Tim Sherwood has been scrutinised by the media this week. This led to several names being linked with taking over the helm from Sherwood, which is a scenario that Paul Lambert never faced during his ill-fated reign.
The media backed Paul Lambert throughout his tenure. It seemed that he had ‘friends’ within the media industry, one being James Nursey from ‘The Daily Mirror’. In May 2014, Nursey claimed that Aston Villa fans should be thanking Paul Lambert rather than calling for him to be sacked. This summed up the media’s perception of Lambert. Nursey also wrote that Lambert had his hands tied over transfer dealings, due to a wantaway chairman who was reluctant to spend.
Has there been a change in transfer policy under Sherwood, as Paul Lambert proclaimed? In Lambert’s final season as Aston Villa manager, his net spend was £8,950,000, which is more than the £7,250,000 Sherwood has spent. Sherwood spent more money but also saw three of his key players leave Villa Park for good, one of them being Benteke, who went for big money. His departure was a huge blow, as Benteke was a key factor in ensuring that Aston Villa Football Club continued to ply its trade in the Premier League. Tim Sherwood hoped that buying a new squad, comprised in the main of promising players who would bring a much needed fresh of breath air to the club, would be the turning point and that supporters would be able to look up the table rather than over their shoulders. Sadly, this has not been the case.
Last season, Tim Sherwood promised the claret and blue faithful that the club would never be in a relegation battle again during his time at the club. We believed him, as he was oozing confidence, which seemed to have rubbed off on his players. That confidence has disappeared this season, with Sherwood looking like a shadow of the man he was last season. The former Spurs boss isn’t as active on the touchline as he once was and his post-match interviews are now starting to sound all too similar, which is something that wound supporters up about Paul Lambert, who would mutter the infamous words “We go again” after each poor performance.
When Tim Sherwood first arrived, fans were excited to see what he could offer to the club. Taking the Villans to the FA Cup final and guiding the club to safety ensured that he won favour with fans.
However, a few months down the line, fans are starting to turn on Sherwood for his tactical ineptitude. Against West Bromwich Albion, supporters saw Sherwood employ a 4-4-2 formation, with Jack Grealish and Carles Gil on the wings, which failed. This was because the two wingers were restricted and the two strikers, Scott Sinclair and Gabby Agbonlahor, were not making any runs behind the Baggies’ defence that would have utilised the narrowness of the two wingers. Sherwood then brought on Gestede – but nothing changed at all.
I want Tim Sherwood to succeed. To succeed, perhaps he needs time and time is something we cannot offer him, due to the precarious position we are in. We need wins. We desperately need to change either the management or the playing personnel to ensure that the doom and gloom, along with the threat of relegation, is lifted from the club.