Brentford tomorrow, new manager, old manager and Christian Purslow

Sometimes a long post is required and sometimes there is no need. Today, I'm planning something longer, but I've just had lunch and opened a bottle of red, so where this goes, nobody really knows.

I do know that Aston Villa have an opportunity right now and I'm a big fan of exploring all opportunities, if created by us or if something we accidentally stumble upon.

And that opportunity is Aaron Danks. He was assistant manager to Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht, before leaving to be assistant to Dean Smith and Steven Gerrard. Before Anderlecht he was selected by The Football Association to become Head of Specialist Coaching and Lead Offensive Specialist Coach for various levels of the English national team. He was also part of the coaching staff for the England U20 team that won the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

He's also the same age at Rúben Amorim, someone that lets be honest, we know very little about but everyone seems to want.

Don't get me wrong, the prospect of Mauricio Pochettino is very interesting but I'm not sold. I'm not sold for a few reasons. Many Southampton fans put his success down to Nigel Adkins and I've spoken to a few Spurs fans and while they all love him and none wanted him sacked, felt he should have done better.

Poch is interesting, but Poch is also a gamble that will come at a high cost. Truth be told, any manager we appoint will be a gamble and there are no guarantees of success. So, if we know there are no guarantees and whoever we appoint is a gamble, why not go for a gamble that thinks a little different?

The same could be said for the role of CEO and there are reports circling that our current CEO isn't on the safe ground that many think he is on. He appointed Gerrard, sacked Smith and if you ask Liverpool fans about him, you'll not find many that like him. Truth be told, if the manager has to go because the team isn't winning, shouldn't the CEO that appointed him also be on soft ground?

Brentford tomorrow

So all the focus should be on the match tomorrow and in the other dugout is another manager that has been mentioned by a few. He's not the right choice, as I've written before, because it's how Brentford are setup, not the manager. I'm not sure we are ready for that, even if I see that we're trying to get there. I know we are not ready, because we went out and spent all that money on Coutinho and hired Gerrard.

And we can't read anything in to the result or performance tomorrow, regardless of what happens. Tomorrow is very much about getting a team out and trying to find something we can build on. But I think we should give Danks until the World Cup to see what happens. And if we're not absolutely 100% certain in the next manager, he should keep the job, if he wants it, until we are.

Match facts from the BBC


  • Villa are winless in eight league matches against Brentford since a 2-0 top-flight away victory in February 1947.
  • Brentford have never won a competitive game away at Villa, but the five most recent encounters all ended in a draw.

Aston Villa

  • The dismissal of Steven Gerrard means Aston Villa have sacked their manager after 11 league games of the season for the second year in a row. Villa have nine points, one fewer than under Dean Smith last year.
  • Villa have won only four of their last 22 Premier League fixtures.
  • Their past nine Premier League goals were scored by nine different players.
  • Philippe Coutinho has scored one goal and made no assists in his last 21 Premier League appearances.
  • Former Brentford forward Ollie Watkins can equal his longest Premier League drought of nine games without a goal.


  • Brentford are winless in all five Premier League away games this season (D3, L2).
  • They can equal the club top-flight record of three successive clean sheets, set in April 1938.
  • Ivan Toney has scored six of Brentford's past eight goals.
  • This match is Brentford's 50th game in the Premier League. They have won 16 times so far and lost 21.