There’s certainly a big element of romance in the news that Dean Smith has been named the new Aston Villa boss.
The Birmingham-born 47-year-old is a boyhood Villa fanatic after all whose father worked as a steward at Villa Park. So this feels like a match made in heaven, on paper at least.
Smith did a terrific job in the Championship with Brentford, turning the Bees into one of the most exciting and free-flowing sides in the division. If he can do the same for an Aston Villa side boasting the attacking riches of Jack Grealish, Yannick Bolasie, Jonathan Kodjia and co, then the Midland giants could take the division by storm.
But, speaking on Alan Brazil’s Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT (11 October, 9am), former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan has attempted to temper expectations, pointing out that Smith faces much higher expectations at Villa Park than he did at Brentford or Walsall.
"This shows you that the boys running Villa are thinking about the current predicament. They're thinking about somebody who is a Championship operator, that will have the savvy to know the league that he's in," Jordan said.
"This could potentially be seen as a risk for Dean Smith. Brentford and Walsall are not Villa. And this is a different job.
"He's got a 39 per cent win rate at Brentford, he's going to have to get a 60 per cent win rate at Villa."
Jordan certainly has a point. Brentford were never really expected to challenge for promotion so fans and owners will be delighted by their performances and their position in the top half of the table.
But results are hugely important at Aston Villa, even more so than performances. And the pressure on Smith to deliver promotion with a very expensive and experienced squad will be huge.
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