Steve Bruce’s departure has paved the way for the first major decision of new owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens. Since backing Bruce when they initially arrived, they have seen just three league wins from twelve games.

Once the news broke of his departure after the fallout and the cabbages of Tuesday night’s 3-3 draw at home to Preston, there have been several names linked from Brendan Rodgers to several Portuguese names. However, today has seen major movement in the betting market along with other reports that Thierry Henry will be coming to Villa Park and he is to be assisted by John Terry nonetheless.

In such times, it is no surprise that everyone has an opinion and a reason as to why and why not certain managers fit the bill and have the potential to get Villa firing. Personally speaking, a combination of Thierry Henry and John Terry would be exciting and has numerous positives.

The debate as to whether someone with Championship experience is essential or not can be argued as long as you want, it often has been since the playoff final defeat to Fulham at the end of last season.

The likes of Slavisa Jokanovic, David Wagner and currently Marcelo Bielsa and Darren Moore respectively are all examples of managers that have had or are currently appearing to have success with their respective teams and whilst playing attacking, positive football.

Firstly, in Thierry Henry you have one of, if not the best attacking player of the Premier League era. His ability, creativity and consistency whilst keeping a cool head could be valuable assets in regards to several players in particular.

Tammy Abraham and Jack Grealish are just two to focus upon.

Abraham has impressed since joining on loan from Chelsea, notching three goals already. Tipped to be a future England player, consistent game time and working with someone like Henry could prove to be an incredible partnership.

Similarly, Jack Grealish could go from strength to strength adding more to his arsenal of impressive attacking attributes. Since the seemingly definite move to Tottenham fell through, the fans favourite has been a shadow of some of the performances of last season. Plenty of chances created and a few assists, but no goals as of yet and he has cut a frustrated figure, especially after being positioned on the left wing as opposed to his favourite number 10 role in the middle more often than not.

John Terry would also have a big impact upon Grealish too. It was all too obvious the impression that Terry had upon him last season as the former England captain guided the team with leadership and experience at the back which Villa have been painfully short of this campaign.

Terry has bags of experience.

Terry quickly became a fans favourite last season too and his presence both on and off the pitch has been greatly missed.

A combination of Henry and Terry would be something new, something exciting and would be a statement as the owners have suggested in terms of a fresh direction and approach. It would bring an awful lot of publicity to Villa Park and could be huge in attracting exciting prospects, sponsors and opportunities in the future.

The potential blend of one of the best attackers, coupled with one of the best defenders in recent decades could well be a stroke of genius.

As well as being incredible individuals within their own positions, the two are clear winners, having played for some of the best managers and teams in the world and know what it’s like to play within a successfully assembled team.

Axel Tuanzebe, James Bree and John McGinn are three more players that could grow and flourish if treated and played correctly.

Tuanzebe offers a lot of potential at centre half, a position he rarely got to play under Steve Bruce. When he has played there, they have been his better performances.

James Bree has not seen much first team football since arriving from Barnsley alongside Conor Hourihane but now could be his time to begin to break through and establish a place in and around the starting eleven week in, week out.

John McGinn has been the shining light of the season so far and is already showing why he is so highly rated north of the border. His box to box style, ability to pick a pass and tenacity have all the hallmarks of a potential future leader if handled and nurtured correctly.

The defence is clearly causing massive headaches and issues, but should Henry and Terry come in and demand attacking style football, it’s not too late at all. Whilst there have been the poor results and performances, Villa sit four points from the playoffs and most importantly, the change has been made early to give them time as opposed to holding on which could well have effectively ended the season by Christmas.

You would also like to think they have some incredible links which could be utilised such as Arsenal and Chelsea in terms of players and the brains of past managers such as Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti should such advice be sought after.

This week could well mark a huge point in the future of the club with all the penalties that next season could well bring with failure to gain promotion. But it could also be exciting, refreshing and hopefully, it will rally the supporters who have been falling out through frustration.

Hold on to your hats …


  1. Our club is a shambles and we really do need to go in a new direction, and albeit lacking a bit of managerial experience I believe that Thierry Henry as one of the best strikers of all time has the potential to become a top manager, he would undoubtedly be a massive benefit to our young players and he has the best contacts throughout the world of football, and if it’s true that Terry would be interested in becoming his number 2 and possibly playing I think we would be in a great position to progress and I would be feeling more confident of us at least getting to the play offs
    So for me bring it on.

  2. I think it’s great. Wolves fans were saying the same about Nuno and look what they are doing now.
    Unlike Bruce Henry knows the modern game of football and knows how to play attractive football. He’s won leagues, champions leagues, world cup, he helped get Belgium to third in the world cup and as for JT we all saw what effect his presence had on Grealish and that seems to be lacking big time this season.
    If two premier league legends can’t lift this squad of players then tell me who can?

  3. There’s a very unfashionable bloke in the west of London. Plays wonderful attacking football and is a Villa man. Henry might know the modern game but he’s a vanity project. Get in Dean Smith.

  4. […] Nick Sander’s excellent piece from Sunday saves me listing all of the positives for bringing in Henry and Terry. All I will say is that that particular appointment it will immediately create a feel-good factor around the place more than any other currently being touted; I can’t imagine there will be many supporters underwhelmed by it. And with the way things are going and the current mood, that instant pick me up in itself could be invaluable. […]


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