Why it’s worth looking beyond the top names for Villa job
It’s over two weeks now since Remi Garde’s rather torrid time at Aston Villa came to an end, and after a host of respected names were quickly linked with the Villa Park hotseat, things have all gone somewhat quiet of late.
Nigel Pearson, David Moyes, Steve Bruce and Mick McCarthy have been the front runners since Garde and Villa parted ways on March 29.
He may be favourite at 6/4, but Pearson was spotted in the Director’s Box at Nottingham Forest last weekend, so could the former Leicester man be opting for the City Ground instead?
As for 4/1 shot Bruce, a lot could depend on his current endeavours to return Hull to the Premier League.
The Tigers have lost their way of late and appear destined for the perilous play-offs, but there’s little doubting the former Manchester United skipper’s credentials.
Should he lift Hull back into the top tier, it would be the fourth time Bruce has done so with various clubs, and there’s no doubting the former centre-back knows how to negotiate the hellishly difficult Championship, for which Villa are set to experience for the first time in nearly 30 years.
At 7/2 is Mick McCarthy, who will interest Villa for very similar reasons.
The Ipswich boss has twice led teams to Championship success – two titles in fact – but with the Tractor Boys failing to land Premier League football since he took charge in November 2012, does the former Wolves manager fancy a return to the Midlands?
And then there’s David Moyes at 9/2.
In many ways Aston Villa are oh-so similar to Everton – club size, the infrastructure, the history – but there’s one crucial aspect that may deter the former Manchester United boss – the owner.
Throughout his Everton tenure Moyes could count on the unwavering support of Bill Kenwright, and that’s not a relationship Aston Villa and Randy Lerner have looked like replicating for a good few years.
It’s not without reason that each of the top four in the market may look elsewhere or stay put.
So what about 10/1 outsider Simon Grayson?
The Preston boss is no stranger to life in the Championship, and he’s not afraid to leave a Lancashire club for a fallen giant either, having left Blackpool to join Leeds in 2008.
Those three-and-a-bit years at Elland Road will have provided him with plenty of experience for a club of Villa’s stature too. And he’s no stranger to success, albeit lower down, having guided four sides to League One promotion.
Oh, and he played for the Villains for two years in the late 90s.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.