Nigel Pearson Now Set For Villa Rival as Xia Favours Di Matteo

Making Plans for Nigel

Nigel Pearson seemed to be a shoe-in for the Aston Villa manager job. He was the man seemingly best suited for the task ahead – to turn losers into winners, to instil effort, spirit and graft, and to get Villa promoted ASAP.

He had backers too. Villa’s short-lived football board selected him from a supposed original list of 50 managerial candidates. David Bernstein said live on BT Sport, before the Chelsea game, that Villa were getting an English manager. Brian Little when asked by the Villa Fans Consolation Group what qualities the next manager should have, pretty much described Pearson down to a tee and Villa chairman Steve Hollis, said in an interview last week, after the announcement of Tony Xia’s purchase of the club, that the next manager would be a Brit.

With all this evidence in Pearson’s favour, the announcement on the new Villa manager that was promised to Villa supporters this week, really should have served up only one name.  But now with the Premier League and Football League’s ‘fit and proper’ tests dragging on, it seems it has given incoming owner Tony Xia time to have second thoughts and at the time of writing, the latest odds show Pearson at 3/1, the second favourite.

UPDATE: Nigel Pearson has been announced as the new Derby boss, with Chris Powell as his assistant manager.

No doubt he’s been advised by Keith Wyness, to perhaps get in a name with a bit more profile and cache.


Wyness seemingly used his previous relations with David Moyes to try and coax him into the job at the last minute, if recent press reports are to be believed, but it seems that Xia was always more impressed by Di Matteo’s Champions League win at Chelsea.

The due diligence already done by the club on its next manager seems to have been discarded, as it seems that Xia is now dead set on the Italian.



Making Plans for Nigel II

It’s been reported that Nigel Pearson has been speaking to Derby to become their manager for next season. After missing out on the play-offs, having Pearson at the helm will certainly give the Rams an added edge for renewed promotion push, making them formidable competition for Villa in the push for promotion.

Also, Rafa Benitez confirming that he will stay on at Newcastle, certainly makes the Geordies the favourites for the Championship title.

But, it’s all about getting your own house in order and Villa current situation is bleak and has been for a while.

Di Matteo’s Double Question Mark


One thing that is noticeable about Di Matteo’s previous managerial history is he has always tended to inherit decent teams relative to their league. MK Dons, previously managed by Paul Ince, were promoted and won the FA Trophy in the season before Di Matteo took over. He lead them to a losing play-off.

He took over a relegated but talented West Bromwich team who were strongly favoured for a instant return, even before Di Matteo walked through the door. He guided them up, but then became unstuck in the Premier League and was sacked in February, after a poor run of form.

Di Matteo only lasted just one season at Schalke too, who had a decent team and were already in the Champions League. He did lift them from a mid-table to finish sixth and qualify for the Europa League. He then resigned, citing differences between the club and his ambition.

At Chelsea, he inherited a powerful team, but was successful in lifting spirits and galvanising the team to win the FA Cup and follow in Tony Barton ‘caretaker’ shoes to win the European Cup aka Champions League. Yet, he wasn’t fancied to be Chelsea boss full-time for the following season.


MOMS has spoken to a journalist who was close to WBA and he questioned Di Matteo’s application as Baggies boss in his second season, essentially saying, he wasn’t one for doing over-time and rolling his sleeves up.

So, far Di Matteo hasn’t completed two full seasons as a manager with any club and has never been around long enough to build his own team. What is a Di Matteo team? Remains a question, without a proven answer. Can he build a team from the roots up and get promotion within a year? That’s certainly what’s on Xia’s bucket list for next season.

Roberto Bounce

The main reason for cynicism is mainly due to the high stakes involved in being the next Villa boss. This is a team that managed only three wins in a season and needs a complete rebuild, yet Villa need to get promoted sharpish and preferably at the first time of calling.

To his credit, teams seem to respond well to Di Matteo, at least in the short-term, as his time at Chelsea and WBA, especially suggests. Having been a player of some standing in his past, no doubt helps garner respect from players too.

In the final analysis, MOMS would probably take Di Matteo over Tim Sherwood, Paul Lambert, Alex McLeish and Remi Garde, but the nagging doubt is, is he the right man for the specific job ahead next season?



  1. I said it at the time of takeover, “Another Chinese Take Away” and frankly I recon I was spot on. Now that Pearson has signed up for Derby (And can you blame him) Roberto is the only man left standing. Sure he won the European Cup, but he did so with someone else team. He didn`t build it.
    After 50 years of following Villa, I am finally moving out to Liverpool. I just appreciate their commitment to their supporters, they have a carefully planned ambition. Villa will never reach such heights and certainly not under Roberto`s leadership.

  2. I dont know why everyone thinks pearson is the saviour. Ok he kept leicester up but he nearly got them relegated with pretty much the team that won the premier league. And just because RDM doesnt shout and scream it doesnt mean he cant sort out the egos in our dressing room. Dont forget the chelsea dressing room had bigger egos when he went in as manager.
    Im not sayin RDM is the right manager. I mean what do us fans know. We were singing lamberts name to appoint him as manager, then we couldnt get rid of him fast enough!!!

  3. This will go down well with China, if this is true, then we know where we stand as villa fans. manager in because of marketing hope I’m wrong

  4. The irony of this being if Lerner was still owner we would be appointing Pearson by default. Looks like Hollis’, and more worryingly, Brian Little’s advice has fallen on deaf ears.

  5. Sorry if its Roberto it will be the first huge mistake he makes, and we can all expect more of the same as last season. For me its Pearson all the way

  6. who the hell is advising the owner not a man with experience of appointing a good manager that’s for sure
    if not Pearson when it has to be steve Bruce , we need a nonsense manage with proven experience of the championship .
    its said the reason they fancy Di Matteo is because he has a high profile in China well that’s not a good reason to go for him .
    believe me this is going to be as bad as last season under Di Matteo and will be very lucky to be in the top half of the table .
    I really do hope I have got it wrong but I see no hope at all at Villa Park next season ,

  7. I couldn’t agree more, this isn’t the time to take anymore chances with what is the most important appointment the club has had to make in the last 10 years.Nigel Pearson is the no nonsense type of manager we desperately need right now who will create the kind of team spirit that’s been lacking at the club for a long time.He will get the fitness level right up there and give some structure and organisation to a team by bringing in 3 or 4 leaders to guide and inspire the few players worth keeping.He is a strong character whose former players at Leicester all speak highly of him as a man manager who cares about his players creating a bond whereby they will run through a brick wall for him.We all know the atmosphere has been toxic at Villa park for sometime now with certain individuals stealing a living from our great club for far too long.Pearson has the recent championship experience to build a side capable of returning to the premier immediately and if he manages that we can take stock again when we get there.I just hope Brian Little has enough influence to ensure the board listen and appoint a solid very experienced boss who can start to rebuild this club Asap.

  8. I hope i am proved wrong I really do, I think Roberto is the Wrong choice – if he has 100m thrown at him with a new scouting team then I doubt they could possibly do as bad as the last lot. The trouble is you need a manager that will take no sh*t from anyone to turn around with the disciplines needed to shake the whole place up and that is what Nigel Will do. He has proven himself at Championship level better than anyone else and what a framework of the future team for Leicester he had set up. Yes he has his own short comings but I tell you he will have the fittest Villa side since our Euro glory days. If it is Roberto which I expect it will be, He will get my full support he has the opportunity to put Villa back on track but I just have a nag, an itch that just wont scratch away. Please prove me wrong

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