Despite being amongst an elite group of teams who have never been relegated from the Premier League, it has been a turbulent two years for Aston Villa. A club which once flirted with the potential to break into the top four have since declined into a shadow of their former selves, with consecutive relegation battles far removed from the Martin O’Neill days when Villa regularly finished in the top ten. Paul Lambert’s young side may have learnt invaluable lessons from successfully battling the drop for the second season in a row, but the future of the club is uncertain following Randy Lerner’s decision to end his tenure as chairman and put Aston Villa up for sale.
It is set to be a vitally important summer on and off the pitch for Aston Villa who must rebuild in order to avoid dicing with danger at the wrong end of the table once again. There have already been interesting developments at Villa Park which would indicate that the club are looking to progress, although the threat of losing their best players remains a realistic threat. If Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke were to leave the club, then there is every possibility that Aston Villa’s odds of being relegated during the 2014/2015 Premier League season will dramatically shortened. These odds will be made available on all sportbook websites covering football. Consider the likes of 5dimes, which had the best return last year using half margins and are rated well. You can read their review and receive the best value across the betting market.
Roy Keane for Assistant Manager?
The acrimonious departure of Ian Culverhouse at the end of the season has left Paul Lambert searching for a new assistant manager who may bring new ideas and fresh impetus to Aston Villa. Roy Keane has been heavily linked with the position following his decision to turn down Celtic’s advances to fill their managerial vacancy, with the former Manchester United star currently working as assistant to Martin O’Neill with the Republic of Ireland national team. It is possible that Keane will hold a duel role as Aston Villa and Ireland’s assistant manager, with his undeniable fighting spirit and no-nonsense approach being potentially invaluable for both parties.
Rio Ferdinand Turns Down Move
Strengthening the playing squad may be the most important task Paul Lambert faces this summer. The upcoming World Cup in Brazil may present a number of potential transfer targets from players who really catch the eye, although any potential deals may depend on the length of time it takes Randy Lerner to find a new owner. Despite having a number of promising young players amongst their ranks, Aston Villa lack any experience which could have prevented the struggles they experienced during the past two seasons.
A bold approach for departing Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand not only illustrates great ambition from Paul Lambert, but also represents the quality of player that Aston Villa fans crave for at their club. The 35-year-old turned down the chance to join Aston Villa which leaves his future up in the air; it is widely expected that Ferdinand will move to the MLS, although the fact he has moved his family to London may interest the likes of Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers and West Ham – the club where Ferdinand began his illustrious football career.
Senderos Joins Villa
One centre-back who will be joining the club is former Arsenal and Fulham defender Philippe Senderos who becomes Aston Villa’s first signing. The 29-year-old arrives on a free transfer from Valencia following their decision not to offer Senderos a new contract despite playing a part in their La Liga and Europa League campaigns. His signing may shore up a porous defence which leaked 61 goals in the Premier League last season, with Senderos set to add extra strength, height and quality alongside club captain Ron Vlaar.