Can Aston Villa changing of the Garde and French ban bear fruit?

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | November 4, 2015

Aston Villa’s appointment of ex-Arsenal midfielder/defender and former Lyon head coach Remi Garde has already resulted in the new boss laying down the law to his fellow Frenchmen.

Parlez-vous Anglais?

Coral rate Gunners old boy Garde a 7/4 chance to keep the Villans in the Premier League, and his first act since arriving in the West Midlands has been to ban his cross-Channel compatriots speaking their mother tongue.

“They have to learn English quickly. I don’t want anybody speaking French in the dressing room,” declared Garde. “It is very important we understand each other. It’s also important that the English players speak slowly sometimes at the beginning. Everyone has to make an effort.”

And what an effort Aston Villa’s opening game of the Garde era will take to win. Although enjoying home comforts, they entertain Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sky Sports’ Super Sunday…

Tough test in dugout debut

The betting does not make good reading for Garde. Coral offer a huge outside price of 13/2 for a Villa victory, while Man City are firm odds-on 2/5 favourites for three points. Even a draw looks a remote prospect at 15/4.

Eithad outfit City have won on three of their last four visits to Villa Park and, having crushed Sevilla on the road 3-1 in midweek to round off a seven-day period in which they scored 10, expecting to see an immediate reaction from their hosts would be somewhat naive.

Before a ball is kicked this weekend, the Premier League’s Sunday lunchtime kick-off pits top against bottom, but Garde believes the table lies as far as his new charges are concerned.

Aston Villa need new boss to be avant-Garde

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa - White Hart Lane

“I think the current level of the table doesn’t reflect the level of the team,” he continued. “The situation at the moment is very difficult for everybody. I have watched a lot of the games they have played since the start of the season.

“The team is unfortunate at the moment. Hopefully we can pull together and improve the level. I am quite confident, because there are some very good players in the team.”

Villa gaffer Garde must get the best out of his French connection, though the fixture list going forward is no less forgiving. Everton and Southampton are upcoming games on the road, while there’s old team Arsenal in their next televised outing.

To avoid West Midlands woe this winter, Villa thus need their new head coach to show a touch of the avant-Garde.


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