'One of the best' - Essien lauds retired John Terry


Dean Smith has been appointed as the new head coach of Aston Villa, with John Terry named as his assistant.

Henry started his career at Monaco before moving to Juventus and then Arsenal, and the 41-year-old would be taking on a lot if he took the job in France, with Monaco 18th in the table after nine games.

Villa ended their search for a new manager after the departure of Steve Bruce as talks were held with Thierry Henry, Brendan Ridgers and Rui Faria.

Smith and Terry will be assisted off the pitch by new sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch.

But former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin, who joins us weekly on Off The Ball, feels he is misunderstood by those who do not know him.

Smith began his managerial career with Walsall before moving into Brentford in 2016.

Smith joins from Brentford, who are now seventh in the Sky Bet Championship, three points and eight places above Villa.

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The 37-year-old centre half captained Aston Villa in the second tier of English football last season, but left the club in the summer.

Rodgers, who has previously spent time with Swansea and Liverpool, has no desire to leave his position in Scotland, even for a role at an ambitious side eyeing up a return to the Premier League.

Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, who is now unemployed, has also made massive steps as a first team coach, having already won nine trophies at the highest level, including three UEFA Champions League titles.

Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has revealed he has received offers from "many parties" for the club, but said he remains committed to his plan for the club. "The board welcomes him to the club and is looking forward to working with him and his staff".

Add on top the expectation levels from home fans at Villa Park and this is a tough, tough job.

The Bees lie seventh in the table and after nearly three years at Griffin Park, during which time the club has shown year-on-year improvement, he has decided the time is right to take on the challenge of managing a bigger club.