Who next for Aston Villa? Thierry Henry, John Terry and Sam Allardyce among favourites
Last Updated: 03/10/18 6:03pm
With Steve Bruce sacked by Aston Villa on Wednesday, who will take charge next? Sky Bet take a look at the managerial favourites.
Bruce became the first Sky Bet Championship managerial casualty of the season - axed 11 games into the campaign - after the Midlands outfit were held to a 3-3 draw by struggling Preston on Tuesday night, despite being 2-0 up in the second half.
The 57-year-old has left his position after nearly two years in charge and guided the club to the play-off final last season where they were beaten by Fulham. Bruce had a 45.1 per cent win ratio at Aston Villa with 46 wins from 102 games.
But which names are in the frame to replace him? We look at some of the contenders...
Dean Smith (Sky Bet odds - 6/4)
He's managed to get the best of out his Brentford side despite a high turnover of key players season after season. Dean Smith likes to play attacking football, moving the ball out from the back and working through gaps in opposition defences.
Given the talent that Aston Villa possess in the forward positions, the Bees boss could have a lot of success with the system that he would implement. This would be an appointment that would not need drastic change during the January transfer window.
Brentford currently sit fifth in the Sky Bet Championship standings despite dropping points in recent outings, with Neal Maupay at the top of the goalscoring charts.
Smith's tenure at Walsall highlights how it is no fluke that Brentford are regarded at the second division's entertainers. He guided the Saddlers to their first appearance at Wembley and was labelled the 'Ginger Mourinho' by the Bescot faithful.
Thierry Henry (Sky Bet odds - 7/2)
Thierry Henry was linked with the job during the summer, but Aston Villa's new owners decided to stick with Bruce, and it is only natural that the former Arsenal and Barcelona striker is fancied this time around.
A novice in terms of managerial experience, Henry could come in on the back of a successful summer with Belgium. He was part of Roberto Martinez's staff as the Red Devils wrapped up third place at the World Cup in Russia, working with some of the best footballers in the world.
A former Sky Sports pundit, the rumours were rife when he announced he was leaving his role to explore managerial options.
In August, he commented on the Aston Villa talk on Twitter: "Since announcing my decision to leave my full-time role in broadcasting to pursue my ambition of becoming a manager, I have subsequently been linked with a number of positions both domestically and internationally.
"Contrary to misleading reports people may have read at this moment neither myself nor my advisers have held any discussions with any club or national association. My intention has always been to be patient and I will take my decision in good time."
John Terry (Sky Bet odds - 4/1)
John Terry has been backed after playing a vital role in Aston Villa's near-promotion last season, although he has no managerial experience and it would be a huge gamble for a club with aspirations of returning to the top division.
The former England captain is regarded as a leader on the pitch and could follow Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard's recent moves into management having recently turned down a move to Spartak Moscow.
The Chelsea legend won the Premier League on five occasions, along with eight domestic cups, the Champions League in 2012 and the Europa League the following season.
An appointment such as this would likely signal a change in attitude from Aston Villa, starting a new project which may take more than one season to bring successful results.
Sam Allardyce (Sky Bet odds - 8/1)
A name well known among English football fans, Sam Allardyce implements an effective style of football which may be what is required at Aston Villa if they are to secure promotion this season.
The 63-year-old guided Everton to a top-half finish last season despite flirting with relegation during the early part of the campaign, before the Toffees elected to hand Marco Silva the job in the summer.
Allardyce has success at this level on his CV after guiding Bolton to the top flight in 2001 and more recently West Ham in 2012 - both through the play-offs. He would go onto manage Sunderland and Crystal Palace in the Premier League alongside a short stint as England boss.
He is someone who has been heavily praised by former players for his preparation for matches and his use of sport science to try and get the best out of players - but Jose Mourinho did label his football 'from the 19th century' when his Chelsea side faced the Hammers in January 2014.
Former Swansea and Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal finds himself at 12/1 in the market after he took the Owls to the play-offs twice during his three seasons at the club. Mick McCarthy is available at the same price with his wealth of experience at this level while Olof Mellberg is also in the market having made 232 appearances during a seven-year stint at Villa Park, although his only managerial job so far is with Swedish side Brommapojkarna.