Aston Villa’s woeful form has seen the club secure just one victory in their last 11 matches across all competitions, a run which ultimately cost Steve Bruce his job.
A quick turnaround was not secured in the first game with Bruce at the helm as Villa lost 2-1 to Millwall, raising the pressure on new manager Dean Smith after his appointment earlier this week.
Smith arrives after three impressive years in charge of Brentford and lands former Villa defender John Terry as his assistant, but the side’s poor form is a major concern – especially when compared to the same time last year.
12 months ago, Villa sat eighth in the Championship after picking up 19 points from their first 12 matches – a four-point increase on the haul that Villa have taken after the same amount of games this season.
While that does not immediately ring alarm bells, that was a side who went all the way to the playoff final and the early performances of promotion rivals Leeds, Middlesbrough, Sheffield United and West Brom suggests that a bigger points haul will be necessary this season.
Therefore, Smith will be thrown immediately into the deep end at Villa Park and needs to hope for an instant improvement to the club’s form in order to ensure their promotion hopes do not go up in smoke.