Aston Villa 2015/16 will probably go down as one of the biggest shambles in Premier League history, probably even football history. How could one of the biggest football clubs in this country put up such a pathetic fight to avoid relegation? Well managers almost certainly had something to do with it and considering this article isn’t about their first manager – human clown Tim Sherwood – is not the main subject of this article, the you know that his successor must have done a pretty awful job. Remi Garde was that successor and yes you guessed it – he did a pretty awful job.
Garde himself was always an odd choice. Sure he was coming off a decent enough spell at Lyon but he hardly strikes you as the ‘proper football man’ that was going to come in and dig Aston Villa out of trouble. He was appointed in early November with Villa bottom of the table and having just picked up one win all season under former boss Tim Sherwood. Garde at least attempted to enforce some stricter rules upon the team: cancelling the Christmas party and punishing Jack Grealish for going out and well, being Jack Grealish. Football is a results business so did things improve on that front?
No. The problem was this Villa team were completely and utterly hopeless. The signings had been poor in the summer, with the two best players at the club, Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke moving on. This coupled with lack of investment and poor management meant that relegation for Villa was almost inevitable. Garde only picked up two league wins between his appointment in early November and his dismissal in late March, and oversaw some of the most humiliating performances in Villa’s otherwise proud history.
A 4-0 loss to Everton was bad but the 6-0 loss to Liverpool is one of the single worst performances I have ever seen in the Premier League. This game of course followed by that ‘accidental’ tweet of a flash car by Joleon Lescott, showing he was probably more concerned with Jeremy Clarkson’s sacking from the BBC at the time, rather than his own team being relegated. Not investing at all in January did not help matters.
Finally Garde was put out of his misery at the end of March with Villa already relegated and the fans in disbelief. While a lot of the stuff that happened to the midlands side was beyond Garde’s control he has to take some responsibility for dismal performances on the pitch. Since departing Villa the Frenchman has taken over at Montreal Impact, who compete in a league with no relegation, so things can not go as badly as they did at Villa.