The rumour mill has been in full flow in recent days regarding Steve Bruce’s replacement at Aston Villa, but speculation was laid to rest on Wednesday as the club confirmed the appointment of Dean Smith with John Terry joining him as his assistant.
The news came as welcome relief to Villa supporters who were eager to see an exciting new manager arrive with the intention of installing an attractive brand of football at the club.
While results were far from satisfactory under Steve Bruce, one of the main grievances of the supporters concerned the regressive style of play he implemented within one of the most technically gifted squads in the league.
But Smith’s track-record at Brentford suggests that Villa fans will now be treated to an exciting style of football and the general consensus is that it was a smart appointment by the club.
However, Sky Sports pundit Simeon Gholam has cited a potential cause for concern which could ultimately cost Villa dearly in their bid for promotion.
Gholam’s analysis of the appointment was largely positive but he was eager to point out ‘a lack of promotion pedigree’ as a notable problem for Smith.
Gholam wrote: ‘Brentford have finished ninth, 10th and ninth since Smith took charge, which is lower than the fifth place they managed in the season before he arrived at Griffin Park.
‘The Bees are punching above their financial weight in the Championship, but breaking into the top six in the second tier is not as insurmountable as doing it in the Premier League.’
Clearly, Smith has something to prove at Villa this season but he is blessed with the resources from which to prove his doubters wrong and take his boyhood club back to the top-flight.
From the board’s perspective it’s an appointment which makes sense: Smith has overachieved with limited financial backing, knows the Championship and has a strong personal affiliation with Villa, but ultimately his lack of experience within an intense battle for promotion could count against him as the season unfolds.
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