London: Remi Garde has been appointed as the new manager of Aston Villa on a three-and-a-half-year contract, the struggling Premier League club announced on Monday. The former Lyon coach, 49, succeeds Tim Sherwood, who was sacked on October 25 after a run of six successive league defeats that has seen last season's beaten FA Cup finalists slip to the foot of the table.
Remi Garde. Pic/AFP
"It is an unbelievable honour to be the manager of such an illustrious football club," Garde said in a statement on the Villa website. "I've had extremely positive meetings with both the owner, Randy Lerner, and chief executive Tom Fox. They have ambitious plans for the club and I'm excited that they have turned to me to help them realise them. "Obviously we have a difficult task in front of us, but I'm looking forward to the challenge with the support of everyone who loves Aston Villa."
Garde, Villa's fifth manager in five years, is due to watch his new club's away game against Tottenham Hotspur later on Monday, when caretaker coach Kevin MacDonald will take charge of the team. A former Arsenal defender, Garde spent three years as Lyon coach, winning the French Cup in 2012 and blooding many of the young players who went on to achieve a surprise second-place finish in Ligue 1 last season.
Since leaving at the end of the 2013-14 campaign, citing personal reasons, he has worked as a co-commentator for French broadcaster Canal+ and was a regular presence at Premier League matches. "Remi came with ideas, honesty, humour and a steely sense of what it will take for Aston Villa to be what it is meant to be -- hard-working, tireless, creative and unwilling to concede," said Villa owner Randy Lerner.
"Nobody at Villa can deny that we are way behind. We recruited aggressively this past summer and it is our responsibility to now harvest this talent rather than buckle under pressure and criticism -- we are better than that. On behalf of the board we wish Remi every success." Garde's first game in charge will be Sunday's home match with league leaders Manchester City.