Dean Smith faces a battle to keep his Aston Villa job and could be out of a job if there’s no improvement on their league position by the time the next international break rolls around, claims a report.
The Midlands outfit have endured an indifferent start to the season with four points taken from a possible 12. A defeat at Watford on the opening day was followed by a win over Newcastle, a draw with Brentford and then a loss at Chelsea.
Villa could consider themselves unfortunate to be on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline at Stamford Bridge. Smith’s side performed well against Thomas Tuchel’s side and but for the brilliance of Edouard Mendy, might have had some joy.
Indeed, after the game, Smith admitted he had been happy with his players’ performance.
“Some of our football was excellent but the second goal killed the game. It felt unjust at the end. That second goal was the killer,” he said.
“I’m frustrated with the scoreline. I felt three goals was unjust. I feel that with the squad that we have available to me, we no longer have to have a deep block and look to counter attack like we did when we first got promoted.
“Now we can go and ask questions. The second goal just took the wind out of our sails while Ollie Watkins will wonder how he never scored.”
That defeat leaves Villa in 12th place. But as per Football Insider, Smith is under massive pressure to improve on last season’s 11th-placed finish.
Despite the summer sale of Jack Grealish for a British record £100m, Smith has been backed in the market. He has spent decent money with Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey all signing for sizeable fees.
Villa have also brought back Ashley Young and loaned Axel Tuanzebe again from Manchester United.
However, Villa owners Wes Edens and Naseef Sawiris are said to be hugely ambitious. They were also said to be disappointed with last season’s bottom-half finish, especially given the early promise Villa had shown.
Furthermore, Football Insider reports that sources say Smith’s relationship with chief executive Christian Purslow is ‘not a strong one’.
Smith’s cause is also not helped by the fact that coaches John Terry and Richard O’Kelly exited the club just before the start of the new season.
Date set on possible Dean Smith sack
Indeed, the report states a run of bad results leading up to the international break could see Smith and Villa part ways.
They face Everton at home this weekend, before returning to Chelsea in the EFL Cup third round.
Following that is a daunting trip to Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Manchester United.
And their final game before the next international break is a trip to face Tottenham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 3.
The failure to improve on their current standing could see Smith chopped before Villa’s first game after the international break.
And finally, the report claims Villa’s hierarchy will not hesitate in their search for a new manager if there is not an immediate improvement to results.