Another day brought another new face to the Aston Villa boardroom as Rémi Garde finally left the club.
The respected Adrian Bevington has been signed up by Bernstein as an advisor – and he comes with a decent CV. He is a former FA executive and has been advising the Football Association of Wales in the run up to Euro 2016.
Another football man with ties to the FA can only be good news for Aston Villa, a club with bags of experience off the field now.
What about the man in the dugout? Now that Hollis and Bernstein have put poor Garde out of his misery, who will replace him?
Dead man walking
Garde had been living on borrowed time for the last couple of weeks, with his imminent departure ranking as one of the worst kept secrets in football.
There are those who believe his very appointment was evidence of the mismanagement that we’ve seen for years under Fox and Faulkner before him. The rumour is that Garde and Bernstein were locked in a tug of war over the terms of his departure. Personally, I think the powers that be needed to accept defeat and give the Frenchman what he wanted.
The treatment of Garde has been poor, even by Aston Villa’s low standards. With broken promises regarding transfers, failure to bring in his backroom staff and an unfit and unmotivated squad to work with, the list of difficulties the manager faced is endless. Although he must accept some blame for his failure here, Garde deserved to leave on his terms.
Will Reilly be the next to go?
With Fox, Almstadt and Garde already given their marching orders, it is remarkable that Paddy Reilly is still in post when a lot of the blame for the club’s poor summer recruitment drive has landed at his door.
Adding insult to injury was the news that Villa’s head European scout, part of Reilly’s network, emigrated to Australia. Then we read leaked details of the alleged lies told by Reilly to Garde regarding his January transfer targets. It is a miracle that he wasn’t the first one out of the door. It’ll surely be another failure of this new look board if Reilly hasn’t gone by the time a new manager comes in.
When will it end?
Aston Villa Football Club is currently undergoing major surgery but until all the tumours and the dead tissue are removed we won’t be able to regain our strength.
The operation has started well but, with a squad riddled with bad apples, there is plenty more for Bernstein and the rest of the board to do. Plastering over the wounds with Garde didn’t work; the sooner his permanent replacement is brought in and the squad overhauled the better.
However, with the constant handicap of Randy Lerner looming over Villa Park, a full recovery may be a few years away yet.