Tim Sherwood has been appointed Aston Villa manager, signing a contract that will keep him at the club until 2018.
The Aston Villa board made this quick appointment following the sacking of Paul Lambert after an abysmal display at Hull City on Tuesday evening. It is a decision that will divide fans’ opinions: some people’s expectations will not be fulfilled until a manager of Pep Guardiola’s calibre is managing the club.
Having replaced Andre Villas-Boas in December 2013, during his relatively short spell as Tottenham manager Sherwood had a fantastic record in the Premier League, winning thirteen of his twenty-two Premier League games, giving him a 59% win ratio. We need him to do a similar job here, where he needs to hit the ground running. We have just thirteen games to save ourselves from relegation.
Due to Sherwood’s work with the Tottenham Hotspur youth team, he has been given a long-term contract. He brought Harry Kane, Nadil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason into the first team fold in North London. All three of them are now first team regulars, with Kane almost certain to be selected for England. We have a good youth set-up, with the likes of Callum Robinson and Jack Grealish, who are both highly rated, now looking more likely to get a chance in the first team. Of course, Robinson will have to wait until next season to get his chance as he’s out on loan but this is a golden opportunity for Grealish to help save our season.
An important factor is who Sherwood chooses to have in his backroom staff, with Chris Ramsey committed to Queen’s Park Rangers. There have been some, possibly misguided, suggestions that Glenn Hoddle may well be appointed as a first team coach but whoever Sherwood has in the dugout, he needs to have faith in and be prepared to overhaul Lambert’s remaining disciples, including stand-in manager Scott Marshall.
I would imagine that Tim Sherwood will be keen to work alongside Gordon Cowans and Tony McAndrew, the youth team managers, in order to bring the academy’s young talent through to the first team. This appointment has the potential to be a very exciting one, as he will look to develop the players already at the club.
Our next five games in the Premier League are Stoke City (H), Newcastle United (A), West Brom (H), Sunderland (A) and Swansea City (H). All of these are winnable and, if we are going to stay up, we need Tim Sherwood to find a way of winning them.
Last season at Tottenham, he got Emmanuwl Adebayor scoring goals regularly, something that no other Tottenham manager has achieved. Here, he has the problem of an out of form Christian Benteke so it will be interesting to see how he utilises our top striker.
Speaking today, Sherwood said: “It is a great honour to manage one of the biggest clubs in English football. I can’t wait to get started and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
With thirteen huge games ahead, which will decide our future as a club, there is no denying that this job is a considerable challenge, as well as a great privilege. I hope that all fans give Tim Sherwood the backing he deserves.
Welcome, Tim. I wish you all the best for a successful spell as Aston Villa manager.