Dean Smith sacked as Aston Villa’s coach following five successive league defeats

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Aston Villa have sacked manager Dean Smith after an underwhelming start to the season.

Villa are currently 15th in the Premier League with 10 points from their opening 11 games, with only three wins. Friday night’s 1-0 defeat at Southampton was their fifth consecutive loss in the top flight.

Smith took over as manager of Villa, the club he supported as a child, in 2018 and immediately drove them back to the Premier League. They achieved a narrow escape from relegation on the final day of the 2019-20 season and then stepped on significantly last season, finishing 11th in the top flight with 55 points.

The £100m sale of captain and star player Jack Grealish to Manchester City dominated the summer transfer window, but the club invested in new talent with the signings of striker Danny Ings and wingers Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia, as well as the experienced former Villa player Ashley Young.

However, Smith has struggled to find the right balance among his new-look squad despite tinkering with formation and personnel, even dropping captain Tyrone Mings from the line-up, and the hierarchy decided to take action ahead of the upcoming international break with two weeks to install a new manager before the visit of Brighton on 20 November.