Aston Villa sack manager Dean Smith after five successive league defeats

Friday night’s 1-0 defeat at Southampton was Villa’s fifth consecutive loss in the top flight, and it was enough to push the hierarchy into action despite Smith’s impressive record since taking the reins in 2018

Lawrence Ostlere
Sunday 07 November 2021 13:58
<p>Dean Smith’s time at Aston Villa is over</p>

Dean Smith’s time at Aston Villa is over

Aston Villa have sacked manager Dean Smith after an underwhelming start to the season.

Villa are currently 15th in the Premier League with 10 points from their opening 11 games, with only three wins. Friday night’s 1-0 defeat at Southampton was their fifth consecutive loss in the top flight.

Smith took over as manager of Villa, the club he supported as a child, in 2018 and immediately drove them back to the Premier League. They achieved a narrow escape from relegation on the final day of the 2019-20 season and then stepped on significantly last season, finishing 11th in the top flight with 55 points.

The £100m sale of captain and star player Jack Grealish to Manchester City dominated the summer transfer window, but the club invested in new talent with the signings of striker Danny Ings and wingers Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia, as well as the experienced former Villa player Ashley Young.

However, Smith has struggled to find the right balance among his new-look squad despite tinkering with formation and personnel, even dropping captain Tyrone Mings from the line-up, and the hierarchy decided to take action ahead of the upcoming international break with two weeks to install a new manager before the visit of Brighton on 20 November.

Club CEO Christian Purslow said in a statement: “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.

“He then secured our place in the Premier League after a tough campaign and took us to a Cup Final at Wembley. However, after a good start to last season, this year we’ve not seen the continuous improvement in results, performances and league position which we’ve all been looking for.”

Purslow added: “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.”

Following the news, Grealish tweeted: “No1 will ever compare, the real goat [greatest of all time].”

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