Should Sherwood be sacked?

I’ve had a long, hard think concerning Sherwood, his transfers, the matches we have played and his tactics. It’s been an unpleasant few months for Aston Villa and it hurts to see our club tumbling down the table. What hurts more is the fact that Aston Villa fans are losing hope before we are even ten games in to the new season. In my mind, this is complete madness.

I understand that Aston Villa and Tom Fox brought in a manager who had an average spell at Tottenham Hotspur. Despite some good games with Spurs, he also had traumatic days with them. After losing heavily to Chelsea and failing to achieve Champions League football again, officials at White Hart Lane made what they felt was the right decision. Perhaps Sherwood’s only reward for his time at Spurs was his win ratio, which people still refer to.

Due to this, and his character, Tim Sherwood was given the job of helping Aston Villa Football Club fight relegation last season. Even though it was close, we made it. If I were to ask any Villa fan if they would rather have Lambert or Sherwood in charge for a relegation fight, those who have any sense would choose Sherwood. Not only has Sherwood stopped us being relegated, he got us to the 2015 FA Cup final, which is no mean feat. Of course, the final didn’t go to plan but virtually everyone would agree that Premier League survival was more important than winning the FA Cup win. Last season, I don’t think Sherwood did much wrong at Aston Villa Football Club.

This season things have not gone to plan. The Delph and Benteke transfers affected Villa’s transfers and, in a way, distracted most of us from the preparations for the new season. Sherwood lost Delph, Benteke, Vlaar and Given, Villa’s spine in the last few seasons. Losing the spine of the team has had a massive impact on the other players and the tactics. Not only did Sherwood have to buy the spine of the team again but he had to try to imprint his ideas in the minds of new players. Sherwood has brought in a lot of foreign players, like Ayew, Gueye, Veretout, Amavi and Traore. Most of these players don’t speak English as their first language and none have played in the English league before. There, you can see that we have a problem but we can all see the potential that these players have. For example, Amavi is a very young player still but is smashing the records in the Premier League with all kinds of statistics for his defending. At his age, and with this in mind, you can’t fault Sherwood. The rest of the players he has brought in all have ability on the ball and they can all become great players but it’s a case of finding that greatness in them. Sherwood would have been scouting many players throughout his time out of work, going to watch matches abroad, and now with his new right hand man, Ray Wilkins, who also knows the business very well, so you have to feel confident that Sherwood and the club have brought in the right players.

At this moment in time, things are bad. I have to admit, I find it a struggle to watch ‘Match of the Day’ nowadays if the Villans lose. Nobody likes to see his or her team lose a game but we have to understand why they lost it in the first place. Was it the starting XI, the tactics or the substitutes? I will be honest: I don’t agree with everything that Sherwood has done at the club. For example, the substitutes that he has brought on could have been better and his choice to start certain players can be questioned but I would like someone to tell me about a manager who has never made a mistake. When Sherwood makes mistakes, we have to accept that he is a human and that he will do this from time to time. Even when the Villans are at a low ebb, he might make mistakes but will learn from mistakes, even if it takes several tries to do so.

I listened to ‘TalkSport’ on Monday night with Stan Collymore and the subject he was talking about was ‘How long should a manager get to prove himself?’ It all depends on the club and its situation. For example, Brendan Rogers, who was sacked earlier this week, was given three years to prove his worth at Liverpool, spending over £300 million. In this case, it didn’t work out, but the Liverpool board members were willing to give him a try and in his second season it almost worked out for him, as he guided Liverpool to second in the table. I think we should give Sherwood the same amount of time. He has been given money to spend this season, nearly £55 million, and the board would have to have confidence in him and the players he has bought if they feel he can do the job well. Sherwood needs three years to prove his signings are worthy of getting out of relegation battles and into the top half of the table. I think he has much more work to do, especially in defence, but I’m more than confident that these players can do the job. My opinion is that this season will be a struggle but only because the players need the time to gel and understand Sherwood’s thinking.

If Sherwood is sacked for some odd reason then who would we want in as his replacement? All the good managers are not available and the ones who are available are not men I see fitting the Villa way. Some say that Sam Allardyce would be good fit but Sherwood bought many of the players in the current squad and knows them better than anyone else. If Big Sam were to come in and try and sort us out, he would have to have time to see who his best players are. The players have confidence in Sherwood – and so should the fans. To change manager now is not a risk I think the board should take nor does it make sense.

