Dean Smith was relieved of his duties as Aston Villa manager following the 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Friday. On Saturday, Smith was at +100 to be the next manager who got sacked in the Premier League, with bookies expecting Villa’s hierarchy to act after a series of dismal performances and results.

Dean Smith - Aston Villa
Dean Smith spent three years as manager of Aston Villa. (Image: Twitter/avfcofficial)

On Saturday, Daniel Farke was also shown the door by Norwich City. Now Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leads the list of potential sackings in the English top-flight at +150.

Aston Villa’s defeat to Southampton was their fifth in a row. They currently sit 15th in the Premier League, just two points above the relegation positions. Villa hasn’t won an official match since Sept. 18. Dean Smith, 50, joined Villa when the club was in the Championship, assuring promotion, then maintaining Premier League status over the past two campaigns.

“When Dean joined us in October 2018 our team was really struggling in the Championship. He immediately transformed the atmosphere and performances, and achieved the ultimate success of leading Villa back to the Premier League within the same season – a rare feat,” Aston Villa CEO Christian Purslow told the club’s website. “He then secured our place in the Premier League after a tough campaign and took us to a Cup Final at Wembley,” Purslow added.

After a strong start last season, Purslow said the club didn’t see “the continuous improvement in results, performances and league position which we have all been looking for.” As a result, he said, the club decided to make a change to allow time for a new head coach to make an impact.

Bookies have Steven Gerrard as favorite to sign for Villa

After securing promotion via the Championship Playoff in 2019, Smith kept Villa in the Premier League on the last day of the following season with a 1-1 draw at West Ham’s ground. Villa made it into the Carabao Cup final, which they lost 2-1 to Manchester City. In the 2020-2021 campaign, Aston Villa wasn’t threatened with relegation, finishing 11th.

Under Smith, Jack Grealish developed into the most expensive player ever traded in the Premier League, following his $140 million move from Villa to Manchester City.

Villa has 13 days until their next Premier League game against Brighton & Hove Albion, with the club unlikely to make a permanent appointment until then. The bookies have Glasgow Rangers boss Steven Gerrard as their favorite for the Villa job at +250. John Terry is just behind him at +300, while Denmark national team manager Kasper Hjulmand is now at +600.