30 Potential Aston Villa Manager Candidates to be Considered

There were certain supporters who would tell other Villa fans that they were wasting their time calling for Paul Lambert’s head, as he was never going to be sacked. And, anyway, who would we get to replace him?

Well, it will come to a shock to them, that 1) Lambert’s been sacked and 2) he’s not exactly the only manager in the universe who could manage Aston Villa.

To answer the question, that for months has been masquerading as an excuse to putting up with the failure on the pitch, here’s 30 managers to consider for the vacant Villa boss position. Some are in the ‘in an ideal world’ bracket, while others only exist when typed into newspapers by Media Muppets.

Please note, these managers are not listed in any particular order apart from the heading they fall under…

MOMS Favourites

These managers are the men MOMS think should be on a short list. We’re not saying they are the best men or favourites for the job, but certainly get the juices going in terms of who could get the job.

Slaven Billic

Actually, I wouldn’t mind the Croat as Villa boss. He’s a character and passionate. He would probably get us over the line in terms of this season. He had a very good win ratio as the Croatian national boss (64%), although his management career since seems to be on the mercenary route, first in Russia with Lokomotiv Moscow and now in Turkey with Beşiktas. There would be a largish compensation package for Villa to shell out to Beşiktaş. I can’t see it happening, mainly due to that, but he’d be worth a call even if it was to put on a short-list.

Thomas Tuchel

Tuchel has been on sabbatical since leaving Mainz last summer against their wishes having led a sustained period of unlikely European-qualifying success at the German club. With Mainz refusing to cancel his contract, he’s been on a kind of gardening leave. Newcastle it was reported were eyeing him up as their boss in the summer once the season ends.

MOMS was actually eyeing Tuchel up last season, as a potential candidate for the Villa job, when Lambert perhaps should have been sacked in the first place.

In terms of the long-term picture, he would certainly be worth an interview.



Markus Weinzierl

The 40-year-old has won some admiring glances as another young German manager seen to have big potential. He’s kept southern German team FC Augsburg, relative new comers to the Bundesliga, competitive and got them thinking about Europe too. This season has been Weinzier’s most successful with FC Augsburg chasing the Champion’s League as they lie fourth.

Surely such unfinished business would be too tempting than whatever Villa can offer him?

Experience maybe against him and he’s also perhaps not a big enough name for the Villa faithful. Worth a phone call though.

Frank De Boer

After becoming the first manager to win four successive Eredivisie titles with Ajax, De Boer has previously attracted the likes of Newcastle and Spurs in the hunt for his services.

While De Boer gets to manage Ajax in the Champion’s League every season, the fact that the Premier League’s riches outstrip Holland (even Burnley are a bigger revenue club than Ajax), the ex-Dutch international player may decide it’s time to have a crack at the Premier League which has attracted other leading Dutch managers.

Lerner would have to convince De Boer he now has proper ambition and the willingness to invest the ever-expanding pot of TV money into the team to have any chance of attracting the Ajax boss.

Villa may have to get an interim manager in too until the end of the season.

Unrealistic? But lets dare to dream and also Koeman’s at Southampton, so you never know.



Gareth Southgate

If you were looking for one of our own to take over, perhaps the best ex-Villan around for a long-term crack at the job would be Mr Southgate. The former-Villa captain played 192 games for the Claret and Blue and cemented himself as an England regular while he was at the club.

Yes, he buggered off because the club didn’t match his ambition…and ended up at Middlesborough, but lets not being sour cloud our judgement. Southgate transitioned into managing Borough after playing for them under Steve McClaren.

Southgate’s a bright spark, but is he any good as a manager?

Despite being only in his mid-30’s he lead Middlesborough to a mid-table finish in his first season with Wenger going on record as an admirer.

The following season, despite winning a manager of the month award, he relegated the club. The next season, he promised to get them promoted, but was perhaps unfairly sacked after winning a game that left them one point of top spot in the Championship.

Since Southgate has been quietly working away as the boss of the England under-21’s and has successfully led them to the finals of the U-21 European Championship in 2015.

Still young at 44-years-old, Southgate has some decent managerial experience to draw upon and was part of a successful Aston Villa team as a player.

