Rémi Garde arrived at Villa as manager in November 2015 with an impressive reputation as a young and forward-thinking boss.
Garde earned early experience in coaching as a member of Lyon's backroom staff - spending time as Paul Le Guen and Gerard Houllier's assistant before getting the top job in 2011 following the departure of Claude Puel.
Garde's Lyon finished fourth, third and fifth in his three seasons in charge, feats made much more impressive by the tight budget he worked under - and the fact the club sold key stars like Hugo Lloris, Kim Kallstrom and Dejan Lovren during this period.
Garde also succeeded in guiding Lyon to French Cup glory in 2012 - their first piece of silverware since 2008.
He earned plaudits for introducing a more exciting, attacking playing style at the club - and promoted young players from their academy to good effect.
They also reached two French League Cup finals, the Champions League last 16 and the Europa League quarter-finals.
Perhaps the biggest testament to his good work at Lyon was the fact that the club were desperate for him to stay at the end of the 2013/14 season.
But the likeable Frenchman took a sabbatical before his return to football in B6.
As a player, the Frenchman made his name at Arsenal, arriving at Highbury alongside his compatriot Patrick Vieira in August 1996 after both players were recommended by Arsène Wenger, soon to take over as manager.
And although Vieira's instant impact left Garde somewhat in the shade, the versatile veteran was a fine player in his own right.
Garde was ostensibly a centre back - and an assured one at that.
But over the course of his career he also impressed at full-back and in midfield.
That versatility helped him earn his six caps for France and a call-up to the national squad for Euro 92.
It also made him a valuable squad member at the Gunners.
Garde made enough appearances to earn a Premier League winner's medal in 1997/98 and also played his part in the FA Cup run which completed that season's double.
Garde was often used at right-back that term with Lee Dixon sidelined by injury for a chunk of the campaign.
As ever, the deputy filled in with a minimum of fuss and plenty of assurance.
Following 43 appearances for Arsenal - with 16 of those from the bench - Garde retired from the game in June 1999.
After working as a football pundit on French TV, he rejoined his old club Lyon as a coach in 2003.
Source - Aston Villa Football Club