Aston Villa fans are not thinking straight. Why would we sack Sherwood? Give him a chance. We haven’t even completed ten matches yet. Support him so we get out of this mess, not dragged further into it. People are just panicking because we might get relegated. We won’t if we support our team and manager. Sherwood is learning from mistakes, as are the players. Sometimes it comes down to luck. Aston Villa is a big club with great supporters. Don’t be scared. Face up to the challenge the club faces. This way, things will turn, we will get points, and the Holte End will be bouncing again.




  1. ” Support him so we get out of this mess, not dragged further into it. People are just panicking because we might get relegated. We won’t if we support our team and manager”.

    LOL. If it were only this simple.

    “Sherwood is learning from mistakes”.

    Where’s the evidence of this? That line is absolute rubbish because it is clear he is not, in fact his mistkes are getting bigger and costlier as we head past the quarter stage of the season.

    Sherwood hasn’t got a clue, and was evident at the end of last season. His first few results were nothing but new manager syndrome, and to be honest he needs to go right now.

    • Thank you for your comment. I have to admit, I don’t agree with you, as i’m sure other Villa fans will do to. I hope that I can prove you wrong and show that sacking Sherwood is not the way forward.

  2. I can see your point of view and you are intitled to your opinion ,I’m no manager and only a supporter like so many who has seen this all to often ,we are at this moment in time a club spiralling out of control ,there s so much wrong with the club it’s hard o know where to start .
    In my eyes sherwood was to inexperienced to take on the task of rebuilding the club from the ground up and with the same restrictions as those how have gone before him .hes cutting his teeth at the highest level in English football with no real long term experience and its this experience that is missing ,the prem is no place for a whet behind the ears manager .our club unfortunately is being run by an owner who no longer cares about his investment and with such an attitude comes a lack of direction and thus we employ poor managers who aren’t up to the job

    Liverpool have just sacked there manager and have been bold in going for Klop , they are a club who s owners demand the very best from there manager and will not tolerate poor performances , they will always be in a better position than us but they are ruthless in there pursuit of success ,in contrast to that you have us villa who owner shows no passion for the club and that is the real problem .

    So many have already said that our ambition is only as big as the owners and we all no that rand us ambition for this club is well below what we as supporters expect ,we know the club won’t be sold soon so we are stuck with each other but that doesn’t mean hat we have to be stuck with another crap manager who talks the talk but cannot walk the walk . I will say this for sherwood he does have an eye for a good player which is more than lambert ever had so maybe he’s better of being an agent or maybe a mediator for clubs when it comes to transfers who knows …..but I do know he’s not a manger of real class and standing in the world of football if anything his spell with us could damage his reputation so much he may never work as a manger after he’s been with us …..

    • Thanks for your comment. I a way i agree with you. Sherwood is inexperienced and perhaps at the time of getting a manager, we should have got someone else. But its the situation we are in now. We can’t sack Sherwood and expect to bring in someone like Klopp. If the option was there however, then I would probably re-think. The next few games will hopefully be the turning point.

      • I’m not suggesting that Klop would be the answer or that sacking sherwood is the best think to do ,what I’m suggesting is that our board should in the absence of learner be more bold in its selection process and not go for the easy option by employing someone with little or no managerial experience ,
        As supporters we want to be excited by that buzz a manger brings to the club ,Atkinson ,little ,o Neil ,now you compare those to the recent few and you will see what I mean ….just those three names brings an edge of excitement to what our club used to be

  3. Your talking a lot of sense there mate. More wisdom than a lot of Villa fans who are twice your age and older. To sack Sherwood right now would be madness. He deserves at least one full season. Performances have not been as bad as results suggest, I think we have been very unfortunate not to have at least another 5-6 points on the board and we are certainly not playing as bad as the s*it that was being served up this time last year. However since the Leicester game the man looks a shadow of himself, that game really seems to have knocked his confidence and it is showing on the pitch. He has been over cautious in his team selection in the last few games, almost setting the team up not to lose and playing negative football, in contrast to the gung-ho approach which became a trademark of Sherwood’s team when he came in last season. It hasn’t worked. However I firmly believe that we have a better squad and a better manager this season. It is very understandable that patience is thin after all the false dawns, but if the fans want the club to get out of this mess they find themselves then they need to get right behind Sherwood and the team. I’m sure that would be far more beneficial than a “Sherwood out” campign.

    • Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you agree with me. I don’t understand why so many fans are so greedy. What do they expect? It’s been hard for a few seasons and it’s slowly getting better, perhaps not at this very second, but with new players in, Sherwood has the power to turn things around. It sadness me to see Villa fans hating someone who really hasn’t even been given the chance to prove himself.

  4. Great read. I think players react to what they feel from the supporters and the atmosphere at Villa Park is toxic the majority of the time.

