Former Arsenal player Paul Merson feels Aston Villa made a mistake in hiring Remi Garde and states they should have gone for Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce when they had the chance, the Daily Star report.
Villa travel to Sunderland currently occupying last position in the Premier League table having undertaken an 18-game winless run - an unwanted club record.
New manager Remi Garde hasn’t been able to stop the rot, and supporters of the West Midlands outfit are already resigning themselves to relegation as they sit 11 points adrift of safety.
The Villa Park club have had problems for a while, yet Merson hints hiring Remi Garde was their latest costly error as he laments the club’s decision not to appoint Sam Allardyce when they had the chance.
“Sam Allardyce is the man Aston Villa should have got to save them this season. Instead he’s at Sunderland, who could help to send them down this weekend,” Merson wrote.
“They made a big mistake going for Remi Garde because he has no experience of managing in this league or of fighting a relegation battle.”
While Allardyce would have been a logical appointment at the time, his struggles so far at Sunderland suggest that even he isn’t a sure-fire guarantee of Premier League survival.
Villa simply lack the quality in key areas to stay up this season, and their current position means the likelihood of players suitable to the task wanting to join them is now very slim.
Sunderland aren’t quite dead and buried just yet. However, the Black Cats remain seven points adrift of safety and a failure to beat Villa will leave them in a very precarious position.
Allardyce is a superb organiser and defensive tactician, yet the players available to him don’t quite fit his preferred style of play and without January additions they look likely to join Villa in the Championship.