Certainly he would be worth sounding out.


Decent Unlikely Lads

These guys have been spoken about in the media, but we just can’t see them happening at all.

Jurgen Klinsmann

This is and always has been wishful thinking. Jurgen Klinsmann lives a pretty swell life in California being at the centre of the USA’s soccer drive. Why would you give all that up for the sh**storm at Villa Park? You just wouldn’t. Yes, he could inspire the team, but he’d be mad to give up what he has.

David Moyes

He’s not going to leave Real Sociedad, as he might as well rebuild his managerial reputation in the sun. Managing Villa would be too similar to managing Everton and where would be the challenge for Moyes in that.

Michael Laudrup

Speak to Swansea City fans and they’ll tell you about a man with an attitude problem despite him lifting the League Cup for the Swans. He’s currently in Qatar picking up top dollar with Lekhwiya

There’s something about Laudrup that suggests he wouldn’t be around for very long, even if he did. I think ultimately he’d consider Villa too much hard work and he doesn’t look like a man who likes to break a sweat.



Eddie Howe

The idea of committing long-term to a young, upcoming and promising manager is more of an ideology than a practical recipe for success. Just see the example of Paul Lambert.

Howe has done well with Bournemouth, but in reality hasn’t done anything to suggest he could be successful against Villa. If he hadn’t have rested eight players in the FA Cup tie between the teams, maybe we would have seen Lambert sacked earlier.

Howe still in his 30’s is in no rush would be relish leading the Cherries in the Premier League, if he can successfully see a successful end to their promotion push.

Murat Yakin

The former Basel coach was one of the hottest European managers around and he featured as our second choice when MOMS looked at five choices to replace Lambert back at the end of last season. He joined Spartak Moscow for what must have been decent cash, so is unlikely to move anywhere in the short-term. Villa should have chased him when we first suggested him!

Click ‘Next’ for Page Two – featuring 20 more managers including the bookies favourite, ex-Italy, England and Real Madrid managers


  1. Semi seriously though. Anyone who doesn’t have decent PL experience would make us all a little bit nervous, n’est-ce pas ? Sherwood is out of a job for a reason. So most of your list is just that – a list. The number of really realistic candidates is pretty short, but we must assume they were most or all within the “business continuity” plans locked in the safe below the Trinity…..what ,you say…. ??

  2. How about Simon Grayson? Ex players always do well (Little, Gregory), he kept Blackpool up in a similar situation before getting them promoted, then got Leeds and Huddersfield promoted and doing well at Preston (where he’s been getting Calum Robinson scoring!). I reckon he’d fancy it.

  3. Sherwood would be a huge gamble not worth taking, we’d probably be better off with Big Ron!

    McClaren would be good but there’s no way he’d leave Derby. Howe and Warburton would have big potential but without a pre-season would they be experienced enough to turn it around quickly?

    Hoddle might be the best option, he knows the league, he’s been back involved with teams and modern methods recently, his England team were as entertaining as any we’ve seen for a while. If we are serious about long term planning why not get Laursen, Sid, Big Ugo and Taylor working closely under an experienced and tactically astute manager like him, we need to get Villa people back in positions of influence. It should also be noted in his favour that he did try to get Wenger as his England assistant before he went to Arsenal.

  4. Why not Brian Little? He’s Villa to the bone, he’s available (I hope) and he is still held in high esteem by us fans. Also, if John Gregory is feeling better, then maybe we could get him to renew his partnership with Little, as maybe managing Crawley Town would be too demanding physically on his ticker (let Little take the pressure, Gregory to hand out the bollocking to the players).

    I am sure they would not demand the millions that the likes of Rafa and Klinsmann would expect, and they both/either have experience of our club and what it is at stake in terms of the fans expectations of where we should be.

  5. Why is no one talking about Roberto di Matteo unfairly sacked at west from but isn’t everyone and unfairly sacked at Chelsea after winning champion’s league. Please get him in Lerner could be cheap. A former striker to inspire goals and will instantly have respect

    • Because Di Matteo is currently the manager of Schalke 04 who have an upcoming Champions League knock out tie against Real Madrid. Why would he leave that for Villa?

      PS – He was a former midfielder.

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