    At the Man Utd home game the fans got behind the team and we went toe to toe with one of the strongest teams in the league. Since then we’ve played Sunderland, Stoke, West Brom and Blues and in every one of those games we’ve been the worst set of supporters of the two, making hardly any atmosphere and booing and groaning every time we lose the ball etc. This kind of support only makes the players feel nervous and cranks up the pressure on them to levels they clearly find it difficult to play under. We’d lost the West Brom game at half time when the players were booed off. Realistically, we were never going to come back from that, because their fans, manager and players would have all taken note of our fans’ reaction and would’ve decided to sit back and stifle us in the second half knowing we’d only get more and more frustrated as the game wore on with our team.

    This has been a problem since David O’Leary left, even though he was considered a failure overall by myself and many others. Back then we would always start the game at a high tempo and look to score early – which we often seemed to do. However, our away form was always a real problem under him. Martin O’Neill’s team seemed to be much better away as we were so good on the counter attack. Under MON I found that we always struggled to play possession football and break teams down if they came to VP with a game plan of sitting behind the ball. Since then, under Houllier, McLeish, Lambert and now Sherwood we’ve been absolutely awful at home. I just feel that under so many different managers the problem can’t be the team or the manager, as we’ve gone through a few cycles of teams in the main over that time. I also feel that Allardyce, Moyes, Pearson (the best we could hope for, sadly) would also have the same kind of fortunes as those before them when playing at home.

    • Glad you liked the read. I agree that our home form has been rubbish since O’Neill left, whether that was because of the managers we brought in or just fans wanting more than bottom of the table. I feel we can’t always look into the past and it’s what we have to play for now. This is why some Villa fans are frustrated – because they expect the same results as in the past. But things change and the situation won’t go away until the fans really start pulling their act together and working as the 12th man.

      • I’ve followed the villains since 10 days old I’ve watch us play in the old 3rd division been to Wembley 4 times I carry the villa in my heart & soul even in name I’m a season ticket holder of 34 years I’ve witnessed the great times & the heart break relegation times but I still went & still continue to go as their is nothing better than hearing the roar of the Holtend getting behind the team is important especially when the results are not going our way I’m certain Sherwood will come good we have time when u look at result s & the way we play we should easy have 6 more points some decisions have not gone our way but it will even out over the season yes I agree Tim has panicked but that’s because of the pressure from supporters booing if things don’t go our way well instead of booing get behind Tim & the boys then see the results change for the better we have a lot of talent in our team once it clicks you watch us climb we sing the city is ours well let’s show how much by staying strong our gates are 35,000 + & we haven’t played brilliant to get this so when it comes good u won’t be able to get a ticket to watch us full house week in week out the glory days are not that far away so com on support Tim & the boys u will be glad you did

  5. He has said himself that he doesn’t know the best formation so he’s going to try different ones until it works. That’s not acceptable at this level.

    We barely scrapped survival. If Hull had won another game then we’d be down. It was that close.

    He’s a lovely bloke, I really like him and I’m terribly saddened to speak of it but the simple fact is he shows me no sign whatsoever of being able to change gear and move forward.

    Aston Villa is not a toy. We cannot afford to be relegated.

    PS I typed this out on my iphone but the form didn’t think I’d put my name in and deleted the whole thing.

  6. I mostly agree with you here, James. But Sherwood’s tactics have also been somewhat questionable, not just the starting XI and the substitutes.

    And let’s not forget the injured players, who will return to full fitness soon.

  7. Doug Ellis would have sacked him at this point!!

    Sherwood will get us relegated by Christmas. It does not take 10 games to realise your best team and tactics!

    For me he has to go, I hope I am wrong!

    You can’t cheer a team that performs so badly week in week out!

  8. Its been a real lousy experience being a Villa supporter since O’Neill walked out, The selection of managers has been awful under the Lerner regime. Sherwood came in like a breath of fresh air but his selections and substitutions have left a lot to be desired. One thing that really concerns me is after reading an article in the Birmingham Mail this week by Gregg Evans is just who was responsible for choosing the players we bought in this summer? It read that Sherwood wanted more proven Premiership players but was not backed? Did we buy the 10 player mainly from overseas because they have a good sell on value if they come off? If that’s the case then who made these decisions. Which clown actually inserted that ludicrous decision to insert a piddling £8m buy out clause in Delph’s contract? We might have spent £52m but the net spend was only £12m once again one of the Premierships lowest. No I don’t blame Sherwood, the root of all our troubles is across the pond. Looking at the set up now at B6 Lerner’s lunatics have really taken over the asylum. These are the sort of interesting questions we used to ask at the annual shareholders meetings but guess who put a stop that. Randy again, so lets hope he goes sooner rather than later.

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