Aston Villa have officially announced that Dean Smith has left the club after a poor run of form in recent weeks.
Villa have lost five consecutive Premier League games which in turn has ramped up the pressure on Smith, and the decision has been taken ahead of the international break that a change is needed.
Smith was appointed in October 2018 and led the club back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, before keeping us up and avoiding relegation in our first year back in the top flight.
That progress continued last season with an 11th-place finish, but ultimately as expectation grows at Villa and our ambitious owners seek continued progression having invested in the squad, they have felt the time is right for a change.
It’s a deeply sad and frustrating way for things to play out as it wasn’t long ago that Villa had won at Old Trafford against Man Utd and were leading 2-0 at home to Wolves with a view of edging closer to the European places.
However, things have taken a turn for the worse in recent weeks and it has ultimately cost Smith his job as the search for his successor now begins.
Villa CEO Christian Purslow spoke about the decision in the club’s 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 have not seen the continuous improvement in results, performances and league position which we have all been looking for. For this reason we have decided to make a change now to allow time for a new head coach to make an impact.
“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.”
There is a major responsibility on the shoulders of Purslow, Johan Lange and the ownership to bring the right man for the job in now as Villa look to try and go to the next level, and it’s imperative that it’s the perfect fit for the club otherwise the decision to part company with Smith could come back to haunt us if things don’t improve this season.