Villa and Norwich fire managers in bid to rapidly reverse Premier League fortunes

November 8 – With less than one third of the new season completed, two more English Premier League clubs sacked their managers over the weekend.

Aston Villa dispensed with the services of Dean Smith following a fifth straight league defeat while Norwich got rid of Daniel Farke (pictured), without whom they would never have got promotion — bizarrely just a few hours after securing their first win of the season.

Despite Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Brentford, the Canaries remain bottom of the table with five points from 11 games and sporting director Stuart Webber said in a statement they felt it was “the right time for a change to give ourselves the best opportunity of retaining our Premier League status”.

Among the favourites to get the job are former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, Swansea City’s Russell Martin, ex-Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce and former Tottenham Hotspur manager Nuno Espirito Santo – the last of whom was himself sacked last week as the managerial merry-go-round got into full swing.

Norwich, a proverbial ‘yo-yo’ club who have tended to switch back and forth between the Premier League and the Championship, were again promoted at the end of last season but not for the first time getting up into the top flight has proved to be a poisoned chalice unless you start well.

The blunt fact is that three teams have to go down every year and whoever gets the Norwich job it is questionable whether he would have the capability or resources to finish above 18th place.

As for Villa, they have not been able to replace England midfielder Jack Grealish and Smith has paid the penalty for that, meaning one quarter of the 20 top-flight English clubs have now changed manager since the start of the season.

Smith led Villa to promotion via the play-offs in his first season in charge in 2019 and the following campaign they reached the League Cup final, which they lost to Manchester City. They finished 11th last season but lost Grealish to City in the summer transfer window.

Villa chief executive Christian Purslow explained: “After a good start to last season, this year we have not seen the continuous improvement in results, performances and league position which we have all been looking for.

“For this reason we have decided to make a change now to allow time for a new head coach to make an impact.”

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