top tier.
Lange will oversee the club’s search for a new manager with CEO Purslow, who previously held a similar position at FC Copenhagen before being recruited to Villa Park.
While making the announcement on Sunday, Purslow said: “After a good start to last season, this year we have not seen the continuous improvement in results, performances and league position which we have all been looking for.
“For this reason we have decided to make a change now to allow time for a new head coach to make an impact. The process of replacing Dean will now begin and the club will update supporters in due course.
“When Dean joined us in October 2018 our team was really struggling in the Championship. He immediately transformed the atmosphere and performances and achieved the ultimate success of leading Villa back to the Premier League within the same season – a rare feat.
“The board would like to sincerely thank Dean for his many excellent achievements, on and off the pitch, during this time.
“Everyone knows how much Aston Villa means to Dean and his family. He has represented the club with distinction and dignity – universally liked and respected by everybody associated with Aston Villa – our staff, players and supporters alike. We wish him the very best.”
However, in the latest rumours, it has been reported that Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is the candidate to take charge at Aston Villa.