PREVIEW: Arsenal. LINKS: Martinez, Flores, Garcia & Di Matteo.


MATCH PREVIEW – ARSENAL (V) ASTON VILLA (15th May 2015, 3pm Kick Off – The Emirates)

This is it.  The end of the road, for now at least.

Villa travel to The Emirates in torrid form, but the fans are at least buoyed by the great scenes at Villa Park last weekend.

Can we extend the ® party or will this be an away day to forget?

>> Read the Match Preview in full here <<

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The latest links are sending the bookies into some disarray as the previous favourite, Nigel Pearson, has at the time of writing been unexpectedly replaced by Roberto Di Matteo.

Di Matteo, famously in charge for Chelsea’s Champions League win has decent pedigree after respectable stints at Stamford Bridge, The Hawthorns and a Bundesliga outfit Schalke.  

Indeed, a manager who has a pedigree for winning such as Di Matteo is an interesting and positive link.  As a player he scored three cup winning goals and as a coach “masterminded” a Champions League trophy.  It does inspire greater confidence than other names on the list of possible candidates to become the next Villa coach.

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With Quique Sanchez Flores’ departure from Watford and Everton’s decision to part company with Roberto Martinez inevitably throw their names into the hat.

Flores’ is not without his admirers.  Indeed, promoting and stabilising Watford in the Premier League is no mean feat.  It appears that disappointing half season form and the ambition of The Hornets’ owners has been his downfall.  Comparisons are easily drawn to Southampton’s infamous decision to part with Nigel Adkins.

Roberto Martinez is a difficult one.

Loathed by Everton fans to the extent that they planned to protest their own end of season awards ceremony, the Spaniards fate appeared to have been sealed for a while.

There would also be great debate to be had about his style of play.  Would a side with defensive fragility like Wigan or Everton demonstrated be a risk worth taking in the Championship?

And let’s not forget that in 2011, Martinez snubbed Villa’s advances in favour of remaining at Wigan as Gerard Houllier’s health enforced his departure from the hotseat.

Another intriguing link to appear quietly is that of former Barcelona player Oscar Garcia.  Garcia is building a CV that was recently complimented by winning the Austrian Bundesliga.  Whilst it’s hard to find many who honestly follow Austrian domestic football with any great interest, Garcia has previous at Watford and Brighton.

At Brighton he managed a play off semi final defeat and had his resignation accepted.  At Watford his tenure lasted just 27 days owing to ill-health.

Garcia comes with risks in both outcomes and wellbeing; but the right attitude and experience of The Championship at the very least.

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Other Next Villa Managers Rumours:

>> Steve Bruce, Nigel Pearson, Mark Warburton, David Moyes & Brendan Rodgers.

>> Tony Pulis, Sean Dyche, Besnik Hasi, Gareth Southgate & Simon Grayson.

>> Chris Coleman & Garry Monk.

Watch fan protests & all the songs & chants from The Holte End:

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