Aston Villa sack Sporting Director Pitarch

Pitarch previously worked at Valencia and Atletico

Pitarch previously worked at Valencia and Atletico

ASTON VILLA have sacked Sporting Director Jesus Garcia Pitarch after less than two years as they look to revamp their football strategy.

The 56-year-old Spaniard was appointed on the same day as manager Dean Smith and his assistant John Terry in October 2018.

He had previously been Sporting Director at Valencia and Atletico Madrid, enjoying successful spells at both clubs. When he was appointed by Villa, CEO Christian Purslow described his role as being to ensure an "integrated approach running from the Academy through the U23s and into the first-team.”

Last summer, Villa spent £131m on nine new signings, but maintained their Premier League status by only one point. In total, 18 players had arrived at the club on Pitarch's watch.

As TGG has previously outlined, there can be problems integrating so many new players into a squad, particularly if many of them have never played in the league before, as was the case at Villa.

“If you are a low cohesion team, it doesn’t matter what the quality of the new player is, they won’t look very good," Simon Strachan, co-founder of Gainline Analytics, who measure the cohesion of teams, said. "They will be developing relationships with guys who are developing relationships with each other.”

Purslow is now carrying out a review of how the club can improve its recruitment and remains committed to the role of the Sporting Director.

During Pitarch's first stint at Valencia (2000 to 2004), the club won La Liga and the Uefa Cup, while Atletico Madrid claimed the Europa League and European Super Cup during his time there (2006 to 2011), signing the likes of Diego Forlan and Jose Antonio Reyes.

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