Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has been named on a four-man shortlist for the Premier League Manager of the Month for December 2020. Dean Smith made the list after an impressive return of three wins and two draws from five league matches in the month of December.
Dean Smith has been able to lead Aston Villa into the top half of the table with 26 points from 15 league games this season. This is a significant improvement from last season as Dean Smith and Aston Villa narrowly escaped relegation from the division in their first season back with the big boys. Aston Villa are three points off the Champions League places as things stand with two games in hand.
Dean Smith led Aston Villa to an impressive 1-0 win at the home of midlands rivals Wolves in the first game of December. Aston Villa were scheduled to face Newcastle United at home in their first league game of December 2020 but the match was called off after a Covid-19 outbreak at Newcastle United. The Wolves game was followed by the uninspiring goalless draw at home to Burnleybefore the thumping 3-0 away victory handed to another midlands rival in West Brom who were promoted into the top flight at the start of the season. West Brom played majority of that game with ten men after experienced defensive midfielder Jake Livermore was sent off in the first half.
Aston Villa also recorded the same 3-0 scoreline in their next league match in December, at home to Crystal Palace. They won the game convincingly despite playing the game with ten men for an hour due to the first half dismissal of key centre back Tyrone Mings. Aston Villa finished the month with a well deserved 1-1 draw at the home of Premier League title chasers Chelsea.
Apart from Villa boss Dean Smith, the other three managers on the shortlist for December are Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Burnley manager Sean Dyche and Carlo Ancelotti, the Everton boss.