Reports on Sunday indicate that Dr. Tony Xia has decided to end Roberto Di Matteo’s term as manager of Aston Villa. While most deem Di Matteo tactically incapable, uninspiring and unlikely to lead Villa to promotion, Xia’s decision to terminate him so quickly sets a dangerous precedent for his new regime.
This is the first telling moment of Xia’s time at Villa. It’s clear that his idea of Aston Villa when he bought the club and his confidence in an immediate return to the Premier League was largely unjustified, but now is the moment that his faith and ambition will truly be tested. It’s hard to fathom for even an experienced fan how Villa, in possession of a Premier League squad plus a £50 million talent injection could possibly have only 1 win from eleven matches in the second division. Imagine how unbelievable and absurd this situation must seem to a man who declared Villa would become a Champions League club in the immediate future. Xia’s mind is undoubtably swirling with a mixture of confusion and anger, but I believe that abandoning Di Matteo and the entire structure of Villa’s first promotion push at such an early junction is a poor choice.
The precedents set by such a decision are numerous. It makes adversity difficult to cope with because everybody involved with the club will know that consist leadership through adversity will continue to be neglected. With all the turmoil and regressive change this club has experienced in the last 24 months, it is unlikely that a sustainable formula for success will be discovered until consistency and confidence is discovered.
In addition, it is irrational to pile all the blame for Villa’s poor start at Di Matteo’s feet. This squad’s biggest problem is confidence; removing a manager after just 11 matches is going to do nothing but hurt collective confidence and unity. It is still not completely certain that Xia has made his decision regarding Di Matteo, and despite not feeling overwhelming confidence in Di Matteo’s managerial abilities, I believe that Villa’s best interest is to stay the course. Should January arise with Villa still struggling, termination would be justified to both the players and fans. A January dismissal would not be a snap decision: rather, it would be an acceptance of clear incapability and dysfunction. A difference of just three months would go a long way to ensure that Villa’s future prospects for success aren’t permanently damaged.
What do you think? Let us know!