Amidst a firestorm of anger boiled at Aston Villa, many fans are clamoring for Roberto Di Matteo to receive the axe as manager.
While preparing for Saturday’s clash with Preston North End, manager Roberto Di Matteo has had to answer numerous media questions regarding his job security.
We live in an era of football where managers come and go from clubs faster than most players. The English Championship is a good reference to this as only eleven total managers survived from the start of the 2015/2016 campaign.
Through this commotion many Aston Villa fans want to see Roberto Di Matteo out. This type of thinking doesn’t make sense. Yes, his tactical acumen has let the team down late in games. But no, he can’t control goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini flailing on a corner in the eighty-ninth minute against Barnsley.
Di Matteo can’t control Gollini gifting a goal to Huddersfield Town, ensuring a 1-1 draw instead of three points. He can’t control Ritchie De Laet–an uber important player–tearing knee ligaments with thirty-five plus league matches remaining. He can’t control Jack Grealish throwing a party and getting suspended for it, nor can he control the disappointing starts to Westwood, Jedinak, and Elphick’s seasons.
Club owner Tony Xia is demanding better results, as is his right. The club has vastly outspent all other Championship teams, save for Newcastle United perhaps. Sacking Roberto Di Matteo right now would not only be a mistake long term, but it would only compound issues of familiarity in the squad.
Many, many fresh faces were brought into the squad. They need more time to adapt.
Through ten matches Aston Villa sit on ten points with an even goal differential. Their league position may be worrying, but it is a bit of an outlier. The club sits only seven points from a promotion spot.
Would Aston Villa really be better off axing Di Matteo when stuff like this just occurred to other Championship clubs? If Villa truly have a squad talented and balanced enough to make a promotion push, they will make it under Di Matteo. If the club does not, another manager is unlikely to change that.