Next Aston Villa manager: Seven British bosses to revive their fortunes
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | Updated March 31, 2016
Aston Villa parted company with head coach Remi Garde, leaving the West Midlands outfit 12 points from safety with seven Premier League games left, and their inevitable relegation to the Championship will soon be confirmed.
Well-placed media sources indicate the new board, which will include former manager Brian Little, are looking for a British boss to spearhead an immediate promotion push next season.
The Villans may be at their lowest ebb in modern times, but retain their big club reputation despite owner Randy Lerner putting them up for sale.
Bearing that in mind, Coral football experts consider a magnificent seven managers from the British Isles who could take on the daunting task at Villa Park.
Former Manchester United and Everton boss Moyes wasn’t interested in this position towards the end of his tenure with Real Sociedad, when the Villa job was last vacant prior to Garde’s arrival.
Sacked by the San Sebastian side having failed to make much impact in La Liga, Scottish manager Moyes may now be looking to return to coaching in England, and is 2/1 to be next Villans boss. He has to once again prove his credentials, but so does this team.
Free agent Pearson has spent this season on the sidelines, linked with plenty of posts but yet to take up one since being axed by Villa’s Midlands rivals Leicester City for non-footballing reasons.
Taking the Foxes to the Championship title in 2013/14 may soon be overshadowed by King Power Stadium successor Claudio Ranieri, who is in pole position to deliver the Premier League crown to cap a Cinderella story.
It would be wrong to forget the solid foundations laid by Pearson, however, and that promotion on his CV is what makes him attractive at also currently 2/1 to take on the Villans.
Ex-England, Derby County and Newcastle United manager McClaren will be looking to make a quick comeback to coaching after being given the boot by the Magpies.
With both Newcastle and Villa seemingly set to be in the Championship next term and leading contenders to bounce straight back, there would be irony in McClaren, who was also boss of Middlesbrough earlier in his career, turning up at the latter.
A 6/1 shot to be next Villans manager, McClaren came so close to taking Derby – another Midlands team – into the Premier League, losing the 2014 play-off final to QPR thanks to Bobby Zamora.
Subsequent collapses at the Rams and his inability to turn things around on Tyneside would could against McClaren, however.
Another with Championship promotions on his CV, Ipswich Town manager McCarthy has done a superb job in Suffolk on a budget. Prior to that, he spent nearly six years with Villa’s West Midlands neighbours Wolverhampton Wanderers, including taking them up and establishing them in the Premier League.
Yorkshireman McCarthy represented the Republic of Ireland before becoming their national boss, guiding them to the 2002 World Cup. Thereafter, he had mixed fortunes at Sunderland, earning promotion but being in possession of a squad poorly equipped for top-flight football.
His subsequent work has been excellent, and McCarthy, 8/1 to be next Villa manager, has a good record at sticking around clubs for the long haul. It is precisely that sort of stability is needed here.
Former Swansea City head coach Monk may have caught the eye of Villans board members during his rookie tenure at the Liberty Stadium.
Swans fortunes may have dipped slightly, but their plight is relative luxury in comparison. Monk being a young English manager may also appeal because of his playing past.
No prima donna, Monk turned out in all four divisions for Swansea. He knows, then, what it is like to go on a journey and, whatever has befallen Villa it is only just one dark chapter of the tale. Monk is also 8/1 to take them on.
Three promotions, including one with current club Hull City, give Bruce the profile Villa want. He managed Second City rivals Birmingham for almost six years earlier in his coaching career, however.
Under Lerner, Villa have appointed a previous Blues boss in Alex McLeish with disastrous results. Geordie native Bruce has already endured being deeply unpopular during his days as Sunderland boss, and can do without having to win over fans with long memories.
There’s no indication the Tigers would be interested in letting him go either. Bruce has been cut, however, from a 20/1 outsider to a 10/1 chance to be next Villans boss.
Burnley boss Dyche has the Clarets top of the Championship with eight games to go. If he pulls it off, then he will have two promotions on his CV.
Previously in charge of Watford, there is a close-knit feel to his teams that are full of endeavour and produce results. Everyone at Villa Park would certainly benefit from that.
Dyche is a 12/1 chance to be next Villans manager, and he is a clear contender but would take some persuading if indeed this move turns out to be a drop down.
Bonus pick: Gary Neville
Although his first foray into management ended with the sack after four months at Valencia, England assistant coach Neville remains well regarded in his homeland.
The former Manchester United skipper and Sky Sports pundit has proved hugely popular, with punters asking Coral to price him up to take over at Villa Park.