Smith got fired because of Grealish

Smith got fired because of Grealish

Smith got fired because of Grealish

Smith got fired because of Grealish

Smith got fired because of Grealish

Dean Smith was an Aston Villa supporter who lived the dream by becoming manager,

but after just over three years, promotion back to the Premier League and a cup final,

he was relieved of his duties at the weekend.

Five straight defeats, including against Southampton at St Mary’s on Friday, caused the board to act and

though supporters loved him, some feel the timing was right.

But after the £100m sale of Jack Grealish, their homegrown captain and the man they relied upon most,
to Manchester City, Smith’s task of reinventing Villa while pushing for the top half was always likely to be difficult.

Villa received a lot of plaudits for their open handling of the Grealish affair over the summer, with a video statement

 from chief executive Christian Purslow outlining their contingency plans.

There were three swift and impressive signings: attacking midfielder Emiliano Buendia for £33m from Norwich City,

£25m winger Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen and striker Danny Inge from Southampton, also for £25m.

Although Buendia fitted the bill as a playmaking replacement, a system change pointed to a different emphasis,

namely attempting to pair Ings in attack with last season’s top scorer Ollie Watkins.

Ings scored twice in his first two league games for the club but has only added one more in seven appearances since.

Buendia’s only goal secured a point against Brentford in August, and Bailey scored against Everton in an emphatic home win,

but consistency has been hard to find.

By the same point last season, Grealish had scored four goals, including two in the 7-2 win over Liverpool.

“They had a good window,” he said. “Buendia hasn’t quite fired yet, Bailey and Ings have had injuries so far this season For Villa.


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