Last November, Remi Garde gave his first of many interviews after being named the new Aston Villa manager.
Does anyone remember what he said? No? Let’s refresh our memories.
Garde wanted his new team to start playing with confidence after noticing the apprehension in their play this season.
Speaking the AVTV in his first interview since arriving, Garde said: “I just want to work hard – and the players to have more confidence in themselves, in their team-mates, in the team, in the club because I think when you start losing you are getting low in confidence.”
It would be safe to consider the point that the confidence in this once great club had never been lower and since Garde arrived, it has plummeted through the earth’s core. So, nice try, but confidence is scarily in a minus situation with some arguably talented players. Garde went on…
“But I think the current level of the table doesn’t reflect the level of the team.”
Well, at this point, the level of the team is almost certainly reflected in their league position. Don’t you just love optimism?
Casting our minds back a while, the Frenchman is no stranger to England. He played for Arsenal between 1996-1999 and cites Arsene Wenger as a big influence on his career. Right now, maybe he should keep that bit quiet.
The ex-Lyon boss had been out of management since the summer of 2014, but had been building up his knowledge of the Premier League during his time away.
“I am very proud to be the new Aston Villa manager,”
“I am here to do my best – to give a lot to this big football club.” OK – when does that start then?
“When you come into a football club there is always pressure, difficulties, problems to solve – but this is what you have to cope with. I know it’s a huge and historic football club that needs at the moment to improve.
“I am quite confident because there are some very good players in the team.”
Remi Garde is correct in his summing up of the team because there are some individual talents, but not re-inforcing that talent during January was a big mistake.
“The team is unfortunate at the moment, I think. Hopefully we can pull together and improve the level. The situation at the moment is very difficult for everybody.”
Well, it’s worse now. That time out of the game hasn’t helped alot. Still he went on…
“I am just arriving. I have some ideas, of course, because I have watched a lot of the games they have played since the start of the season.”
Apparently, his ideas haven’t been good ideas and that was the flaw there. It was said that the players dislike the training sessions and the fight has all but gone out of the whole squad. Garde is now left with a demoralised, deflated, defeated, let’s-get-this-season-done-as-quickly-as-possible group of players who don’t want to, or cannot, play together as a team.
“I hope we will improve in different ways. It’s a very short time before the next game.”
It’s possible that the French meaning for improvement is different to the English meaning here.
“I have no time. I know that.”
No you don’t. It is widely circulated today that the time has indeed run out for Garde at Villa. It seems as though the vultures are circling this week and that Aston Villa will do what they should have done last year and appoint Nigel Pearson. The shame of it is that a club like Villa will be relegated and Pearson will have to work his magic again.
Both deserve better, as do the fans.
A new-look Villa board is ready to sack the Frenchman after accepting there is nothing to be gained by waiting until the end of the season. Garde has won only two of his 20 Premier League games in charge since replacing Tim Sherwood at the start of November, failing to have any positive impact on a team that had only four points to their name when he took over.
The club’s owner, Randy Lerner, and his manager rarely speak and with the upheaval at board level recently, it hasn’t helped the club’s stability. Nor has it helped that Garde questioned his players’ commitment in recent weeks in the press.
With seven games to go until the end of the season and safety 12 points away, which is a massive amount at this time of the year, the club and its board are now preparing for life in the Championship, whilst a top to bottom investigation of the club’s failings gets underway.
However, the first port of call for the board was the manager and subsequently his first port of call will probably be Dover.