Tony Xia will likely be making his first big decision as Aston Villa chairman in the coming days as Roberto Di Matteo’s time at Villa comes to a close.
Villa’s only win this season came against a weak Rotherham side at Villa Park, but since that extremely positive home debut for Di Matteo, things have went sour, quite quickly.
Since Rotherham, Aston Villa have yet to win another game, despite being the superior attacking side and actually leading almost every single game since their last win.
Most results can be explained away, there are the outliers, the lucky goals - Villa’s failure to win is becoming a statistical anomaly - however, if football was based on the math, they wouldn’t be in the position they are in now.
Despite the fact that Villa have been extremely unlucky, Di Matteo’s failure to react in each game where Villa have watched a lead collapse has shown a complete lack of man-management and a serious case of misplaced faith.
Roberto has refused to start more than two central-midfielders at any one time, which of course - is such an easy weakpoint for teams to capitalise on - especially with teams like Barnsley managing to outnumber Villa’s weak midfield with two times as many players.
All managers must stick to a plan, but Di Matteo’s refusal to tweak has led to Villa’s collapse. They play great football, but that’s all they do - the production line stopped when Rudy Gestede saw the bench. The monstrous Gestede who could have scored six against Rotherham and who has looked a danger in every single game so far cannot seem to get a start. Di Matteo’s failure to adapt shows to the fans, bloggers and media who follow Villa - this & so much more will be picked up by the scouts and performance analysts of opposition teams.
Going back to Di Matteo’s commitment to playing two in the middle, it would seem as though his days at the top of the game have affected his judgment. Whilst a double-pivot would work wonders with battling, gifted midfielders like Paul Pogba, Aston Villa only have Mile Jedinak and Gary Gardner to tandem with Aaron Tshibola and Ashley Westwood. Di Matteo’s refusal to play with the assets he had, has surely destroyed any hope of a future for him at Aston Villa FC.