Stelling on changes at Villa and Sunderland and the future of ex-bosses

Jeff Stelling Carlsberg Peoples Pundit

Jeff Stelling discusses Tim Sherwood and Dick Advoccat, are they right for Aston Villa and Sunderland, as well as the future for Paul Lambert and Gus Poyet.

Jeff Stelling Carlsberg Peoples Pundit

It can good or bad, harsh or fair, forced or considered, but without question, change is a staple part of the modern football diet.

Be that on the playing side, in coaching circles or in the boardroom, it seems barely a week goes by nowadays without someone, somewhere being moved in or out.

The Premier League, with its lavish riches and win-at-all-costs mentality, often leads the way when it comes to revolving door policies, with six bosses leaving their posts in 2014/15 – all post-Christmas.

Alan Pardew forms part of that top-flight roll of honour/shame, but his position is slightly different in that he opted to walk out on Newcastle United and inherit the reins at Crystal Palace.

Harry Redknapp also fell on his sword, citing health reasons for his decision to quit Queens Park Rangers, but it could be argued that he jumped before he was pushed – given the ongoing relegation struggles being endured at Loftus Road.

Unfortunately for the rest, they were offered little choice but to pack their bags.

Paul Lambert and Gus Poyet are the latest top-flight casualties, with a distinct lack of points, and ever fewer goals, forcing them through the exits at Aston Villa and Sunderland respectively.

Jeff Stelling Carlsberg Peoples Pundit

Both clubs wasted little time in appointing successors, with former Tottenham Hotspur boss Tim Sherwood taking over at Villa Park and one-time Rangers manager Dick Advocaat filling the void at the Stadium of Light.

The former has been in his post a little longer than the latter, and has enjoyed some early success in league and cup competition, but the jury is still very much out as the pair strive to keep expectant employers among English football’s elite.

Are they the right men for the job? Will they keep Villa and Sunderland up?

Jeff Stelling is supporting North West finalist Andy Dawber in The People's Pundit, championed by the Carlsberg Fan Squad, and went to visit him in his local pub to give him some top tips on punditry. While there, we at HITC Sport put the above questions to the Soccer Saturday anchorman during a telephone interview.

He said: “Yes and no. I think that Villa, Tim Sherwood has got huge enthusiasm and massive confidence. If he can transfer that to his players, they have got every chance. They have had a couple of good results, but if you look at their next three fixtures (Manchester United, QPR, Tottenham), you would think that they are by no means out of the woods just yet.

“As far as Sunderland are concerned, they had to do something. They were going nowhere under Gus. I’m not sure that he felt it was really his team, with players that were brought in that he didn’t really want.

“They have taken a punt on Dick Advocaat, a huge punt considering that he has never managed in English football before. How in touch is he with the English league? He can’t go out there and buy players, so it’s all about organisation and tactics, really. I’m not sure that Sunderland have got the squad. Their best hope is the fact that the sides below them at the moment just don’t seem to be able to win a game.”

What of those ousted in the West Midlands and Wearside, will we see Lambert and Poyet back in a Premier League dugout any time soon?

Stelling added when pressed on whether the pair still have plenty to offer: “I do, actually, yes.

“I don’t think Paul Lambert did a bad job by any means as Aston Villa manager it was just, as the years went on, he maybe became a bit too cautious. Maybe he couldn’t see a more expansive picture and consequently the goals dried up and the points dried up. But he’s got a good track record prior to that, he’s intelligent, he’s articulate and knows the game inside out. I would be very surprised if we don’t see him back.

“As far as Gus is concerned, he is passionate with a capital P, maybe too passionate sometimes. I loved seeing him in the Premier League, and before that at Brighton. He is never afraid to speak his mind, he is never afraid to show his emotions. I think we might see Gus abroad again before we see him back in England, in terms of management.”

At this late stage of the season, both would be advised to put their feet up and watch on from afar as those once considered to be rivals consume themselves with the rigours of top-level management.

Lambert and Poyet may well return at some stage. Villa and Sunderland will believe they have every chance of preserving their Premier League status.

Changes have been made, though, and those making and affected by those decisions must now live with the consequences, be those good or bad.

The mission of the Carlsberg fan squad is to make football better for fans. That's why, If Carlsberg did Pundits…they'd probably be just like you. Jeff Stelling visited North West finalist, Andy Dawber, at the John Millngton Pub in Manchester to help him prepare for Boot Camp in the People's Pundit, championed by Carlsberg – the official beer of the Premier League. To find out how Andy and all of our other pundits get on in the race to secure their big break on talkSPORT, or to find details of a regional heat near you, head to Plus, if you'd like to show your support to Andy, follow him @AndyDawber #PeoplesPundit

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