The Aston Villa hierarchy has reportedly identified Mauricio Pochettino as a candidate to replace the increasingly pressured Steven Gerrard as the club’s new manager.
Gerrard has found himself under the pump this season with the mood among Villa fans who had turned against him after a poor start, leaving the club in 16th place in the league, one point outside the drop zone.
Quite worrying for Gerrard, according to The Telegraphmoves are already underway at Villa in identifying his replacement as the club appear to be moving quickly as they are called into action this week with games against Fulham at Craven Cottage and at home Brentford.
Mauricio Pochettino has reportedly been identified by Aston Villa as the candidate to take over
The report says Villa, who recorded their fifth defeat of the season against Chelsea on Sunday, would likely move to remove Gerrard, even if they beat Fulham but fail to beat Brentford.
Pochettino would be the main target of the four-man group that will lead the process to find Gerrard’s potential replacement.
On Gerrard’s appointment last November, after the club had quite surprisingly parted ways with Dean Smith, Christian Purslow spoke of the hopes co-owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens had for Villa moving forward.
Steven Gerrard had a difficult start to the season at Villa after his team finished badly last year
‘The mantra of that’ [five-year] plan is that we need to improve. Improve our performance, improve our results, improve our finishing position,” he said.
“We’ve been on that journey for a little over three years and I think Steven’s arrival will revitalize the club and help us move forward.”
Even the greatest Gerrard acolyte would struggle to make a case for the former Rangers manager because he had delivered on what Purslow said the club’s goals were when he took the job.
Indeed, Gerrard struggled at times to find the balance on his side, rarely settling for a team that makes the most of the range of attacking talent on offer to him and his staff.
Villa produced one of their best performances of the season on Sunday, but suffered another defeat
Phillippe Coutinho, signed for high cost and excitement, has failed to deliver on early promise, while Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins seem unable to play together and not at the expense of the overall team.
Sunday’s loss at home to Chelsea brought further booing and booing from the Villa stalwarts towards Gerrard, while the mood had changed dramatically in his direction.
Reports say other candidates, including Thomas Tuchel, who is out of work after losing his job at Chelsea, and former Arsenal manager Unai Emery, who is in charge of Villarreal, could also be probed as the ambitious move to secure Pochettino failed.
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