30 Potential Aston Villa Manager Candidates to be Considered


Wild card choices that would certainly be interesting, if potentially risky.

Rafa Benitez

He’s not leaving Naples who are heading for Champions League place. He’s laughed in Lerner’s face once before, it’s unlucky he’ll get a chance to do it again.

Cesare Prandelli

The former Italian manager is available after being punted at the end of the year by Galatasaray due to poor Champions League performances. A bit of a wild card this one. He would certainly get the Villa player’s attention. I couldn’t see Prandelli hanging around for a long-term career at Villa and he’s unlikely to consider a short-term gig. It’s worth an email to his agent though!

Remi Garde

The former Arsenal squad player used to work as an assistant under Gerard Houlier and was once predicted to be Arsene Wenger’s successor. Since leaving Lyon to take a break for personal/family reasons, he’s been linked to Brighton and Newcastle jobs. Whether he’s the real deal is open to debate. Would he have the stomach for the relegation battle ahead? Too many question marks perhaps to take a punt on Garde in Villa’s current situation.




Managers that are in the realms of consideration that might not inspire much excitement amongst Villa supporters, or are out of their depth for the job. These include some of the press and bookies favourites.

Tim Sherwood

The bookies and any lazy journalist’s favourite (since he’s been the favourite for every recent Premier League job). Apart from having been a legend in his own life-time, what has he done exactly?  He’s lacking a UEFA Pro Licence coaching qualification, although who does actually have one in the Premier League!? Sherwood is only considered because there seems to be a lack of real candidates. I can see logic in a short-term appointment in terms of giving the team an adrenaline shot, but is he really the best man out there for the job long-term?

Sean Dyche

Would Dyche commit such a serious judas act as jumping ship in the final stretch? Keeping Burnley in the Premier League would be his crowning achievement and he’d probably have more chance of staying in the top league with them than Villa, due to his familiarity with his current squad. Also, it wouldn’t be very classy or wise on Villa’s part getting a manager of a relegation rival who’s in his first Premier League season of experience. A no-go.

Neil Lennon

If Lennon was still at Celtic, he’d have more chance of a managing Villa. His cache would have dropped in the eyes of fans as soon as he dropped to the Championship with Bolton, even though it may have been a wise move on his behalf to learn his managerial spurs in the English game. Lennon could potentially inspire the team to avoid relegation, but I can’t see the club dipping into the Championship for a manager.

Paul Clement

Ancelotti’s right-hand man at Real Madrid. At 43-year-old despite plenty of coaching experience at Chelsea, with further spells at Paris St-Germain and obviously Madrid. Should an assistant’s first number one job be at a club the size of Villa? Nope. Especially with the club in the situation they are in. Steve Clarke is a good example, although maybe he should have been given a little longer at the Baggies?



Ralf Rangnick

Could be considered a prospect, due to being available and experienced, but he smacks a bit of the Fulham Felix Magath experiment, whom he actually took over managing Schalke 04 from. Rangnick would later resign from Schalke citing he was suffering from exhaustion syndrome, which hardly makes him a fit for the current Villa task ahead. The rest of this season is going to be a pretty taxing assignment for any manager.

Bernd Schuster

The former Real Madrid manager is a free agent, but probably would be too volatile for Randy Lerner’s tastes. With a history of falling out with boards and media, Schuster is also perhaps regarded as a washed-up force. He might fancy the challenge win back some respect, but surely he brings too many questions marks with him to be considered with any seriousness.

Mark Warburton

Despite impressing at Brentford, he’s a name that is hardly going to fire up the Villa faithful and it will have most of them scratching their heads asking ‘who?’ Unproven and it’s too early for him to be considered.

Patrick Kluviet

After coaching at NEC and Twente, Kluivert in recent years has worked under Louis van Gaal guiding the Dutch team to the World Cup semi-finals. While you’d probably prefer the Dutch number two over Ireland’s number two Roy Keane, that isn’t saying much. Doesn’t have the experience of being the main man to take a risk on at the moment.

Uwe Rosler

While he’s had breath spells of lower league success at Wigan and Brentford, he doesn’t have the top-flight credentials to manage Villa. I’d be surprised if he’s even considered, although it will be interesting to see where Rosler turns up next.

Glen Hoddle

People still get sentimental about Glen Hoddle because of the player he was, but his last spell in club management was at Wolves in 2006. It was hardly a roaring success and it was almost a decade ago. Despite backing by the bookies at least, Glen Hoddle as Villa’s long-term manager seems a far-fetched notion and too risky as a relegation prevention stop-gap.



Stuart Pearce

If Lambert had been sacked with four or five games to the end of the season, he might have been a decent short-term fix, as he seems to get teams fired up for the first handful of games. But Pearce’s days of being considered an upper-tier manager seem to be very much over.

Nigel Adkins

Well, the former Reading boss is available and will probably throw his hat in the ring, but this is a man who’s last act was to lose 6-1 against the Blues. Sorry mate, it ain’t gonna happen.

Media Muppet Suggestions

No chance of taking job, but they’re still mentioned in the press! Even though some of them could probably do a job.

Alan Curbishley

The token gesture mention, that is only fitting. Doubt he’ll manage again.

Steve McClaren

Yeah right! After Villa fans scorned the idea of McClaren taking over in 2011 and the very fact the club chose Alex McLeish means he’d probably the last man to say yes to the job. Also, at the moment, the ex-England boss’s Derby team probably have a better chance of Premier League football next season than Villa do.

Harry Redknapp

He’s got a dodgy knee apparently. Also, Villa fans have always had it in for him and he’ll remember when one of them threw a 50p at him.

Sam Allardyce

Some pundits have suggest Big Sam due to the fact his West Ham contract doesn’t have long to run and the Hammers fans have never been his greatest fans. He’s cemented them in the Premier league though and with a stadium move and possible expansion as a real London force, he’d want to stick around. Stranger things have happened, but it would be an odd choice on Sam’s part and too much hassle on Villa’s part.

Roy Keane

Lets just leave it at NAH! Even though some deluded Irish newspapers reckon he’s in the running. He’s got as much chance as Alex McLeish.

UTV and good luck to whoever gets the job!

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  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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