Damien Comolli Involved at Aston Villa – An overview.

Former Liverpool & Tottenham director of football Damien Comolli has been linked to an unspecified role at Villa Park. [as reported in The Telegraph.]  

Whilst there has been little or no concrete news on any proposed takeover at Villa, this is the strongest evidence yet that a Chinese consortium are carrying out due diligence ahead of a firm bid.

Whilst Comolli’s role at this point isn’t entirely clear, it is feasible that he has been engaged to provide an overview of Villa’s footballing set up.   

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The Frenchman has extensive professional experience within European football in many areas including coaching, scouting & sporting strategy.  It’s also quite feasible that he’s acting merely in a consultancy capacity on behalf of one or more interested parties.

Comolli has a mixed reputation in England, but carries a wide ranging and broadly impressive CV.

He is credited with the scouting responsible for drawing together key players during the early and successful Arsene Wenger years at Highbury, before returning to develop academy systems France.  

His career also includes another varied spell at Spurs, again with an emphasis on bringing through young talent, with names such as Bale, Modric & Berbatov credited to his influence.

On the flip side he has also shouldered criticism for a staunch policy of focusing upon developing and buying in youth at all costs.  This can be to the detriment of existing academy players due to the European reach of Comolli’s youth scouting network.  

For every Bale, there was a Hutton or Bentley.  A Liverpool this was similarly contrasted with the shrewd capture of Suarez offset against an exorbitant outlay on then Newcastle starlet Andy Carroll.

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There might be some comparisons drawn between Comolli and our very own Paddy Reilly.  Indeed, after struggles in the league at Spurs in 2008, Comolli was described as “bulletproof” despite a raft of signings intended to improve the squad.  

Comolli and Daniel Levy also famously sacked Martin Jol in favour of Juande Ramos, a disastrous spell which saw Tottenham briefly prop up the Premier League. 

Liverpool also dispensed with Comolli having reviewed their then failure to progress despite a similar trust in his transfer policy.  Arguably there were politics at play and the Frenchman even stated that Brendan Rodgers’ failure was down to “too many signings”.

Intriguing, and with startling similarity to Paddy Reilly again, Comolli appears to prescribe to the “moneyball” strategy of developing and selling on youngsters.  It would be greeted with some suspicion if we employed the same approach again.

Watch this space.

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