The Italian tactician has a tough
task on his hands, with immediate
promotion back to the Premier
League the minimum requirement
L ast season was one to forget for
Aston Villa supporters, but the
club are heading in an exciting
new direction as a new era is set
to get underway this year.
Having finished bottom of the
Premier League with just three
wins in the campaign last season,
it was an embarrassing way to
drop out of the top flight after
years of struggles.
Fortunately, new owner Tony Xia
has breathed new life into the
club, and quickly appointed
Roberto Di Matteo as coach before
signing off on three new summer
signings already.
Pierluigi Gollini will hope to play
his part after arriving from Hellas
Verona, while Tommy Elphick and
Aaron Tshibola add a combination
of experience, leadership,
strength and quality to the group.
Nevertheless, despite the new
ownership and personnel in the
squad, the responsibility of
getting Villa back into the top
flight of English football rests
firmly on Di Matteo’s shoulders.
The 46-year-old has experience of
promotion after guiding West
Bromwich Albion out of the
Championship in 2009, and
followed that up by winning the
Champions League with Chelsea
in 2012.
Although his tenure at Schalke
was considered somewhat of a
disappointment, he has collected
plenty of knowledge and
experience on his managerial
journey so far, and will hope to
use that to his advantage at Villa
Park in the coming years.
Having been a fixture of the
Premier League for so long, it’s
certainly a shame to see Villa
drop out and face questions about
whether or not they’re capable
of making a swift return.
With Di Matteo appointing a solid
coaching staff around him
including the likes of Steve Clarke
and Kevin Bond, the Italian
tactician is undoubtedly building
something exciting in the West
Midlands.
However, it’s imperative that
he’s able to build some early
momentum, and in turn there is
every chance for the club to make
a promotion push this coming
season and achieve the first step
in Xia’s ambitious plans for the
future which include featuring in
the Champions League before too
long.
At a time when Italian coaches are
undoubtedly making a significant
impression on the English game,
Di Matteo will hope to write a
successful new chapter in his own
career.
From Claudio Ranieri winning the
Premier League title with
Leicester City last season, to the
likes of Antonio Conte, Walter
Mazzarri and Francesco Guidolin
joining him for the new campaign,
the Italian contingent will be
hoping to enjoy success across the
board over the next 12 months.
Di Matteo arguably has the
toughest job of them all
considering the fact that he’s
essentially overseeing a dramatic
revamp, recently describing Villa
as a “house that needed to be
knocked down” as he looks to
restore confidence, belief and
desire at every level of the club.
With the rebuild in full swing, the
former Chelsea boss will be
hopeful that this summer is
merely the start of a special and
memorable journey in getting
Villa back to where they, and
many others, believe they deserve
to be.

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