Aston Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo is coming under increasing pressure to improve results or he risks facing the sack after just nine games in charge.
The Italian tactician was placed at the helm this past summer to lead new owner Tony Xia’s ambitious new plans for the club which saw them make nine signings as they plotted an immediate return to the Premier League.
It hasn’t started as planned though, with Villa picking up just one win in their first nine games of the Championship campaign, and in turn it has led to early pressure being placed on Di Matteo.
According to The Guardian, the former Chelsea boss has to win one of his next two matches to ease that pressure, otherwise he could be replaced at Villa Park sooner than many expected.
Villa travel to Barnsley on Tuesday night and then take on Preston North End on Saturday, and a failure to claim three points in either of those fixtures could spell the end for Di Matteo.
On one hand, his detractors will argue that he’s ultimately been backed in the transfer market and has significantly bolstered his squad, and so results should be immediate as Villa essentially have one of the strongest squads in the league.
However, given the number of new faces, it was always going to take time for the squad to gel, and although the table doesn’t make for great reading currently, two wins in the next two games could lift Villa up to the cusp of being in the playoff positions.
Given the nature of the second tier of English football, it takes one big run of results to transform a season. With just nine games on the board, it seems quite unfair to already be suggesting that Di Matteo’s job is under threat as there is still plenty of time for improvement and progress.
Nevertheless, given the expectations at Villa, much more was expected and it certainly isn’t an acceptable run of results for a club that splashed out significantly in the summer.