Assessing three touted options Villa are eyeing as potential Gerrard replacement

Aston Villa are reportedly now targeting Mauricio Pochettino to replace Steven Gerrard, while two other options have been named on a touted shortlist.

As per The Telegraph, the current Villa boss now faces a critical week in terms of his future at the club, as it’s even suggested that a result against Fulham on Thursday or against Brentford on Sunday might not be enough to save his job.

READ MORE: Analysis: Five key talking points after Villa’s defeat to Chelsea

Given our poor form dates back to last season with four wins in our last 21 games, and having picked up just nine points from 10 Premier League games so far this season having also managed to score just seven goals, it’s to be expected that speculation over Gerrard’s future at Villa has intensified and questions are really starting to be asked.

The Telegraph claim that Pochettino is our top target and we’ll ‘move heaven and earth’ to try and convince him to take charge, but both Thomas Tuchel and Unai Emery are also on a shortlist if he opts to turn us down.

That list in itself is particularly reassuring as evidently we’re looking to make an ambitious appointment of a coach who has a proven track record and the tactical qualities to potentially take us forward, but who would be the best choice for the job?

Mauricio Pochettino

Of the three, Pochettino is arguably the best candidate. Having done an excellent job at Southampton and Tottenham during his previous stint in England and with the experience of his time at Paris Saint-Germain to learn from and now motivate him, he has shown his qualities as a coach at a high level previously.

Crucially, he has developed and improved young players during his coaching career, and with several top talents looking to make a breakthrough at senior level at Villa, he would be an ideal option to help integrate them into the squad alongside the more senior players.

Further, with a strong South American contingent at his disposal, he has a potential core that he can rely on and use to settle in, and as we look to initially break into the top half of the Premier League table with the eventual goal of returning to Europe, he has a foundation, an ambitious ownership and a talented squad that can be improved to help take us through those stages.

Time will tell if we can indeed convince him to take the job and if we can sell the project and vision to him – should Gerrard be sacked – but there is undoubtedly a strong case in favour of him being the top pick.

Thomas Tuchel

Fresh from his spell at Chelsea and having previously impressed at Borussia Dortmund, Tuchel is another ambitious and exciting option for Villa to be considering.

Similarly to Pochettino, it remains to be seen if Villa is an option that appeals to him on our current standing, but if it is and we don’t land our touted number one target, then Tuchel would certainly be in no way a disappointing Plan B.

He has shown his tactical know-how, passion, connection with the fans and much more that he could be a game-changing appointment by Villa to move us forward, having also won major trophies in recent years to prove his class at the very highest level during stints with Chelsea and PSG.

Unai Emery

If we focus on the actual job that Emery did at Arsenal amid the difficulty of the situation that he inherited, then there are plenty of positives to take from that as well as from his work previous to that in Spain with Valencia where they were consistently competing at the top end of the table under his stewardship.

In more recent times, he guided Villarreal to a seventh-placed finish in La Liga last season and added a fourth Europa League title to his collection the year before that.

Coupled with his success at PSG, he is another highly qualified and talented tactician, and while he doesn’t perhaps have the same pull as the two mentioned above, he would be a shrewd and smart appointment if we are in the market for a new coach in the near future.

Villa are aiming high with these three touted targets. Time will tell if Gerrard does enough to save his job this week, or if the process of identifying and appointing his successor is ultimately already underway as we look to be ambitious but bring in a coach with a proven track record and with the ability to establish an identity in the squad.