Dean Smith: The inside track on Aston Villa's new boss

By Luke Hatfield | Aston Villa | Published:

Dean Smith has taken on the Aston Villa job, but how will he get on?

Dean Smith

We spoke with football journalist, Tom Moore, who regularly reports on Brentford, to get an inside track on Dean Smith and his appointment at Villa.

See what he had to say here...

We've all seen the style of play Brentford have played under Dean Smith, in your opinion do you think he will be able to implement that at Villa?

In the long term, yes. In the short term it will be harder.

I always say a manager or head coach needs a pre-season.

When Dean took over at Brentford the style of play was already in place. You almost have to go back to 2011, and it gradually evolved over the last few years and Smith came into that five years into it.

I would say it took about a season to fully establish the style and then it can be consistently improved upon.

It took time to adjust and get the players he wanted that he thought would suit his football.


It was continually evolving, and what I found with Dean's time was that its constantly a battle between Brentford finding a way, and then teams finding a way to stop that.

They'd go on a winning run and then teams would figure them out before Brentford would find another way of getting results.

It was consistently inconsistent, but it was constant evolution.

I think it will take time, but I imagine there could be a few players coming in from the cold to help him do it.


Scott Hogan is one man he certainly knows how to get a tune out of, can he do so once again do you think?

I think the thing with Scott is during the time he was at Brentford, when he got to full fitness the team was formed around him.

When he was playing and playing well, he was seen as the go-to man, and Brentford were reliant on him.

Obviously he did very well, but he did thrive on being the main man, and with the players at Villa they don’t seem to have an individual person as a main man.

It seems that they have a number of players all joining in that same style. Jonathan Kodjia joined and he was the main man. Then Scott joined and then he was.

Scott Hogan could be given a new lease of life under Smith (Photo: Tony Marsh)

What do you make of Smith's prospects at Villa this season?

With the squad Villa have they should be making a promotion push.

With the players at their disposal they should be in the mix come the end of the season, and with the funds they have available they should be able to do things quicker.

I don’t think Steve Bruce would have been sacked if the owners felt that he was going to take them up and they obviously see Smith as the man to do that.

We've seen the attacking talents at Villa this season struggle to get them results under Steve Bruce - do you think Smith will be licking his lips with the players at Villa Park available to him?

I think he will, but I think Dean has taken pleasure in getting smaller budget sides into regularly strong team performances.

It's not been about the individual, which is potentially where the change will be at Villa.

But they've all been that main man, Villa's players.

Scott Hogan loves being the main man, and he's the sort of player who's very disappointed when he doesn't score.

Dean will try and get some of those players playing as a team. That will probably be one of his first priorities.

Whilst Dean Smith was a popular choice among fans, what have you made of the managerial drama at Villa from afar, do you think Smith will be affected by that?

He genuinely won't care. He's very level headed.

I've not seen him lose his temper - he just gets on with his job.

It all happened quite quickly. He was probably set to take training before it all happened, that's just his style.

He won't be affected by the names that were there previously. He'll be excited about the opportunity.

His family are still based there in the Midlands. He's basically been away from his family for half a week every week for the past three years. So, there'll be more than just the emotional pull of the club.

The chance to sleep in his own bed will be tempting to him.

Obviously there would have been that emotional pull too. I think that’s one of the things that has and will endear him to the fans.

Whether results are going there way is one thing, but he's a thoroughly nice guy and he'll be doing everything he can to get the right results at Villa I'm sure.

Whilst his football is certainly attractive, we've yet to see him really win anything - do you think that will change at Villa?

I don't see any reason why he can't win promotion at Aston Villa this season or next.

One of the things is that football is determined by money.

It takes a unique set of circumstances for a team with the budget Brentford have and if you look at the budget to finish in the top ten with the money they spent, especially with the talent they've sold, I think that's quite an important thing to consider.

One thing he will have learned is getting a squad worth more than the sum of their parts, and if he can do that with a bigger budget like the one at Villa I wouldn't be surprised to see the club around there.

I see no reason why he couldn't win promotion this season or next season.

I certainly believed he could win promotion with Brentford this season, and there was talk of him winning promotion with Walsall before he left too.

It's almost a surprise really for a big side not to come in for him before Villa did. With what Brentford have been doing with their budget he's almost worked miracles.

He's got everything in place to succeed at Villa and i genuinely hope he does well because he's one of footballs good guys and the game needs more people like him.

You can follow Tom on Twitter by searching for @TomMooreJourno.

Luke Hatfield

By Luke Hatfield

Digital Sports Journalist with the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.


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