The Athletic’s Gregg Evans has delivered an update on Aston Villa’s search for a replacement for John Terry.
What’s the story?
The former Chelsea centre-back joined Villa as Dean Smith’s assistant back in October 2018, and helped the club get promoted to the Premier League and enjoy an impressive campaign just last season.
Recent days have seen him confirm that he will be leaving with immediate effect as he looks to begin his own managerial career, robbing Smith of a crucial backroom figure just weeks before the start of the new Premier League campaign.
Now, Evans has delivered an update on where things currently stand at the moment.
He said: “Villa already have a plan in place to restructure and a shortlist of replacements have been drawn up. There are also a couple of candidates under review for the role of set-piece coach as Villa believe this is an area they can improve on in 2021-22.
“Sporting director Johan Lange will get heavily involved in the process but Smith will have the overriding say on who comes in. Like with the appointment of Lange, Villa are open-minded about where to turn to next. There are no specific requirements to replace Terry at this stage, so a former player, for example, would not hold an advantage and neither would a defensive-minded coach.”
Villa must act quickly
After news emerged that Terry would be leaving Villa Park, The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece responded to the news on Twitter by saying: “A big blow losing JT, a man who’s been a huge & vital part of Villa’s rise. He’s left his mark at #avfc with Konsa and Mings the big beneficiaries. A dignified way of leaving knowing he didn’t want to disrupt Villa’s campaign. A great servant.”
As Preece points to, Terry’s impact goes beyond just being an assistant to Smith, but also as a very valuable and knowledgeable coach who played and won things at the highest level.
His title-winning experience with Chelsea will no doubt have been passed on to the likes of Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings, with the latter now of course an established England international who went to EURO 2020.
With the new Premier League season set to get underway in a few weeks time, Smith must act quickly to fill the void in his backroom staff, and ensure that any disruptions caused are kept to a minimum.
The fact that Evans claims Villa “already have a plan in place”, and that they are also targeting a new set-piece coach suggests the club are doing extensive work in getting the set-up around Smith to be as good as it can be.
Fans will be delighted with the swiftness with which Villa are acting and the changes they are planning on making on the back of Terry’s exit.