Tim Sherwood’s Woe
For Aston Villa to give Tim Sherwood a do-or-die two game ultimatum was very unlike Randy Lerner’s normal practise of giving his managers every opportunity to relegate the club.
Seriously speaking though, Lerner’s buzz word for better or worse is ‘continuity’, so the week’s barrage of ‘Sherwood’s got two games left’ headlines should be approached with a pinch of salt.
That said, it’s common sense that if Sherwood was standing there as a Villa boss with four points from the season’s first ten games, he should perhaps be shot never mind sacked.
There’s no doubt there seems to be little bit of needle behind the scenes between Sherwood and the board. Spurs fans will tell you that Sherwood was one for press leaks during his time at White Hart Lane and the recent ‘who signed got’ press articles point to leakage.
I think the Villa boss would have been left frustrated by the lack of Premier League experience acquired in the summer and the fact that Villa’s net spend was around the £10m mark, when a team like Watford’s was three times that and even the Baggies spent two-and-a-half times that. Sherwood will think there would have been leeway to bring an extra signing or two like Esteban Cambiasso to give the team short-term experience, that it clearly lacks.
Before the Villa manager does what should be an interesting press conference Friday morning, the club have rolled out nice guy Ray Wilkins and General ‘What’s the point’ Krulak on a token gesture PR offensive to back Sherwood.
“So we really shouldn’t really be talking about this type of situation,” Wilkins told Talksport, about the pressure on Sherwood. “We’ll get there, it’s going to be a lot of hard work but we’ll get there in the finish.”
This was the same guy who told Villa supporters to “relax” after Stoke City. Wilkins maybe relaxed by nature himself, but the current situation is of a serious concern.
General Krulak has even popped out of the woodwork to do his annual “I speak to Randy every day and read social media/message boards and everything is ok” speech.
Apparently, he reckons Villa have been unlucky.
“There has been a bit of bad luck along the way,” said Krulak in The Sun. “To say Tim Sherwood has to win those games to survive is pure speculation. Randy has always wanted continuity and someone there for the long term.”
No, General, Sherwood has to wins game for both himself and Villa to survive. With a nasty run of the next five games to come – Chelsea, Swansea, Spurs, Manchester City and Everton – Villa could be cut adrift by Christmas.
Realistically though, Sherwood has those tough games to turn this around, if it is indeed simply teething problems of a new squad. But it would be very wrong just to point the finger at Sherwood.
Who starts a Premier League campaign with such an inexperienced team? Blooding one or two youngsters into the Premier League? Okay. But not half a team and more. If anybody should carry the can for Villa being far from ‘Prepared’, it’s Tom Fox and his ‘Moneyball’ player recruitment team of Paddy Reilly & Hendrik Almstadt.
They may have upgraded the quality on the ‘young and hungry’ Lambert direction, but leaders and proven Premier League pedigree is seriously lacking. They needed it in the team to allow the new French league players to blend in, rather than throwing them all in the deep end.
There’s no doubt Sherwood has to wise up in his in-game management, but the Villa board has made a gamble that might need a miracle worker rather than a manger to replace Tactics Tim, if the time comes. UTV
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