In Sherwood We Trust… is it Well Placed Optimism?

In Sherwood We Trust?

I must admit that when Tim Sherwood was revealed as Aston Villa boss back in February I let out a disappointed sigh. I have always had Sherwood pegged as a bit of a cowboy, talking a big game and enjoying the attention of the media, but maybe being a bit too smug or tactically limited.

While I agreed that a big change in attitude and approach was needed to cleanse the dour atmosphere that has festered during the end of Paul Lambert’s tenure it seemed like Sherwood may have been too much of a polar opposite to Lambert to be anything but a knee jerk reaction. Sherwood has had a solid start at Villa, and performed a near miracle in keeping us up. There were however a few signs that may have gone under the radar that he may not quite be the flawless messiah that some fans have over excitedly claimed.

I have to admit that the new Villa boss is doing a good job at winning me over but I maintain some serious reservations. For once I’m trying to look at all things Villa with my head. As a Villa fan following my heart too blindly has burned me all too much in recent years. Using our heads, let’s take a look some of Sherwood’s hits and misses so far, and look to the future of Tim’s Villa.

Sherwood’s Delights

The number one thing that Sherwood deserves credit for is the obvious, he kept us up. Without this there would be no looking forward. With possible new owners on the horizon and the new TV money deal kicking in next season, simply being in the top flight gives us a chance to strengthen and stay clear of relegation for good.

Add to this achievement is the fact that Sherwood led our once hapless team to a big day out in the FA Cup final. Regardless of the result, reaching the final is a huge improvement on Lambert’s terrible cup record. When Tim first arrived there was a media circus around him, not around Villa. I was worried about this focus on Tim Sherwood as a character and not on the job that needed to be done. In the end Sherwood used this to his advantage. His presence and media flirting lifted the focus from the struggling team, allowing them to focus on their jobs on the pitch and not constant media pressure.


Another factor in Sherwood’s success so far has been his effect on the players.

Benteke couldn’t buy a goal under Lambert this season. Since the new boss came in Benteke has been the form striker in the Premier League. It wasn’t just the big Belgian who had their form turned around. Fabian Delph blossomed into an England regular and Tom Cleverley, who had been abject under Lambert, was a player transformed. Jack Grealish was finally given his shot at the big time and early signs are very promising from the lifelong Villa fan, though we must not heap too much pressure on his young shoulders.

The players have finally been given the freedom to play, to believe in themselves. Sherwood has promised to install a winning mentality at the club and his honesty that certain players simply aren’t good enough for a club like Villa is refreshing. He calls it like he sees it instead of recycling nonsensical soundbites as Lambert did in his final months.

Click to the next page for the potential pitfalls of Sherwood…


  1. You have to like him! He saved us from a 100% certain relegation, didnt he? … Please dont say he never! … And i will be very happy to lose games when watching an attacking, no fear attitude from our side … [attack is the best form of defense]

    Okay lets mention ‘IT’ [wembley] … Yeas i agree, that has sent a dark cloud over his credentials and his team … [oops sorry!] … Lamberts team … At the end of the day we bought lower premiership players, and thats exactly what we got! simples!

    Let me reiterate TS comments about, he has inherited a totally imbalanced squad [i agree]. But lets look at his initial reactions …. Sinclair in! [a desperately needed winger] … And decent versatile defender with Mica Richards! … Need i say more? … more please!

    Personally i think we need another 5 in. And time to say good bye to them square pegs, misfits and the ‘could be’s’ … See ya Charles N’igma … to name but one..

    TM is a breath of fresh air to me, especially after the numbing effects of the last 2 managers .. Hopefully its back to the ‘nuts ‘n bolts’ .. 4-4-2 … *with wingers! …. Cant wait to see Benteke line up with Kozak. How many balls would we win from the air!!!! … especially with decent wingers.

    P.S. pissed off with the sale of Weimann [never had a chance on wings] …. Dont like the disrespect of Guzan … [didnt he alone save us last year? is that the same person who saved 5 penalties in one game?!] .. tut tut … Oh well. One thing i have learned is that, ‘you will never agree all the time with a manager’.

