The Official Dean Smith Thread | Page 315 | Vital Football

The Official Dean Smith Thread

mike_field

Vital Football Legend
For those of us old enough to remember, wind our minds back to 1975/76. We had got promoted to the 1st Division the year before and had won the League Cup. The expectations for the season back in the top flight were high. We had some good players and added some more throughout the season. We finished 16th with 39 points albeit it was 2 points for a win back then but still not a stellar performance considering that Man Utd who were promoted at the same time as us finished 3rd on 56 points.
There was no social media back then and all the debate about managers, owners, players etc. took place in the pub or on the terraces. At the time there plenty calling for the head of Ron Saunders because his signings were crap and he couldn't get the team playing in a style that suited certain people. Andy Gray was a great find but David Geddes was pretty much despised in all circles.
My point is that if the calls for Saunders' head had been headed back then, fans of my age would not be able to carry glorious memories that we do. From 76 onwards we showed steady progression into the top half of the table that culminated in the great achievement of 80/81. It was poor club leadership that prevented Villa becoming the dynasty that it deserved and the departure of Saunders was scandalous - compare what we did to how Liverpool built stability in the same period and beyond.
Calling for the sacking of Dean Smith is inappropriate and whilst we all want success there has to be stability and growth. 16th back in 75/76 is probably the equivalent of 17th in 19/20 and that should be acknowledged. For sure we are a great club that should be at the top table but in 70/71 we were in the 3rd tier and came back to where we should be. In 18/19 we were so close to being wound up and were rescued by new owners and languishing in mid table when Dean Smith was appointed. He got us promoted ahead of schedule and has kept us up against the odds. Next season is the time to push on and he is the man to do so in my opinion.
The world is different now to the 70s and 80s in terms of instant gratification and success but the saying of "Rome wasn't built in a day" holds as much truth today as it did back then.
Nicked!

https://astonvilla.vitalfootball.co...-from-the-past-as-we-move-towards-the-future/
 

JP Healy

Vital Reserves Team

Dr.IsR

Vital Youth Team
Yes, it appears you were right. Let’s hope DS is given more say in transfers from now on and Suso is replaced with someone half decent!

How do the big clubs like Liverpool, Man City etc run player recruitment? Do they have a similar set up to us with a sporting director?

Does the sporting director normally sit above the manager/head coach ?

I’ve always thought it would be logical for the manager / head coach to decide on transfers, after all it’s their job to manage the team which to me, encompasses transfers in / out.
 

wittonite

Vital 1st Team Regular
The only thing I would say negatively about that excellent article is that it was very possible back then to make steady progression towards the top.
Yes we could progress a lot further than where we are at the moment but the top six seems well and truly stitched up.
The one big exception though is relatively little Leicester, no disrepect intended, but you have to look at them and say if they can do it with shrewd recruitment, then so can we, with a much bigger fan base, bigger stadium regularly filled and extremely wealthy owners. They havent "cracked" the top six but have managed 1st 5th 9th and 9th and quarter finals of Champions League.
Agree re the instant gratification, its the curse of a generation. Want it and want it now.
Due to FFP and the general situation re Covid it aint going to happen just like that, the Man City, Chelsea days are gone but it isnt all doom and gloom and with some continuity and a few quality signing we could see a big improvement on this season.
Not saying top six, because it wont happen but relatively big strides could be taken with stability at the club and a bit of quality.
 
Alan Hutton seems to confirm suggestions that smith wanted Kelvin Phillips, Maupay & Benrahma but was over ruled by suso.

https://www.footballinsider247.com/...ith-discussed-signing-at-aston-villa-in-2019/

If this is true, i guess we have to cut DS a bit of slack for some of the shite which we signed last summer.
We can’t afford to make the same mistakes this window.
Don't think Alan was that specific. Sure Dean wanted Phillips, Maupay & Benrahma. But the prices being quoted would have raised our £120m spend several notches higher. We were done a bit over Mings but decided it was worth it. We might have bought one of those three but not all of them. By the time Brentford dropped their price for Maupay from £30m to £20m we'd already bought Wesley.

If anybody said no it was Purslow, as he held the purse strings. There was only so much dosh on the table and even then people said we overspent.
 
Thanks Mike - my post came from the heart and I do feel that chopping and changing is not the way forward. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and the debate on VV would be boring without these differences.
I personally believe that Dean Smith is the right man to take us forward and this has nothing to do with him being a Villa fan. I ran a workshop with him last October where he spoke about building a culture within the club and this is not something that can happen overnight. He spoke about positive and negative cultures and how the latter can be toxic to an organisation - we saw that with the 'drinking culture' that was prevalent in the Collins and Dunne era. We have all seen the camaraderie and spirit that was evident in the aftermath of the West Ham game and I know that Dean is well respected in the dressing room.
West Ham is now history - and it will be written as such. What we need now is to move on and build on this episode. The behind the scenes changes have started with Pitarch going and hopefully the signings will be made in a more structured way than the 'scattergun' approach of last season. The academy is has been restructured and the fact that we have signed Barrie and Chuckuemeka is a sign that we are looking to provide a pipeline to the first team for the future.
Dean Smith no doubt will admit that he has learned lessons in the top flight and a number of the current squad have also. Add to this some quality and we are progressing well.
I was playing snakes and ladders with my grandchildren this week and during the game when I landed on the wrong square and went sliding backwards I thought how this might be a metaphor for football in general and Villa in particular. If we had landed on the wrong square on Sunday we would have slipped back down and would have had to start the climb back up again. As it turns out we had a 'good' roll of the dice and climbed up one of the small ladders on the board and we can now continue to progress. What we need to do now is try to avoid the 'snakes' that will inevitably be in our path in the future. We did ride our luck this season, but luck will not see us through next year.
I can't wait to teach the grandchildren to play chess ;)
 

Xchurch Villa

Vital Reserves Team
I was playing snakes and ladders with my grandchildren this week and during the game when I landed on the wrong square and went sliding backwards I thought how this might be a metaphor for football in general and Villa in particular. If we had landed on the wrong square on Sunday we would have slipped back down and would have had to start the climb back up again. As it turns out we had a 'good' roll of the dice and climbed up one of the small ladders on the board and we can now continue to progress. What we need to do now is try to avoid the 'snakes' that will inevitably be in our path in the future. We did ride our luck this season, but luck will not see us through next year.
I can't wait to teach the grandchildren to play chess ;)[/QUOTE]

I was thinking along similar lines myself this morning C&B&B. If we had, "slipped back down the snake" to the Championship it would have put us 2 years backwards as a minimum.

Not only could we have become embattled in the Championship, we would have been highly likely to have lost three or four of our best players and would of had to once again go through the lottery of recruitment and building a team. Finally there is the financial element.

As I say, it would have put us back a minimum of 2 years, more likely 3 or 4 years. Instead we should now be able to hang on to our team and build for the future.

How unbelievably fortunate we were in staying up
 

gator

Vital Champions League

wittonite

Vital 1st Team Regular
Give me the FA Cup any time over the Europa League - I just need the FA Cup to add to my 'collection'. We have been close on a couple of occasions but no cigar. Winning it this coming season would be nice though - along with a solid mid table position
Its the one cup many of us old timers want to see us win, but as gator says its the same stitch up as the Premier League.
Maybe Deanos the man.
 

danvilla2

Vital Football Legend
Was the other Huddersfield? Because they tanked in their second season :slap:

Don't be under any illusions gents, next season will be equally tough. Don't want to be a party pooper, but a couple of injuries and/or VAR decision at the wrong time could be devastating. Football is played in the real world and not on paper - as we just found out.
Agree, I think next season will be even more competitive.