Paul Merson has insisted that Aston Villa must appoint a manager with experience of coaching in the Championship and earning promotion.
The Premier League outfit parted company with Remi Garde earlier this week, and as they remain rooted to the bottom of the table with eight games remaining and 12 points separating them from safety, the club is consigned to relegation.
Merson believes that the next appointment is critical for Villa, as they must go with an individual that knows how the Championship works and can not only bring stability to the club but knows how to bring them straight back up.
“The club have to be careful as it’s very rare that a team bounces straight back from relegation and they need a man who knows the league and which players will get them out of it,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“The fact that David Moyes is favourite for the job, a man who was taking over Manchester United – the biggest club in the country – a few seasons back, tells you just what a big club this is.
“However, I’d be looking for the manager with the best credentials in securing promotion, which Nigel Pearson obviously achieved with at Leicester and Mick McCarthy has with Wolves and Sunderland. He’s also doing a tremendous job at Ipswich with very little resources.
“I’d also be quite keen to see Ian Taylor involved with the coaching staff as he’s a massive fans’ favourite.”
The likes of Moyes, Pearson and McCarthy all seem like viable candidates, and Taylor’s inclusion would certainly do well in getting supporters back on side and believing in the project at Villa Park as the former midfielder would undoubtedly bring passion to the club.
Nevertheless, Merson remains perplexed as to the timing of the decision to split with Garde, with interim boss Eric Black given just a few days to prepare the side for the visit of Chelsea on Saturday after his predecessor remained in charge for the majority of the international break.
Merson questioned the club’s hierarchy and their lack of knowledge and ability to deal with the situation, but he will hope that they can get a vital decision right this summer with all three of the individuals he named well equipped to come in and do well.