It was a relationship that never going to be salvaged.
The polite parting of ways, drawn out by a severance payment being agreed, was inevitable. Probably even before the transfer window was slammed shut in Garde’s face.
Garde was let down badly.
He never got an opportunity to rejuvenate a Villa squad ill prepared for Championship life, let alone survival. Paddy Reilly’s failure to pursue his targets, Tom Fox’s resignation & scrutiny of his performance on & off the pitch sealed his fate.
For every insightful, intelligent comment he made at press conferences, came a drab, uncompetitive display against opposition.
For every hammering against Man City, there are countless games we could have won, but made little attempt to do so in. Norwich, Sunderland & Swansea defeats will stand as firm evidence of Garde’s failings.
Garde was the wrong man, at the wrong time, destined to fail.
At Aston Villa we seem to hold the monopoly on such things right now.
Garde leaves with a reputation for being painfully polite, but arguably hypocritical in equal measure.
Fair criticism of Villas unde-rperforming, overpaid and embarrassing players, was rewarded with unchanged line ups most weeks. The very players who let him down would step out and openly ridicule him through their actions. It was a nonsense.
Be it through lazy drubbings, ignoring team orders or simply not trying. Garde acknowledged this openly, but the same faces would reappear.
There was no discipline or sanction towards Guzan/Lescott at Wycombe, no shaming of Joleon Lescott for awful social media behaviour & the freedom for Richards/Agbonlahor to swan around the Middle East as though having earned their money.
A manager must command respect & enforce discipline. The Frenchman was either weak, apathetic or both.
The next chapter therefore sees a predictable end to Garde’s brief and uninspiring reign. He was not the man to salvage our season, the results and off field cull have seen to that.
What is certain is that Aston Villa cannot afford another failed managerial appointment. An appointment at a time when our stock sits at its lowest, our outlook challenging & candidates themselves carrying risk & uncertainty of their own.
The wrong choice could set us on an unthinkable path, more undesirable than anything we’ve yet experienced.
Established in 2011 - The Villa Underground is an independent Aston Villa social-blog & website. Featuring pre-match discussion, post match reaction, opinion, satire, a podcast, news & social media comment on all matters affecting AVFC.