Steve Round has been appointed the new Technical Director of Aston Villa FC. In tweets early on Thursday morning, Xia confirmed the news, and stated that Round would be a useful asset in his quest to make Villa a modern club. He cited his previous experience at Everton and Manchester United, and praised Round’s data-driven approach and knowledge of technologies appropriate for the modern game.
I'm very happy2announce Steve Round is appointed as Technical Director.I believe he'll bring great value to our aim 2a modern football club.— Dr. Tony Xia (@Dr_TonyXia) August 31, 2016
Round got his start in the backroom at Derby County, following a short-lived playing career ended by injury. There he worked under Steve McClaren, joining Middlesborough with him in 2001, and England in 2006. After disagreements with McClaren’s successor, Gareth Southgate, he left the Riverside in 2007, and had a brief stint under Sam Allardyce at Newcastle United. In 2008 he left both Newcastle and England to replace Alan Irvine as Assistant Manager at Everton, and in 2013 he followed David Moyes as the Scot succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Since being sacked with Moyes after a less-than-well-received 2013-14 season, he had a brief stint at his former club Derby County, followed by consulting work for Manchester City.
Round was previously offered a position at Villa last season in Remi Garde’s then-new backroom staff, however, he rejected it on the grounds that it was “more junior…than he had hoped for.”
We will make the final decision from the three candidates before the season! https://t.co/8HFttWItEE— Dr. Tony Xia (@Dr_TonyXia) July 21, 2016
A new technical director has been a priority for Xia, and has been touted since Recon Group acquired Villa in June. Xia tweeted that a decision on the position was to be completed before the season began, and though Round’s announcement comes several weeks into the new season, he was serving a notice period from a previous contract. That said, it also appears the two have already been in contact over the future direction of the club’s footballing strategy. This is Round’s most senior position to date, and he would have a wide remit over the club’s scouting and talent setup.