Who is Aaron Danks - interim Aston Villa head coach to take over from Steven Gerrard for Brentford clash

Here is everything you need to know about Aaron Danks, who will take charge of Aston Villa against Brentford on Sunday after Steven Gerrard was sacked.
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Aston Villa have announced first team coach Aaron Danks will take interim charge of the squad as they face Brentford at Villa Park on Sunday. He comes in for the departing Steven Gerrard on a temporary basis while Villa search for a long-term replacement.

The former West Brom and England youth coach will be assisted by Bodymoor Heath technical and coaching staff as Villa look to bounce back from their disastrous 3-0 defeat to Fulham on Thursday evening. It was a game that sealed the fate of Gerrard and five backroom staff members.

Gary McAllister, Neil Critchley, Tom Culshaw, Jordan Milsom and Scott Mason have all departed the club with immediate effect alongside Gerrard. The likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Michael Beale, Thomas Frank and Unai Emery are the early bookies’ favourites to take the reins for the rest of the season and beyond.

But first, Danks has the opportunity - albeit a short one - to help Villa break away from the relegation zone. Currently sat in 17th place and above the bottom three on goals scored alone, a win is desperately needed. If Danks and his men can earn one they could move as high as 13th - gifting a new manager a slightly better platform.

It won’t be easy, though, as Brentford have been far from pushovers since they were promoted to the Premier League and recently held an on-fire Chelsea side to a 0-0 draw. To give you a better idea of Villa’s chances of success on Sunday, here’s everything you need to know about the man in the dugout.

Who is Aaron Danks, Villa’s interim head coach?

Aaron Danks is a 37-year-old assistant manager and coach who currently holds a UEFA Pro Licence. Danks started his career as a youth coach at West Bromwich Albion, spending 11 years with the Baggies between July 2005 and June 2016.

Aaron Danks, who helped England to the U20 World Cup win in 2017, will take charge of Aston Villa against Brentford on Sunday.Aaron Danks, who helped England to the U20 World Cup win in 2017, will take charge of Aston Villa against Brentford on Sunday.
Aaron Danks, who helped England to the U20 World Cup win in 2017, will take charge of Aston Villa against Brentford on Sunday.

Danks left West Brom for a new challenge with England U21, first as a technical coach between July 2016 and December 2018, as he helped lead the young Three Lions to the U20 World Cup in 2017. From there, he became England U21’s sports coordinator from January 2019 until August 2020, before taking over as England U21 assistant manager for 10 months.

He departed to become Vincent Kompany’s assistant at RSC Anderlecht for a few matches in the summer of 2021, but was then poached by Villa to assist Dean Smith and then Gerrard. Danks is now the interim head coach for Villa’s fixture against Brentford on Sunday, October 23.