Roberto Di Matteo has been put out of his misery.
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On Monday Aston Villa fired the Italian manager after just one win in his opening 12 games in charge saw the English giant in 19th place in the second-tier of English soccer.
Giving huge amounts of cash to spend by Villa’s new Chinese owner Tony Xia, Di Matteo failed to stop the rot following Villa’s disastrous 2015-16 campaign which saw them relegated from the Premier League as they finished in 20th position.
In a brief statement on their website, Villa confirmed Di Matteo is no longer in charge after he only took charge back in June.
Aston Villa Football Club has today parted company with manager Roberto Di Matteo. The Club decided to act following a run of disappointing results which has the left the team occupying 19th position in the Championship.
The Club would like to place on record its appreciation to Roberto for all his efforts in helping rebuild the squad and wish him well for the future. Steve Clarke will take over as caretaker manager during the search for a new manager. There will be no further comment from the Club.
The front runners with the bookies to take charge are current caretaker Steve Clarke and former Hull City boss Steve Bruce.
Bruce would seem like the wise choice as the former Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Sunderland manager has masterminded several promotion campaigns to the Premier League and can build teams into being tough to beat in England’s notoriously tricky second-tier.
Right now, Villa are a mess.
They are still one of England’s biggest clubs and the former European champions have a wealthy owner who is willing to spend big to get them back to the PL. There’s no doubting Villa’s squad is massively underachieving and that cost Di Matteo his job, with many believing it was a slightly bizarre appointment in the first place.
Villa’s issues go back a lot further than a poor start to this season which culminated in a 2-0 defeat at Preston North End on Saturday.
With Tim Sherwood, Remi Garde and now Di Matteo all fired within the past 12 months, the top job at Villa Park is beginning to resemble a poisoned chalice.