Aston Villa new manager: Roberto Martinez and Steven Gerrard being eyed up to replace Dean Smith

Roberto Martinez and Steven Gerrard emerge as the early front-runners for the vacant Aston Villa job after Dean Smith was sacked.

After Dean Smith was sacked by Aston Villa after just over three years at the club, and with the international break upon us for the Premier League and Championship, Villa can take their time before appointing a new manager.

Fresh reports have linked Roberto Martinez and Steven Gerrard to the vacant job in a bid to turn Villa’s season around.

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It was Villa’s fifth straight loss in a row on Friday night, as Adam Armstrong’s third-minute strike was enough to see Southampton take three points. As well as the loss, against a team Villa fans would expect to beat after a spending spree in the summer, Villa’s response to the goal was poor, and they didn’t threaten the Saints goal at all.

What can each man bring to the job?

Roberto Martinez is currently the Belgium manager. After failing to win anything with Belgium’s so called “Golden Generation” it’s a surprise he’s been linked with a job that will be in high demand. He famously led Wigan to an FA Cup trophy in 2013, beating Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City.

The Spaniard began his managerial career at Swansea, staying in Wales for two years from 2007-2009, leading the club to a League One title, and led the Swans to their Championship debut, before taking over at Wigan.

After his exploits at the DW, Martinez took the next stop on the managerial ladder by taking over Everton. David Moyes had left Goodison for the dizzying heights of Manchester United.

During his time at Wigan, Martinez turned down the Villa job, and was interviewed for the Liverpool job, with the position eventually going to, ironically, Brendan Rodgers from Swansea.

In 2016, after not doing much at all with Everton, Martinez was sacked.

In August of that year, he landed the Belgium job after their horrendous Euro 2016 campaign.

In his first major tournament with Belgium, the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Martinez’s Belgium won all of their group games, and battled back from 2-0 down to beat Japan 3-2. After earning another scalp in beating Brazil 2-1, Belgium were in the semi-finals and narrowly lost to eventual winners France. After beating England to claim third place, Martinez had led Belgium to their highest ever World Cup finish.

Despite not winning much in his career, Martinez has improved most teams he’s managed. He seems to be a good fit for Villa, and has a knack of turning teams fortunes around quick, which is exactly what the Midlands club needs.

Steven Gerrard

No introduction needed, we all know who Steven Gerrard is. Liverpool’s greatest ever player.

Currently enjoying his first managerial job at Rangers, it’s safe to say that he’s had a great start to life on the touchline.

After turning down MK Dons because he didn’t feel he was ready, Gerrard manager various youth teams in Liverpool’s academy, before signing four-year deal with Rangers in 2018.

In the 2020-2021 season, after reportedly rejecting Newcastle’s job offer, Gerrard’s Rangers enjoyed a record breaking, trophy laden season. The did the double over bitter rivals Celtic, topped their Europa League group, won their first league title in 10 years, and their 55th overall. Oh, and on top of all of that, they also went unbeaten, not too bad, right?

Gerrard has assembled a great job in Scotland, and could be tempted to bring the likes of James Tavernier and Connor Goldson with him.

It’s probably the next step he needs to take, Jerzy Dudek has tipped him to replace Jurgen Klopp, and this would be great preparation for this. But, with Klopp reportedly leaving in the near future, Aston Villa surely wouldn’t want to feel like work experience.

Both great managers, who would be perfect fits for the Premier League side, either appointment would be a good one.