From my Birmingham mail column-Weds Oct17th 2018
So the search for a new manager at Villa is finally over with the appointment of Dean Smith a self-confessed Villa supporter. A lot will be made of the fact that he is a Villa fan but let’s be clear about it he has not been given the job because he stood on the Holte End as a lad but because he has earned the opportunity.
Serving his managerial apprenticeship at Walsall and Brentford he built a reputation for playing entertaining, attacking front foot football and for being competitive despite having to sell his better players.
Having known Dean and his coach Richard O’Kelly for many years I would suggest that this is a decent appointment. A young English coach getting the chance to manage a big club when at one stage it looked like a foreign coach was the most likely appointment.
Dean is a very good coach but he is not a magician he does not have a magic coaching wand and will need time to get his ideas and playing philosophies across to the players.
Any player who thinks Dean’s nice guy demeanour means he will be a soft touch is in for a rude awakening. Every player will have to buy into his methods, standards and way of playing or risk not being a part of it.
The appointment of John Terry as his assistant was a surprise but on reflection it could just turn out to be a masterstroke. A lot of media attention will be on the former England and Chelsea defender leaving Dean to get on with managing the club.
In the dressing room Terry also get a lot of respect from players at all levels having been there done it and got a wardrobe full of Tee Shirts.
I am sure they will have been told that it’s vital to get the club out of the Championship from a FFP perspective let alone the desire of the new owners to have their team in the top flight.
I am certain Villa supporters will be delighted at the way he will get the team playing. However it’s not entertaining football that will win promotion but winning games.
Dean I am sure though will be equally determined to provide both wins and good football.