Bees head coach, Dean Smith, has announced this evening that he will be leaving Brentford to take up the vacant Aston Villa job, with John Terry becoming his number two at Villa Park. The situation changed somewhat on Wednesday after Villa were snubbed by several candidates, including Thierry Henry, Rui Faria and Brendan Rogers, before offering Smith the job.
Aston Villa are believed to have paid around £300k in compensation to Brentford to buy Smith out of his contract, and although there is no news at this stage as to whether Richard O’Kelly will be following his boss to Villa, the club have announced that Thomas Frank, the Bees’ Assistant Head Coach, will be taking training for the time being.
Putting our hands up, Beesotted heard from one of our sources with very good ins at Villa last Thursday (5 Oct – ironically the evening after the press conference when Smith refuted moving from Brentford – sort of) who told that Smith had made it known to Villa (somehow) that he wanted the job. At the time, Villa were looking elsewhere. But we decided to hold it down/ignore it. His odds had dropped to about 16/1 from favourite at that stage. And we thought that Villa would have got their man elsewhere. We discussed Dean Smith possibly leaving Brentford on our pre Leeds podcast (below – 31 min 20 sec) last week just before we had been given that news.
With no Championship fixture until Bristol City’s visit to Griffin Park on Saturday week due to the international break, it is going to be a fascinated couple of weeks ahead – seeing the names that are linked with the Bees job and discovering what the club’s highrachy decide upon next. What we do know, however, is that we are looking for a head coach to slot into the existing set-up and there will be no significant change in direction, including our style of play.
Dean Smith was a hugely popular man at the club, and we wish him well managing the club he supported as a kid, but some had questioned whether he would be the man to take the club to the next level – and with Aston Villa’s track record in recent years of hiring and firing managers – many fans we have spoken to tonight also feel that Smith may end up regretting leaving the Bees. Time will tell on that front. Quite how the dynamic with John Terry will work is a mystery too, the two seem like chalk and cheese, but that’s not our problem I guess.
Promoting from within may also be the preferred option by Mathew Benham and the Directors of Football – although little is known about Thomas Frank’s ‘top job suitability’, or whether B-team head coach Kevin O’Connor is considered ready for a crack at the first team role, but we are sure both will be considered carefully alongside external candidates. . We discussed Dean Smith potentially leaving Brentford on last week’s podcast (from 31 mins 21 secs).
Personally, as much as this kind of disruption is unsettling, it is better this happens now than drags on for weeks and weeks. As we all know, the managerial merry-go-round never stops, and it is only a matter of time before any manager either moves on or is sacked – Dean Smith, and Brentford Football Club, are no different. We still have every chance of achieving success this campaign, we’re just going to have to do it with a new man at the helm. So, watch this space.
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