2) Appoint a new captain
As part of the rebuilding of the club, a new captain will also bring with it a change to the dressing room mentality.
The role was shared last season between Gabby Agbonlahor and Micah Richards with question marks remaining over their respective futures with the club.
As is the case with any successful club, the role of the captain is crucial. Typically viewed as bridging the gap between the players and the coaching team, Villa requires someone in the role who is a real leader and is able to unite the dressing room.
It was clearly evident that last year’s influx of French players struggled to settle into the dressing room. The senior players at the club were unable to unite the side and it was evident that whilst the squad lacked the necessary quality there was also a real lack of commitment, desire and passion. To say that the club went down without a fight is to put it mildly.
Football news reports suggest that Aston Villa have had a £3 million offer accepted for Bournemouth captain Thomas Elphick.
The 28 year old has enjoyed two promotions during his time at Dean Court and could very well be the kind of leader which Di Matteo has identified. An injury-hit campaign saw Elphick only make 14 appearances over the course of the season but the central defender has undoubted qualities and performs in a position which Villa desperately need to strengthen.
The club was lacking in real leadership last season with players of youth and experience all hiding at a time when we needed to see unity and fight for the shirt and league survival. A new appointment in the role could be an important decision to make.
Click ‘3’ to see the next thing Di Matteo needs to do at Villa next season.