Backroom bust-up at Aston Villa

Two staff have reportedly been suspended from duty at Villa Park as the rumours – and the season run-in - heat up.

Backroom bust-up at Aston Villa

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April 16th, 2014

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In all my time writing for I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure of using this particular alliterative footballing cliché – we’ve certainly had a training ground bust-up before, haven’t we Mario? – but strange things are afoot at Aston Villa as it has suffered a backroom bust-up.

As confirmed in a statement by Villa yesterday, assistant manager Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa have been suspended ‘pending an internal investigation’.

The two men had previously worked together at Barnet and Leyton Orient before getting the jobs with Villa manager Paul Lambert – having worked together at three other clubs – and, according to sources, had been involved in several altercations with players and other coaching staff in recent weeks both on the training ground and in the changing rooms.

Lambert has moved to quell the ‘poisoned atmosphere’ said to have been generated by the two men by promoting Shay Given and Gordon Cowans to join him in senior coaching roles as the side head into their final games of the season.

Given has not played regularly for Villa in goal since Brad Guzan took up the first-choice role, while Cowans, who won the European Cup as a Villa player, has moved up from his role as development coach.

Villa take on Southampton this Saturday only four points from the drop zone, with matches against teams one place above and below to follow, before a final pair of fixtures against Man City and Spurs. It’s not known yet what exactly caused this fallout but Lambert seems optimistic.

“I’m delighted to have Gordon and Shay to assist me in preparing the team for Saturday, which is what the whole group is focused on,” he said yesterday.

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