  2. The Gil position sums up TS. I think he lost the dressing room after the Saint’s game. Look at the Burnley game a shambles. The final I’m still having nightmares. No, I think TS is a jack the lad. Hope I’m wrong.

    • What Gil situation is that ? It would seem some fans make up their minds and then create a scenario to fit it . Gil impressed when he 1st played but he’s not a fighter which is what Sherwood needed so it made sense not to play him is that difficult to understand ?

  3. the last 3 games has affected a lot of peoples opinion about sir tim,,,
    and people just have to remember how bad things had become under lambert
    we were finished, punch drunk, down and gone,,,, it was bye bye time

    the confidence had totally gone,, and although sherwood dragged us back from the brink of disaster the game against southampton showed again how we are a fragile side,,,with too many fannys,,,, that defeat finished us mentally,,,,, again,,,,,,,, and there was just not enough games to recover the form prior to the final,

    granted though he got the tactics wrong for the final,, but if the team had have been confident they may have been more effective, in stead any remaining confidence was cruely sucked out of them by the unbelievable second goal,,, and we just crumbled,, but in truth there was only going to be one winner,,, to beat arsenal we needed to crowd the midfield and sit deep and just hit on the counter,, like when we beat them 3 1

    wenger has our ticket,,, he knows where we are weak so next time we just go for a bore draw and try to pick of any chances we get

    my opinion of sherwood has not changed, i think he will prove to be a very good manager for us,, and we have to remember sometimes he will get the tactics wrong or get out thought,,,, after all he is still learning,,,,,,

    but he is right about the team not being a team of winners,, we are a fragile confidence team and sherwood needs to address this,,, and cleverlys loss is tempered by the fact he too was a giant fanny,,,,,if you know what i mean
    we need some steel in midfield and the players in midfield need to be more ruthless around the goal
    delph being just to cautious,,, he could be a really top player but around the box its like he becomes scared,, rabbit and headlights come to mind,,,

    and finally i end my thaughts as to one mr gil

    he is weak defensively,,, but if you wanted to rest or replace grealish then surely he would have been worth a shout,, in that position,,,

    and i cant see why he never tried it,,,, and thats a shame

    this coming season is about building a team that can hover comfortably mid table,, and developing
    tactics,,,,a plan a b and c with the new side,, then if we are doing ok blood some of the youngsters so that next season with one or two good buys we can push towards a euro place

    • Obviously Tim Sherwood has it all to prove, but the task of getting Villa mid-table isn’t the hardest of tasks. The challenge is getting them top half and challenging. My worry is after the last five seasons, some fans will consider mid-table success!

  4. trust is totally irrelevant to football managers. They do a job. If it goes for them, fine. But this is the hardest job in English football.

    Name any manager since Joe Mercer who has done well after leaving Villa

    We judge on performance, and back the man in charge till he fails. No other way to proceed.

    O’Neill walked on water till he sank. C’est la vie

    trevor Fisher

  5. I’m reserving judgement until I see what positive changes are made to the squad for the league . So far it’s 2 out and 1 in as I don’t count those on loan as they are not amongst the 25 who injury permitting are available for selection on match day . And what I don’t want to see is a long list of sicknotes or players who only perform when the mood takes them to do so . And as yet it’s too early to see who will turn up for preseason or later as will be the case for those who have been on International duty

    • I think the writer thought we’d got relegated. He was very happy when I told him we were in fact playing in the Premier League next season! 😉

  6. In answer to your question, yes, in Sherwood I trust.

    My question, is there such a thing as a perfect manager? I think not.

    It’s so easy to pick holes in any new manager, at least you highlighted the positives, where some wear blinkers in their weighing up.

    I had no idea what to expect from him when arriving at Villa, but I wasn’t full of pessimism, mainly because of the way his short reign at Spurs panned out.

    He has his flaws, as all managers do, but unlike some managers, I’m sure he’ll learn from them, and will produce the goods when he’s built his squad.

    I know there are some just waiting to jump on any mistake he makes, because he wasn’t the man they wanted in charge, that’s always the way with football supporters, but give him a chance, and I’m sure this time next year, we’ll all be happy with what we’ve seen. UTV

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