HomeSportMarvelous Nakamba reacts to Aston Villa manager sacking

Marvelous Nakamba reacts to Aston Villa manager sacking

Whenever things go wrong on the football pitch, the head coach is often singled out as the one to blame for poor performances and results. That has proven to be the case at Aston Villa following a disappointing run of five consecutive Premier League defeats, which ultimately led the club to announce the dismissal of Dean Smith from his position.

After a successful spell at Brentford earned him great respect, Smith was eventually lured to Aston Villa in October 2018, during a period in which the club struggled to make headway in the Championship, the second tier of English football. However, he managed to turn their fortunes around and after a run that included a 10-game winning streak, guided his team to the promotion playoffs.

The drama of a tense penalty shootout was required, as Aston Villa beat West Bromwich Albion and progressed to the playoff final, going on to defeat Derby County 2-1 in the playoff final, booking their Premier League return. Back amongst the English elite, Smith made a host of signings ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, which included the arrival of Marvelous Nakamba for £10.2 million from Club Brugge, making him the most expensive Zimbabwean player in football history.

Despite missing the opening three games of the season following his move, Nakamba made his official competition debut appearance with Aston Villa in the EFL Cup, proving instrumental during a 6-1 victory against Crewe Alexandra. Ahead of debuting in the Premier League against West Ham United, former Zimbabwe international Peter Ndlovu hailed the progress of Nakamba, having become only the fourth Zimbabwean to feature at the highest level of English football.

Nevertheless, the 2019-20 campaign proved to be difficult even though Nakamba made 29 appearances in the Premier League, his team struggled to get positive results despite thrashing Liverpool 7-2 early in the season. Aston Villa did reach the EFL Cup final, where they were defeated 2-1 by Manchester City, although league form was cause for concern. Flirting dangerously amidst the bottom three and facing the serious threat of relegation, Aston Villa pulled off an amazing escape act, finishing the season unbeaten in their last four games.

Last season there were significant improvements at Aston Villa, following an excellent start to the 2020-21 campaign which included the shock 7-2 thrashing of Premier League champions Liverpool. However, league form was largely inconsistent and for his own part, Nakamba struggled for game time despite putting in quality displays, making just 16 appearances in all competitions, as his team finished 11th and mid-table in the Premier League.

Heading into the 2021-22 season, Aston Villa suffered the blow of losing their star player Jack Grealish to Manchester City, the 2020-21 Premier League champions who splashed out £100 million for the England international. Despite that setback, the club owners immediately reinvested the influx of cash into further new signings, signing Emiliano Buendía from Norwich City, Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen, along with Danny Ings from Southampton.

Still popular amongst the Aston Villa fans, even with a mixed start to the 2021-22 Premier League campaign, Smith remained positive. Results appeared to be improving, following back-to-back wins against at home against Everton, then away against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Nevertheless, the tide soon turned and following a disastrous string of five consecutive Premier League defeats, the club decided to part ways with Smith.

Following the dismissal of Smith as manager and having rediscovered his importance in the team, Nakamba offered a heartfelt message to his departing coach. “Thank you for everything gaffer. It was a pleasure working with you,” said the 27-year-old Zimbabwe international, via his official Twitter account, accompanied by an image of himself with the former Aston Villa manager.

At the time of writing, current Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is hotly tipped as favourite for the Aston Villa job, having previously expressed an interest in managing a Premier League team. John Terry is also considered to be in the mix, having previously worked at the club as outgoing manager Smith’s assistant, before leaving that post in July 2021. Regardless of the odds, the club ownership will be eager to make the right decision with their next appointment.

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Aston Villa will be eager to make a successful choice, amongst the current crop of managerial candidates linked with their vacant position, as odds fluctuate amongst the top online sports betting markets. Whoever gets appointed, it’s fair to say that Zimbabwe midfielder Nakamba will be hoping for continuity in the team, having enjoyed a good relationship with his former boss at the club. Forging a new relationship with the next manager, and performing well on the pitch, will be his next priorities.

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