Aston Villa confirmed that they had sacked Head Coach Dean Smith on Sunday afternoon following a run of five straight Premier League defeats.
The self-confessed Villan was a popular figure at Villa Park. One fan even called him ‘the greatest Villa manager ever’ in response to the statement of his dismissal on Twitter.
But it wasn’t just the faithful he was popular with.
Smith was great with the media, always happy to give his time and treat them with respect regardless of his team’s result on the day.
And more importantly he was popular with those within the club - the staff members and the players that played under him. You could tell just by watching from afar the relationship they had with one another and the reaction that he has been met with on social media following the announcement proves that.
The official club statement states that the process has now begun in relation to bringing a replacement in for Smith but regardless of whom that turns out to be, they will have a tough job on trying to replicate the popularity of the now former Aston Villa boss.
Here’s some of the messages he has received so far.
@JackGrealish: “No1 will ever compare, the real goat”
@MattyCash622: “You brought me to this great football club, I will forever be grateful, Thank you for everything gaffa”
@EzriKonsa: “Been an absolute pleasure, thank you for everything!”
@NathanDawe: “You gave us moments we didn’t think were possible in such a short space of time. My favourite villa manager of my lifetime. You just got it. One of our own. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Dean Smith #avfc”
@Conor_Hourihane: “Thanks for everything gaffer. It was a pleasure the years we had together. Incredible memories. All the very best moving forward 💜”
@ga11official:“What a journey Dean, you did a great job sir! I feel you had credit in the bank and deserved a chance to turn this around! I suppose football fans want players and managers to be loyal but aren’t loyal back🤷🏽♂️Next appointment is so important don’t bring in someone like garde I beg you 🙏🏾”
@Elmo_27: “End of Era for this man. Did a great job at the club, good luck for the future.”
@JohnGregory77: “Dean Smith gave Aston Villa Football Club the kiss of life when the Club was an embarrassment to Villa fans and he rekindled the love and passion and success on the field where so many others had failed hopelessly. Dean you will be forever remembered at VP. Thank you #utv”
@IanTaylor7: “Got to say, gutted but understand. Thank you Deano. Got us back where we belong and Villa through and through. Unfortunately, 5 on the spin just isn’t good enough. Thank you for everything Deano. UTV.”
Expect there to be many, many more as the day progresses, too.
In the words of the Villa faithful “One of our own” - Good luck, Dean.