Villa finally see sense in pursuing ex-Leicester miracle worker

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Aston Villa haven’t made many good decisions this season, but it seems they may finally be stumbling into one as their relegation fate creeps closer.

Reports suggest that the Midlands club could sack Remi Garde, their second manager of the season, in the coming days. The Daily Mail offer former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson as the most likely man to take over.

If that plan comes to fruition it would be the most sensible thing Villa have done in a lost campaign fraught with poor performances and questionable choices.

Starting the season by selling leading lights Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph and replacing them with little known French recruits was a sign of the pain in store for the claret-shirted club.

When Tim Sherwood was jettisoned from the sideline – having won once in the league – Villa plumped for Garde, a boss with no Premier League experience, as their saviour. He hasn’t been able to deliver.

Now, with a stint the Championship staring them in the face, Villa’s head honchos appear resigned to hiring a manager with a track record of success at various levels in this country. It should have happened long ago.

Pearson was the architect of Leicester’s miraculous survival in the Premier League last season, which has spurred them on to the unlikely title tilt they currently enjoy under Claudio Ranieri.

Beyond that achievement in the top-flight though, the former defender has a history of achieving promotion in lower leagues.

He twice managed the feat with Leicester, winning League One with the Foxes in the 2008/09 campaign, then guiding them to the Championship title during a second stint with the club two seasons ago.

Two further finishes inside the second tier’s playoffs show just how adept the 52-year-old is at navigating that division’s notoriously choppy waters. All of which makes him the perfect fit for a Villa outfit on the rebound.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.