Like many, I thought the appointment of Tim Sherwood as Aston Villa manager was rather risky. Since Sherwood was told his services were no longer required at White Hart Lane, he has mentioned for nearly ever post that has become available but finally settled on the Midlands club.
Something Sherwood possesses that puts him at an advantage is his hunger and desire to prove people wrong. After his outburst last season at Stamford Bridge following Tottenham’s humiliating second half surrender in a 4-0 defeat, he showed a side that we haven’t seen from a manager. He’s been labelled as a ‘hot head’ but maybe it’s a key element in his style to get the best out of his players.
You’ve seen in the past week in Villa’s two victories over West Brom how much it means to him, going on the pitch at full time following the first meeting seemed to galvanise Villa Park. Once an intimidating stadium, it has become a field day for some teams although you get the sense Sherwood is starting to get the fans back on side.
It was an important week for both Villa and Sherwood, those victories were the former Tottenham man’s his first wins but also saw him reach the FA Cup Semi Final. We all know football is a results business and Tim Sherwood knows that he needs them quick. At times it wasn’t pretty against a very organised and typical Tony Pulis side, but they showed resilience and desire to secure a crucial three points in the quest for Premier League survival.
It really is a no brainer if your Sherwood, Premier League survival or an FA Cup, but the victories will only garner momentum which is something that the Midlands club struggled to find under former manager Paul Lambert.
A new manager comes in and is asked to do the basics, but we’ve seen in the past that it’s not always that easy especially with big egos in the dressing room. Like I said before, the Villa manager has come in and freshened things up and given hope to the players. Stars like Christian Beneteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Andreas Weimann, Fabian Delph all seem rejuvenated and have a spring in their step. The acquisition of Scott Sinclair has also helped, another player with a point to prove has impressed, showing what he’s capable of in Saturday’s win. His ability to take on players and imagination in the final third has been something that Villa have sorely lacked, but it shows what Sherwood’s side are capable of when the current crop of players turn up.
Villa’s next 6 are a real mixed bag of fixtures; they have games against Sunderland, Swansea and QPR but also clashes with Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Man City who are fighting for Champions League places and the title. You get the sense the games against Sunderland, Swansea and QPR are games that they must get points otherwise the pressure will be on Sherwood’s young side.
It’s a defining period for the Midlands club with the battle for survival well and truly on, Sherwood has started to steady the ship with his first couple of wins but can they build on that with results in there final 10 games?
Written By George Clarke