Monday 23 October 2017

Doomed Villa get ready to put hapless Garde out of misery

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde is set to leave the club Photo: Reuters / Peter Cziborra
Aston Villa manager Remi Garde is set to leave the club Photo: Reuters / Peter Cziborra

Simon Hart

Aston Villa are poised to sack Rémi Garde within the next 24 hours. The Frenchman has looked like a dead man walking for several weeks and is understood to be keen to step down, pending agreement on his pay-off after five months in charge.

Nigel Pearson and Steve Bruce are in the frame to replace the 49-year-old, who has overseen just two wins in 20 Premier League matches since his appointment on November 2, though Bruce's Birmingham City connections may count against him.

Villa are understood to be in no rush to hire a full-time replacement as they begin planning for next season in the Championship. Either No 2 Eric Black or U-21s coach Kevin MacDonald is likely to stand in.

Villa's relegation is all but a mathematical certainty as they sit nine points adrift at the foot of the table after suffering a sixth straight defeat at Swansea City.

When Garde, a former Arsenal midfielder and Lyons coach, took over from Tim Sherwood, Villa were four points beneath the team in 17th place. However, a man with no prior experience of English football management has failed to arrest the team's decline, taking just 12 points from a possible 60.

The Frenchman has looked a broken man in recent weeks amid rumours of a dressing-room rift between senior players and last summer's influx from abroad.

New Villa chairman Steve Hollis has been busily restructuring the club since his appointment in January, appointing some board members, and last week both Hendrik Almstadt, the sporting director, and chief executive Tom Fox departed.

Independent News Service

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