Steven Gerrard has been sacked as manager of Aston Villa after a poor start to the Premier League campaign.
Gerrard leaves Villa narrowly above the relegation places in 17th position, having collected only nine points from the opening 11 games.
Aston Villa are now hunting for a new manager to turn their season around. Here we take a look at some of the most likely contenders.
Why did Steven Gerrard get sacked?
Steven Gerrard’s first taste of Premier League management has not gone to plan and he was sacked from Aston Villa on Thursday 20 October - just 22 days short of his appointment 12 months ago.
The Liverpool legend arrived at Villa Park with a great degree of optimism having enjoyed success in the Scottish Premier League with Glasgow giants Rangers.
Gerrard enjoyed a strong start to life as Villa manager and won four of his first six games in charge after replacing Dean Smith. However, his first campaign with the club ended poorly and the Villains finished the 2021-22 season in 14th position.
Heading into this season Gerrard was given a strong budget to improve his team and brought in big name signings such as Brazilian internationals Diego Carlos and Philippe Coutinho, as well as the highly promising French midfielder Boubacar Kamara.
Following the summer transfer window, the Aston Villa fanbase and board were hoping for a European push this season, but Villa have struggled to find form this season and have only managed to record two victories from their opening 11 games.
Gerrard’s final game as Aston Villa manager was a disappointing 3-0 defeat against newly-promoted Fulham. The game saw many sections of the Villa fan base call for him to be sacked.
After the game Gerrard conceded that he was under pressure but claimed that he was willing to fight on. He said: “inconsistency has cost us, that’s the position we find ourselves in. I took the team over in a very similar situation. We’ve tried to recruit to get ourselves out of this situation. I’m a fighter - it’s in my DNA. I’ll continue to fight unless I’m told differently.”
Despite his plea to fight on, the Aston Villa board announced that they had parted company with Gerrard just hours after the defeat against Fulham.
Who is the favourite to replace Steven Gerrard as Aston Villa manager?
The Sporting CP manager has now emerged as a new frontrunner to head up Aston Villa. The Portuguese has a £10million buyout in his contract and, according to Birmingham Live, is a fee Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens would be willing to meet. The 37-year-old manager is set to be in London this week as Sporting take on Tottenham in the Champions League.
His managerial career then began at Casa Pia in 2018 after he had earned a coaching licence and attended a postgraduate course in psychomotor education. Amorim then moved to Braga in 2019, joining their reserves but soon replaced the dismissed Ricardo Sa Pinto at the top and enjoyed a 76.92% win percentage with the Portuguese side.
In March 2020, the former midfielder moved to Sporting and has lost just 20 of his 123 games in charge. He has guided the club to a double of the Taca da Liga and Primeria Liga leading him to win the 2021 Primeria Liga’s Manager of the Year.
SkyBet now have Amorim has 8/11 to take on Aston Villa
Mauricio Pochettino emerged as the frontrunner to replace Gerrard as manager of Aston Villa but it is now believed he is willing to wait on other opportunities in the future. The Argentinian manager has been out of work since leaving Paris Saint-Germain in the summer and seemed a very viable option according to many sections of the Villa fan base.
The 50-year old has enjoyed a successful career in the Premier League. In his first full season at Southampton in 2013-2014 he led them to their highest league position in ten years and also recorded their highest points tally since the Premier League began. Following his success with Southampton he was later appointed Tottenham Hotspur manager. During his time in North London he led Spurs to their highest ever Premier League position on two occasions, whilst also leading the club to a first ever Champions League final, where they would eventually finish runners-up.
The Argentinian is currently 8/1 to take the job
Unlike Mauricio Pocettino, the second favourite for the job, Michael Beale has never managed in the Premier League. However, the 42-year old manager is a familiar face to many of the players at Villa park having previously worked as assistant manager to Steven Gerrard during the 2021-2022 campaign.
Beale played a key role in the success of Rangers where he acted as assistant manager to Gerrard. He has also built up an array of coaching experience with the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Sao Paulo.
The 42-year-old took his first steps into management with QPR at the start of this season and has flourished in his first full time managerial role. At the time of writing QPR are currently top of the Championship table and have won eight of their opening 15 games under Beale.
Beale now has odds of 14/1 to take the job
Brentford manager Thomas Frank has established himself as one of the rising stars in the Premier League, and has enjoyed great success in his time at Brentford so far.
The Danish manager joined Brentford in 2018 and led the Bees to the top tier for the first time since 1935. In his first season in the Premier League many experts were tipping Brentford for relegation but, instead the 49-year old led the Bees to a 13th place finish.
Thomas Frank is now 10/1 odds to take the reigns at Villa Park.
Here are the top ten favourites to replace Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa according to SkyBet. (Odds correct as of 24 October 2022)
- Ruben Amorim 8/11
- Unai Emery 5/1
- Sean Dyche 6/1
- Mauricio Pochettino 8/1
- Thomas Frank 10/1
- Michael Beale 14/1
- Aaron Danks 16/1
- Brendon Rogers 16/1
- Thomas Tuchel 16/1
- Rafa Benitez 20/1