Steven Gerrard has been confirmed as Aston Villa’s new manager. But how long do Aston Villa managers generally last?
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa have today announced that Liverpool legend and Scottish Premier League winner Steven Gerrard would take over the reigns at the club following the sacking of Dean Smith last Sunday.
Gerrard, who will be taking up his second role in senior management in taking on Aston Villa’s plight to achieve a top ten finish, has signed on a three and a half year deal.
The three and a half year deal is interesting – not only because it takes us to mid-2024 where many presume the boss will leave to lead his boyhood club Liverpool (if they’ve not paid a compensation fee for him before then). It’s also interesting because that’s relatively close to how long Aston Villa managers usually last at the helm.
According to betting analysts OLBG, Aston Villa rank 15th in the UK as ‘Best UK Football Clubs To Manage’ based on the average length of time that their managers remain in the job, while they sit 8th in the Premier League.
Loyalty is hard to come by these days, especially in some of the toughest leagues in European football – and long gone are the days of Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson. Most managers either want a new challenge, or are sacked before they’re able to make the decision themselves.
On average, an Aston Villa manager lasts three years and two months in the job, a far sight from the five years and over that some of the most decorated clubs in the UK have had. Celtic, Liverpool, Manchester United, and interestingly Gerrard’s former club Rangers, all enjoy the exploits of their personable managers for the longest time in British football.
Aston Villa seem to like to give their managers some time to find their feet, more often than not, it seems, unlike the likes of Crystal Palace, who on average afford their managers less than two years at the helm.
If the Premier League table was based on the average length of time a manager had been in charge, well, Aston Villa would be in the running for a spot in Europe.
|Rank||Team||Average Time in the Job|
|1||Liverpool||5 years & 7 months|
|2||Manchester United||5 years & 4 months|
|3||West Ham||5 years|
|4||Arsenal||4 years & 8 months|
|6||Wolves||3 years & 7 months|
|7||Burnley||3 years & 2 months|
|8||Aston Villa||3 years & 2 months|
|9||Manchester City||3 years & 1 month|
|10||Newcastle United||2 years & 11 months|
|11||Tottenham Hotspur||2 years & 10 months|
|12||Chelsea||2 years & 9 months|
|13||Southampton||2 years & 8 months|
|14||Brighton||2 years & 7 months|
|15||Leeds||2 years & 6 months|
|16||Brentford||2 years & 6 months|
|17||Norwich City||2 years & 3 months|
|18||Watford||2 years & 2 months|
|19||Leicester City||2 years & 1 month|
|20||Crystal Palace||1 year & 9 months|
Over the club’s entire history, Aston Villa have enjoyed the philosophies of 41 managers.
Some managers provided joy and contributed to the club’s decorated history, while others struggled to have an impact.
Across the 41 managers, there’s some great managerial names, and some fond memories to be had while browsing them, but none of Aston Villa’s former leaders have ever come close to George Ramsay in terms of staying power – with 41 years and 10 months in the job.
|Manager||Days in the job||Years in the job|
|George Ramsay||15277||41 years & 10 months|
|W J Smith||2860||7 years & 10 months|
|Ron Saunders||2807||7 years & 8 months|
|Joe Mercer||2069||5 years & 8 months|
|Eric Houghton||1916||5 years & 3 months|
|Alex Massie||1856||5 years & 10 months|
|Vic Crowe||1586||4 years & 4 months|
|Martin O’Neill||1465||4 years & 1 month|
|John Gregory||1429||3 years & 11 months|
|Ron Atkinson||1222||3 years & 4 months|
|Brian Little||1187||3 years & 3 months|
|David O’Leary||1156||3 years & 2 months|
|Graham Taylor||1153||3 years & 2 months|
|Dean Smith||1124||3 years & 10 months|
|Dick Taylor||1064||2 years & 11 months|
|Jimmy Hogan||1034||2 years & 10 months|
|George Martin||1004||2 years & 9 months|
|Paul Lambert||982||2 years & 8 months|
|Tony Barton||860||2 years & 4 months|
|Graham Turner||790||2 years & 2 months|
|Steve Bruce||721||1 year & 12 months|
|Tommy Cummings||518||1 year & 5 months|
|Jimmy McMullan||517||1 year & 5 months|
|Graham Taylor||463||1 year & 3 months|
|Tommy Docherty||396||1 year & 10 months|
|Alex McLeish||333||11 months|
|Jozef Venglos||310||10 months|
|Gerard Houllier||253||8 months|
|Tim Sherwood||250||8 months|
|Billy McNeill||228||7 months|
|Remi Garde||148||5 months|
|Roberto Di Matteo||123||4 months|
|Eric Black||64||2 months|
|Kevin MacDonald||43||1 month|
|Roy Aitken||16||16 days|
|John Deehan||12||12 days|
|Stuart Gray||12||12 days|
|Kevin MacDonald||9||9 days|
|Kevin MacDonald||7||7 days|
|Scott Marshall||6||6 days|
|Andy Marshall||6||6 days|
And if that wasn’t impressive enough, there’s another feather in Ramsay’s cap.
The long-standing former boss ranks third for the longest time a manager has lead a club at the top level, falling short to only Fred Everiss and Willie Maley.
Not a bad feat for a one-club man!
It remains to be seen if Gerrard will improve this average or make it worse, but fans are hoping that it’ll be the former.