Aston Villa v Swansea City 2015
Sherwood and Monk have quite a lot in common.
Both managers did well last season but now find themselves in a precarious position, unusually for the Premier League both are British, and both are fairly inexperienced. While both have received speculation regarding their jobs, however, the spotlight is very much on Sherwood.
Swansea have frustrated Villa in recent clashes, but Saturday’s game is already a six-pointer. Somehow, a dour draw seems unlikely, but who will prevail in the battle of the under-pressure gaffers?
SHERWOOD HAS LOST 14 OF HIS 22 PREMIER LEAGUE GAMES IN CHARGE OF VILLA
Sherwood on Swansea
“They are tough.
“They have a good philosophy in terms of how they want to play. They seem to have stuck to that over the years.
“We need to make sure we don’t give them time to play. If you do, they will cause you problems.
“It was a tight game last season. They nicked it at the death. But I hope we can improve on last season’s performance.
“We have to make them play quickly and not let them compose themselves into a rhythm.
If we manage that, we will have the ball more often than them and get them running towards their own goal.”
“We will win”
Monk on Sherwood
“These links don’t help managers. Tim is doing an excellent job and working as hard as I would be.
“You have to let managers get on with their jobs and concentrate and people should be supportive of them as people are with me and my staff.
“It’s the nature of the league this year.
What is happening to Tim is because of pressure put on clubs to be in this league next year.
But pressure is how you perceive it. I don’t perceive it as a negative, I see it as an opportunity to make the most of it.”
15th September 2012 Aston Villa 2 Swansea City 0
Debut goals for Lowton and Benteke secured the points against Rodgers’ Swansea, recording the most un-Villa like scoreline of recent seasons.
Villa – Last five matches at home: D 1, L 4
Swansea– Last five matches away: D 2, L 3
Villa have won just once during the last four Premier League encounters at Villa Park.
One to Watch
Villa Park is a famous old ground, but that isn’t the only reason rival teams enjoy their visits to B6.
Amidst the turmoil of recent seasons a fixture against Villa seems to be the ideal place for out-of-form teams to rediscover winning ways – just look at the recent clashes against Stoke and Chelsea.
With this in mind, it’s worrying just how poor Swansea have been recently; they have recorded just two points from their last five away games in the league.
Despite reports of David Moyes’ interest in the Villa top job, it is perhaps premature to entertain ideas of Sherwood’s sacking, but he has lost 14 of his 22 Premier League games in charge, something Paul Lambert didn’t achieve in the league until his 28th game!
While Sherwood talks of fast, attacking football, the reality has often been quite different lately. This is worrying considering the fact we have failed to score against Swansea in the last two attempts.
Having gone four out of five home games without scoring this season, the stats show that things have not been going to plan for the under-pressure Sherwood.
Monk has had to deal with poor form too, but they won this fixture last season and have only lost once to Villa in the Premier League.
“Tim is doing an excellent job and working as hard as I would be.” – Monk on Sherwood
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Prior to the Chelsea match, Sherwood said he would take an attacking approach and to be fair we played well for a large part of the first half.
With the likes of Okore and Agbonlahor back from injury Sherwood will have plenty of decisions to make ahead of Saturday’s game.
Individual mistakes continued to haunt Villa against Chelsea and while the manager has made some strange tactical choices, the players must take accountability too.
It will be interesting to see how Jordan Ayew does against brother Andre, who has taken most of the spotlight with performances this season.
Sherwood’s decision to recall Kieran Richardson was bizarre considering Amavi’s form and indicative of a manager clutching at straws.
Hopefully, whoever he picks on Saturday will respond to Villa’s perilous position as this really is a must-win clash.
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
We’ll always have our history, and thankfully, the history books tell us we have a decent overall record against Swansea.
We’ve won 8 out of 11 home games against them through the years and with their recent poor form, home advantage might be the deciding factor if we are to record an unlikely victory.
On the back of a demoralising home loss to Stoke, Swansea could be as nervous as the Holte End regulars, and Monk’s men have failed to keep a clean sheet in six of their last seven league games.
Losing seven consecutive league matches is simply unacceptable, especially given Sherwood’s bold claims last season of a brighter future.
There’s bound to be a nervous atmosphere, but if Villa get the crowd on side and start the game well, the long overdue three points could be ours.
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