Villa have a tantalizing chance of snapping up elite coaches like Pochettino if they abandon the Gerrard experiment now

Villa have a tantalizing chance of snapping up elite coaches like Pochettino if they abandon the Gerrard experiment now

We’d love to see a Tuchel or a Pochettino try the Villa job. Elite boss + non-elite club = fun

There are three ways for non-elite clubs to break through the top 6. Get lots of money. Recruit brilliantly. Get a brilliant manager.

Manchester City led with the first, followed with the second and then pinned the third. Spurs had quite a bit of the first, then a lot of the second and found the third.

Since then, no one has managed to capture it. The Big Four became the Big Six and we still are.

But others have come close, most obviously Leicester. Brendan will tell you it was the third element; he’s not entirely wrong either.

And of the three main ways to try to infiltrate the elite, appointing a world-class manager is definitely the most interesting and possibly the most fun.

Newcastle have the best chance of joining a Big Seven for obvious reasons, but are still trying with a decent but non-elite manager (or at least a pre-elite manager) at the moment.

It’s the most fun when an elite coach shows up at a non-elite club because it changes the whole dynamic. Newcastle will continue to improve under Eddie Howe but we bet he won’t be in the dugout if and when the big break comes.

Brighton, meanwhile, had the ultimate pre-elite manager. He will definitely become great and improve Brighton wildly. But he still didn’t quite fit the definition of ‘elite coach at a non-elite club’. He was Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton and now he’s trying to be the Spurs version of Poch at Chelsea except with trophies. We assume he will too.

Brighton certainly seems to have become an even more xG banter club in his absence, raising the horrific prospect that Potter actually made this less dramatic than it otherwise would have been. The forest game on Tuesday evening took Brighton’s long-running gag to new and genuinely absurd heights.

But Potter is now away from all the elite in an established elite club anyway, which was inevitable and deserved, but undoubtedly less fun.

The last time we had an undisputed elite manager at a decidedly sub-elite club was Carlo Ancelotti at Everton. And for a while, anyway, it was absolutely excellent. Remember those dizzying days at the start of that decidedly strange 2020/21 season, when Everton won all of their games and it seemed possible to imagine they could even do something truly extraordinary.

They won their first four Premier League games and played strikingly wonderful football, with James producing and Dominic Calvert-Lewin looking every inch the Kane heir. They also crushed teams in the Carabao and after a month of the season they won seven straight wins, scored goals for fun and then played a game 2-2 draw with Liverpool That ultimately derailed the season of the Reds quite considerably.

Well sure it all ended in something a bit of a bummer and because Everton couldn’t help but be Everton they managed to finish 10th in the end – the most uninteresting of all finishing positions – and when Zinedine Zidane decided to take Real Madrid again to leave, Ancelotti was gone and that’s it.

But it was great fun for that short time when anything seemed possible.

Now they’re stuck like everyone else, convincing themselves that former elite players become elite managers, with Frank Lampard ok with what he’s got, but no more than that, although certain high-profile Super Frank fans believe you want to do.

You hear a lot less about Patrick Vieira’s Palace but they are more fun and much better than Lampard’s Everton, especially now that the difficult games of the pre-season have been negotiated and the points are beginning to flow. Lampard is definitely not winning the great Premier League midfielder tournament manager game at the moment.

But he’s faring significantly better than Steven Gerrard, and there’s tantalizing hope for something here. Certain madmen may believe Gerrard can lead Villa into the top 6, but the important thing is that he’s not. Villa are hovering a point above the relegation zone and Gerrard has certainly had more help in the transfer market over the summer than Lampard was allowed.

The fans have turned their heads and it looks like a matter of when, not if. And Villa really has the incentive to do that “when” really, really soon.

Because Thomas Tuchel and Pochettino are both unemployed and both are related to the job, along with Unai Emery, who would be a little less exciting but still fits the bill. You might well be tempted because, like Everton, Villa is the kind of fallen giant that stirs the emotions and done right could be awesome. Both Tuchel and Pochettino could also enjoy a return to slightly less crazy top-flight football clubs after their recent experiences.

And at Villa they would also have an enticing squad to work with.

We can imagine both men keeping a close eye on Howe’s performance at Newcastle, for example, and also watching Antonio Conte’s ever-changing mood at Tottenham. You would surely imagine that they would quickly be the leading pair in the bet should one of these jobs come up.

But for now, those jobs are out of the question, and may not be a plausible opportunity at any other Big Six or wannabe Big Six club.

We’d love to see one of them crack Villa, save this season, and then have us all dream of something outrageous with an exciting start to the next.

And then to finish tenth and go to Real Madrid because we are not allowed to do beautiful things. But it’s nice to be able to at least dream about it, isn’t it? come on mansion You know it makes sense.

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