Aston Villa has revealed that manager Dean Smith has left the club. In his first season with the club, the childhood Villa supporter led them to promotion back to the Premier League via the playoffs.
With a 17th-place finish on the final day of the season, they almost avoided relegation on their return to the top flight, before a good 11th-place finish in the 2020/21 season.
Smith was sacked by Villa with the club just two points above the relegation zone and on a run of five straight defeats after a disappointing start to the 2021/22 season despite spending heavily in the summer transfer market.
Villa CEO Christian Purslow said in a statement: “When Dean joined us in October 2018 our team was struggling in the Championship. He immediately transformed the atmosphere and performances and achieved the ultimate success of leading Villa back to the Premier League within the same season – a rare feat.”
Smith spent just over three years in the Villa Park hot-seat and the final game in charge was Friday night’s 1-0 loss away at Southampton – their fifth successive defeat in the Premier League.
On Sunday, Villa CEO Christian Purslow told the club’s official website: “When Dean joined us in October 2018 our team was struggling in The Championship.”
“He immediately transformed the atmosphere and performances and achieved the ultimate success of leading Villa back to the Premier League within the same season – a rare feat.”
“He then secured our place in the Premier League after a tough campaign and took us to a Cup Final at Wembley.”
“However, after a good start to last season, this year we have not seen the continuous improvement in results, performances and league position which we have all been looking for. For this reason, we have decided to make a change now to allow time for a new head coach to make an impact.”
“The Board would like to sincerely thank Dean for his many excellent achievements, on and off the pitch, during this time. Everyone knows how much Aston Villa means to Dean and his family. He has represented the Club with distinction and dignity – universally liked and respected by everybody associated with Aston Villa – our staff, players, and supporters alike. We wish him the very best.”
After Daniel Farke was fired by Norwich on Saturday, Smith becomes the second Premier League manager to lose his job this weekend.