Di Matteo should not pay the price for Villa owner's deluded ambitions
It is unrealistic to expect the 46-year-old to transform the club's culture of failure in such a short space of time...
Roberto Di Matteo does not have long to save his Aston Villa job, apparently.
At the start of the week, it was suggested that the 46-year-old had to win one of the club’s next two matches to save his job.
And while Dr. Tony Xia has since played that down, the manager’s future still looks in doubt thanks to the owner's desire for immediate results.
For that to be the case just 10 games into his spell in the second city is farcical.
But not surprising.
Admittedly before Xia's time, but the Villains sacked Tim Sherwood at the same stage last season.
It does not stop there, either.
The club has disposed of four different managers in the last 20 months - with each former boss leaving the club in a worse position than when they took over.
A revolving door policy at Villa Park does not look like the answer to their troubles.
And despite the new ownership this season, the barometer of success at Villa Park seems to still be focused in the short term.
See the owner’s strange comments when hiring Di Matteo.
"The aim, not just the hope, is to get back in European field within five years," said Xia.
"I wish we can succeed to get another trophy like we have here in eight or 10 years.
"That is not an exact number, but we want to win the European Cup."
And with just one win from their opening 10 league games, that seems even more ambitious now than it did then.
But the club’s failure to win matches is nothing new - their 17-point Premier League season was pitiful - and it is unrealistic to expect Di Matteo to transform them so quickly.
Yet that appears to be lost on Xia, who has been openly critical of the team’s performances on Twitter.
Hardly the best way to inspire success, or confidence in the manager among an already dispirited set of supporters.
In Di Matteo, though, the club have someone who is capable of arresting their worrying slide and prospering.
The FA Cup and Champions League with Chelsea were nice, of course, but perhaps more significantly the Italian was promoted from the Championship with West Brom in 2010.
His signings this summer, meanwhile, have been solid. Ross McCormack, Jonathan Kodjia and Mile Jedinak in particular are stellar Championship additions.
In time, Di Matteo should be able to build a platform to ultimately succeed.
That will only be possible, though, if the man upstairs is realistic.