Aston Villa and Steve Bruce were always an awkward marriage of convenience and it has finally come to an end.
The Geordie’s past links with Birmingham City, reliance on high-earning, ageing players and preference for a safety-first slower style of play were all points of contention for the fanbase.
He may have taken the club within 90 minutes of a return to the Premier League last season, but the new owners have lost patience.
In the aftermath of Bruce’s sacking, Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has reportedly expressed his keenness to take on the hotseat at Villa Park.
The Frenchman is currently coaching Belgium as part of Roberto Martinez’s staff but has not had a manager’s job yet.
Experience isn’t everything but it would certainly be a great help to someone going in to take the Villa hotseat now.
Appeasing an unsettled fanbase, overhauling an ageing, expensively assembled squad amid the backdrop of financial uncertainty and the threat of losing Jack Grealish all while putting together a promotion bid is not a task for a first-time manager. Especially without a pre-season behind him.
The job is currently too big for Henry. Dean Smith is the standout candidate and Brendan Rodgers would be an ambitious outside bet.