Aston Villa have appointed Craig Shakespeare as a third assistant head coach, whilst John Terry is set to remain at the club.

Words: Mark Jirobe | @VillaMarkPGH


Today, Aston Villa confirmed that Craig Shakespeare will be the new Aston Villa assistant coach. Shakespeare was most recently apart of Nigel Pearsons coaching set up at Watford, but more famously for being Claudio Ranieri’s assistant at Leicester City when the Midlands club won the Premier League title against all odds. 

The 56-year-old has bags of experience in the game of football and will undoubtedly bring something new to the backroom at Aston Villa. Dean Smith has also played with Shakespeare previously at Walsall. 

According to Matt Maher at The Express & Star, Dean Smith wanted to bring Shakespeare into the coaching set-up at Villa, but he ultimately joined Nigel Pearson at Watford. Maher also states that Shakespeare is not an out-and-out replacement for Terry, rather an experienced addition. Terry has been linked with head coaching jobs all over the place since Aston Villa secured their Premier League status on the last day of the season. Most notably, Bristol City and Bournemouth seemed very interested in the former England international to be their next head coach. Alas, Terry could personally see this as an opportunity to work with a Premier League-winning coach and hone his craft even more before springing for a head coaching opportunity of his own. 

The coaching remit at Aston Villa now stands at Dean Smith, John Terry, Richard O’Kelly, Neil Cutler and Craig Shakespeare. While that may seem like an unordinary amount of coaches for a club who largely struggled last season, this is yet another statement of the intent behind the scenes at Aston Villa. The experience between five coaches should be applauded rather than be questioned. Each coach will specialize in a certain area, which is becoming more and more common the modern game of football. 

Villa are supposedly set to spend large again before the season kicks off. Adding Shakespeare into the coaching fold could possibly help Villa in that area, as well. Shakespeare is highly-rated and well-liked by players who have sharped their skills under his coaching at various clubs. Shakespeare is very ‘hands-on’ and isn’t afraid to get active with the players on the training pitch. 

As well as this, it’s another Aston Villa fan involved at the club in a leadership level – joining Dean Smith, as Head Coach, and Jack Grealish, as captain.

It is no secret that Aston Villa would like to bring in Premier League experience on the pitch, but adding it via the coaching staff is a coup of sorts. With the recent addition of Johan Lange as Sporting Director, it shouldn’t be much of a waiting game before players come through the door at Aston Villa. 

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