It's pretty much fact that Rémi Garde will be leaving Aston Villa very soon, the date is just not as boldly defined as the expectation of his departure.
After joining in November, Garde's tenure at Villa Park is set to be finished before it ever really kicked off. Villa's players started believing relegation was confirmed not even days into October and thus, started to play like they were already down (and that's every single one of them, by the way). I'm not sure what motivation Rémi Garde could have provided in this situation, the situation in which even Tim Sherwood could not lift the heads of his players.
The Frenchman is now set to be dismissed, although that is being dragged out with negotiations of compensation as Villa's board want to spend as little as possible when they boot Rémi out the door. This is, of course, a startling juxtaposition to the mistakes Villa made when they kicked Paul Lambert and the aforementioned Sherwood out the door and paid a hefty sum of cash to those failed appointments.
It was during this time period that heads turned towards the winter transfer window. Rémi could make a few key additions and improve Villa's fortunes. We all know what happened, but according to John Percy of The Telegraph, there's a devastating truth lurking behind all of this.
Aston Villa's staff, including Paddy Reilly, lied to Garde throughout the transfer window.
'Garde's relationship with Riley has completely broken down and the pair are barely on speaking terms. It is also alleged that Garde was told January targets did not want to move to Villa - only for Garde then to speak to the players directly and discover they had never been contacted.'
What the above, from Percy's article, leads me to believe is that almost every single person involved in the senior setup at Bodymoor Heath took Randy Lerner's 'hands-off approach' as a sign that they didn't have to do the job they were being paid to do. Of course, politics and money may have played a large part, but these staff members were in place to support Aston Villa's manager, not get directly involved in scuppering his first attempt at transfers.
In fact, The Telegraph reveal that Villa as feared, have little-to-no scouting department at all.
'Riley is responsible for organising and appointing Villa's scouting network and it is alleged that head European scout Jon Bickers, whose main focus is players in the Bundesliga, has emigrated to Australia. Simon Ward, the regional scouting manager, is studying journalism at university although his remit is to watch players in La Liga and Portugal.Bernstein has also been stunned to discover that other senior staff have no experience of professional football, with the only exception said to be goalkeeping scout Tony Coton, who was appointed by Garde's predecessor Tim Sherwood.'
Remember that word, Bundesliga Scout, because our own Tom Jones can reveal the work that has resulted in having a Bundesliga Scout.
Hilarious that head European scout (in Aus) is assigned to Bundesliga. Our last signing from Germany? Michael Bradley on loan in Jan 2011— Tom Jones (@TJVillan) March 27, 2016
As a result, Aston Villa have enjoyed no serious reinforcement to a squad that desperately needs it and now have a manager unwilling to manage players unwilling to play for the club following a series of shoddy betrayals.
Of course, Garde will shoulder some of the blame for this disaster of a season, but why should he bother to work to his best at a club where the set-up does not serve him, but apparently actively seek to undermine him?
There's seemingly no way back for Rémi at Villa now and that underlines a serious problem at Aston Villa. Rémi was hired on a three-year contract to oversee a long-term overhaul of Aston Villa and Villa's board at the time, led by Tom Fox, not only failed him at the first opportunity but threw the admittedly under-performing squad under the bus as well. The board setup has completely changed, but it's far too late to rescue Garde's stint at Aston Villa, a club whose staff chose to not perform to the level that was asked of them.