Aston Villa 1 Swansea City 2: Within hours of Tim Sherwood’s sacking as Villa boss, the club slipped to the bottom of the Premier League, following Sunderland’s 3-0 victory over Newcastle.
David Moyes, Nigel Pearson and Brendan Rodgers have all been linked to the vacant post at Villa Park, where the fans have not seen a Premier League victory yet this season. Sherwood departs after just nine months in charge, paying the price for the club’s dismal start, following a summer spending spree in excess of €70m.
Assistant manager Ray Wilkins, first-team coach Mark Robson and performance analyst Seamus Brady have also left, with Kevin MacDonald, who has been coaching the U21s, placed in temporary charge.
The club said in a statement: “The board has monitored the performances closely all season and believes the results on the pitch were simply not good enough and that a change is imperative.
“However, the club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Tim for all his efforts during a difficult period last season and for the many positive contributions he has made to the entire football set-up during his time with the club.”
Sherwood had vowed to fight for his job, but admitted last week he had been given no reassurances over his position by chief executive Tom Fox or owner Randy Lerner.
And, after this defeat - a sixth in a row in the league - he conceded he did not speak to chairman Lerner but used sporting director Hendrik Almstadt as a go-between.
Sherwood replaced Paul Lambert in February and guided Villa to safety last season, as well as taking them to the FA Cup final, where they lost 4-0 to Arsenal.
The former Tottenham boss leaves Villa having lost 16 of his 28 games in charge, winning 10 and drawing two.
MacDonald, who spent nine years at Villa as assistant manager between 2003 and 2012, became caretaker manager in 2010 after Martin O’Neill left and Sherwood only brought him back to the club in February following a coaching spell at Nottingham Forest. His first game in charge will be Wednesday’s Capital One Cup fourth round trip to Southampton.
Andre Ayew’s late goal snatched an important win for the Swans, who have their own troubles and hadn’t won in six games in all competitions. Ayew’s brother Jordan had given Villa the lead before Gylfi Sigurdsson levelled with a fine free kick.
Captain Ashley Williams believes it will give them a base to climb the table. “We know we can play better than we did, but it was scrappy and we had to dig out a win – sometimes you have to do that,” he told the club’s official site.
“We are not happy with some areas of our play but, as captain, I am happy from the response to the other night (a 1-0 defeat to Stoke).
“It’s a really nice feeling. I said to the lads that someone else has to have the horrible feeling of losing as we’d not won for a while.
“Now it’s about trying to build on this result. We need to get some consistency.
“So the message will be to use this result to push on and not be up and down in terms of performances and results.”
Guzan, Hutton, Richards, Lescott, Richardson, Bacuna, Gana, Ayew, Grealish (Gil 74), Agbonlahor (Traore 85), Gestede.
Subs not used:
Westwood, Amavi, Sanchez, Bunn, Crespo.
Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Ki, Shelvey (Cork 85), Ayew, Sigurdsson, Montero (Barrow 76), Gomis (Eder 90).
Subs not used:
Britton, Nordfeldt, Rangel, Bartley. Referee: Neil Swarbrick
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