Belfast Telegraph

Brendan Rodgers could be in line for Aston Villa job after Tim Sherwood sacking

By Steven Beacom

Brendan Rodgers could be set for a rapid return to Premier League management with Aston Villa.

The deposed former Liverpool manager, from Carnlough, is believed to feature prominently on a shortlist of three drawn up by Villa’s American owner Randy Lerner to replace Tim Sherwood who was sacked yesterday just eight months after taking the job.

Former Manchester United manager David Moyes is also in the frame with sources in France touting former Arsenal defender and Lyon coach Rémi Garde. Ex-Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson is considered an outside bet if Moyes, Garde or Rodgers cannot be tempted.

Rodgers has taken a break from football following his sacking as Liverpool boss earlier this month, but he is keen to return to management in the future.

Some influential figures at Villa Park are big admirers of Rodgers and believe he could help steer their young side away from relegation danger and move the club forward.

But the man himself would think long and hard about taking on the role, which has become one of the most perilous in the Premier League with the club having five managers in the past five years.

Rodgers remains hugely disappointed that he was not given the opportunity to turn things around at Anfield by Liverpool’s American owners, but retains faith in his coaching ability. He knows that in the weeks and months ahead job offers at home and abroad will come his way, so he can afford to bide his time.

There is even a possibility that if Roy Hodgson fails with England at the Euro 2016 finals, the FA may come knocking on the Ulsterman’s door.

Another avenue expected to open for the articulate 42-year-old shortly is work as a television pundit until he returns to management. Moyes’ own position at Real Sociedad is in danger but will have been strengthened yesterday following a 4-0 win at Levante in La Liga.

The French TV station Canal Plus, for whom Garde works as a pundit, tweeted yesterday that the 49-year-old Frenchman was “in pole position to replace Tim Sherwood”.

Sherwood's reign ended the morning after Villa's sixth straight defeat at home against Swansea City and the 46-year-old learned his fate after being summoned to the club's Bodymoor Heath training ground.

A parting of the ways had seemed inevitable after Saturday's 2-1 loss which left Villa with just one point from nine Premier League matches since their opening-day win at Bournemouth. A club statement said: "The board has monitored the performances closely all season and believes the results on the pitch were simply not good enough and that a change is imperative."

Sherwood's assistant manager Ray Wilkins, first-team coach Mark Robson and performance analyst Seamus Brady have also left the club although Tony Parks will stay on as goalkeeper coach. Kevin MacDonald has taken the reins as interim manager.

Whoever takes over faces a daunting task as Villa ended yesterday bottom of the league after Sunderland's win over Newcastle United, and will face Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in their next two league matches after Wednesday's Capital One Cup tie against Southampton.

Speaking on Saturday evening, Sherwood described Villa as a club "in a hole", which is largely the same position they were in when he took over from Paul Lambert in February. He did an impressive job initially by leading them to safety and to the FA Cup final, which they lost 4-0 to Arsenal.

Sherwood also received criticism for his tactics and his team selections increasingly called to mind a man banging around in a dark room in search of a lost key.

Belfast Telegraph


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