Former Arsenal midfielder Remi Garde has emerged as the surprise early frontrunner to replace Tim Sherwood after Aston Villa sacked him as manager.
Sherwood’s departure came in the wake of Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Swansea – Villa’s sixth Premier League loss in succession and their eighth in nine games. The ex-Tottenham boss had been in charge for just 28 matches, and led them to safety and an FA Cup final appearance last year, but left the club bottom of the table.
Garde, 49, has been out of management since his resignation last year from Lyon, where he won one cup in a three-year spell, and held talks with Newcastle in January.
The former France international was one of Arsene Wenger’s first signings at Arsenal in 1996 and is seen as a protege of the long-serving Ghunners manager. His knowledge of Ligue 1 would be an advantage, after Villa raided French clubs for four summer signings, while he shares Arsenal links with the club’s chief executive Tom Fox.
The club, who have placed coach Kevin MacDonald in charge, said: “The board has monitored the performances closely all season and believes the results on the pitch were simply not good enough and that a change is imperative.”
In numbers: Sherwood's Villa reign
Timely Tim: Sherwood’s spell in charge lasted 28 games, exactly the same as at previous club Tottenham.
Unlucky? His Premier League win percentage of 26.1 was better than his two predecessors Paul Lambert (24.8) and Alex McLeish (18.4), but five of his six league wins came last season.