By Mike Collett
Remi Garde, named as Aston Villa’s new manager on Monday, was left in no doubt about the task facing him when he watched his new side lose 3-1 at Tottenham Hotspur to leave them bottom of the Premier League after a seventh straight defeat.
Spurs, unbeaten in the league since an opening day defeat by Manchester United, took the lead through Mousa Dembele with an angled shot after three minutes and doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time when Dele Alli powered in a low shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Jordan Ayew pulled one back for Villa after 78 minutes to give them a glimmer of hope before Harry Kane sealed the victory for Spurs with a curling shot to round off a superb move in the third minute of stoppage time.
Garde, sitting in the front row of the director’s box at White Hart Lane, would have taken heart from a spirited late push from Villa but they will need to show a far greater improvement if they are to avoid relegation.
The victory lifted Spurs into fifth place with 20 points after 11 matches, behind leaders Manchester City (25), Arsenal (25), Leicester City (22) and Manchester United (21).
Villa, with caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald in the dugout, lacked confidence and rarely troubled Spurs, although Leandro Bacuna struck the post with a shot just before Ayew scored.
The challenge now facing Garde, who succeeds Tim Sherwood, also Tottenham’s previous boss, is a huge one with his side stuck on four points from a possible 33.
His first match in charge is against leaders Manchester City on Sunday and his first six matches are all against teams currently in the top half of the table.
Former Arsenal midfielder Garde said he was ready for “the difficult task” of trying to revive the seven-times English champions earlier on Monday.
“It is an unbelievable honour to be the manager of such an illustrious football club,” Garde told Villa’s website (www.avfc.co.uk).
“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.”