New Villa Boss: Roberto Di Matteo Rams Home Pearson Advantage.

The likelihood of Roberto Di Matteo becoming the next Villa manager appears increasingly certain with a number of reports detailing that the Italian will be unveiled imminently.  

As with most things concerning Aston Villa of late, until the deal is confirmed and Di Matteo has been forcibly carried into Bodymoor Heath, there may yet be twists.  Especially if you follow the latest manager odds.

This news has naturally spurned great debate as to whether RDM would be the right appointment.  The Italian would be the fourth man in the hot-seat since this time last year.  

Some question his ability.  Others focus upon the complicated job that Villa represents.  The final camp would prefer Nigel Pearson instead.

Well, considering where we are at this precise moment, he’s an improvement.

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Di Matteo has also arguably become the most rational candidate for the job. Take into account our current standing as a club, the baggage alternative choices bring with them or another major barrier; whether Villa can actually attract anyone better.

The latter shouldn’t be interpreted to suggest that there is someone better than Di Matteo who we should be targeting.  It’s partly a reflection of our circumstances as much as it is the availability of suitable managers.  The marketplace for bosses we can feasibly lure leaves much to be desired.

The fact is that we no longer have a brief to merely subsist in the doldrums of the Premier League.  We’ve failed at that.  And whilst we might love a Jose Mourinho to swagger into Villa Park, even his CV doesn’t stack up for the task we require, based upon the logic applied in some quarters!

After-all, there is the significant undertaking towards ensuring the clubs immediate return to The Premier League.  This appointment is therefore a massive call, a crucial appointment and probably the single most important managerial decision in a generation at Aston Villa.

No pressure then.

To compound matters, our incoming Chinese owner has made various statements of intent.  For this to come to fruition, rationally he will need to start as he means to go on.

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If our new owner Tony Xia’s broader ambitions are also taken into consideration, then a platform for significant progress from here on in is the blueprint.  Not that this necessarily means that the same man would be at the helm if models such as Southampton are anything to go by.

Many are also understandably expressing their bafflement that Nigel Pearson is taking up the vacant post at Derby County, seemingly unopposed by Villa.

Pearson, interviewed by current Villa Chairman Steve Hollis before the seasons end, stalled on the basis of ownership uncertainty.  The once inevitable deal was dead in the water once Xia was confirmed, with the businessman holding a preference for Di Matteo on the basis of his Champions League credentials.

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Whilst there were certainly reservations to be had about Pearson’s temperament, his record at Championship level and motivational skills definitely appealed.  

However, it’s my feeling that Pearson was the man Villa needed when the decision to appoint Remi Garde was made.  Following the relegation and sale of the club by Randy Lerner, the outlook and attributes required have shifted.

Whilst the acknowledgement of Pearson’s Championship experience remains, our needs have changed.  Nothing would have been more enjoyable than watching Lescott and company suffering Pearson everyday, but is that the methodology for rebuilding our football club?

With relegation behind us and the revolving door of transfers soon to commence, the suitability for the role shifts to a more assured and rounded figure like Di Matteo.

Additionally, he comes without any matters of concern on his CV or character.

That CV features a mix of steady Premiership experience, promotion from The Championship, time in the Bundesliga and a Champions League win.  It’s hardly run of the mill stuff.

Yes, his stints are noticeably short; never longer than 2 years.  Yes he walked from Schalke following a dispute with the owner.  Yes, he broke our hearts in the 2000 FA Cup final.  We can get over these things, especially if he get’s Aston Villa winning.

It’s a massive job.  With huge implications if it doesn’t work.  Though the simple fact is that this time, it has to work.

In a year where we all watched Sherwood, Garde and then Eric Black compete for ‘Footballs Most Incompetent’, Di Matteo can only be welcome relief.  Surely?

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