Tim Sherwood has been known to trust in youth and revive out of favor strikers. Is he the answer to Aston Villaa s Problems?
As the clock struck 50 minutes, the refereea s board rose into the sky. 19 in red and 42 in green, the large and bulky form of Dembele slowly limped towards the touch line as he tagged and let loose a 19 year old kid onto the field. A like for like replacement, the young French-Algerian Bentaleb came on to face a rampant and fit Southampton led by the new coaching sensation Mauricio Pochettino. With great upper body strength, commendable skill and very accurate passing the 19 year old who was relatively unknown outside of the Lane came to light with a stunning performance for Tottenham. On the side-lines stood a former Premier League winning captain (Blackburn) and ex-Tottenham midfielder, Tim Sherwood. Promoted from the role of Assistant Coach, Tim Sherwood replaced the sacked Andreas Vilas Boas as Tottenhama s interim manager. With a reputation for having faith in young players he began his career with the surprise introduction of youngster Nabil Bentaleb and also is known to have played a hand in the introduction of Harry Kane to the senior side.
Tim Sherwood shared his Managerial debut with the playing debut of Bentaleb, however hasn’t been as fortunate to stay with the club for the same amount of time as the latter. Even though he was offered an 18 month contract which would have kept him up to the end of the current season, Daniel Levy the stern and demanding Chairman of Tottenham had him fired for failure to secure a Champions League spot. However having started at the club he displayed his ability to unlock the potential in unfavorable players too. As zombies are often isolated in a quarantine zone, AVB had Emmanuel Adebayor segregated from the rest of the squad, refusing to offer him any game time. However with the arrival of Tim Sherwood, Adebayor was given his first start in Sherwooda s first game and was certainly rewarding as his brace helped beat the Saints 3-2.
Aston Villa Calling
Following the sacking of Paul Lambert on Feb 11th 2015, Aston Villa were left looking for a new manager and they found it in the form of the unemployed Tim Sherwood. Often seen perched in the directora s box or near the audience for the starting 20 to 30 minutes of every game, Sherwood has often stated that he likes to get a birda s eye view of his players and team formation, which isn’t possible from the side-lines. Most Recently, Sherwood was seen in the directora s box watching Aston Villa fight for their spot in the next round of FA cup against Leicester City, just a game before when he is put in charge of his new team. However, the passionate footballer in him made him intervene and during half time and as many of the Villa Players claim, it was his pep talk during the break that instilled a fighting spirit in the players which drove Bacuna and Scott Sinclair to score and take Villa to the next round.
Sherwood now prepares to face Stoke City at home and will look to turn things around for Aston Villa and hope to survive for another season in the premier league. Villa are tied with QPR and are below them in the 18th spot due to a poor goal difference with only 22 points from 25 games. Pundits in the past few games have been counting the hours since they last scored. However with a manager whoa s philosophy when he took charge of Tottenham was to go all-out attack and out score the opponent, Villa fans are in for some exciting football. Sherwood who prefers a 4-4-2 formation will be seen shifting moving players from their various positions and will encourage a more direct approach to the game.
Tom Cleverly like Sandro or Dembele at Tottenham last season has not been performing consistently. This might be a sign for Sherwood to dig deep into the reserves and academy players to give a chance to some youngsters. With the revival of 4-4-2, we might see Agbonlahor back to his striker role as compared to the left wing role he was being played in for the previous games. For Agbonlahor to be effective he will have a strong strike partner in the form of Benteke who is a specialist at holding the ball up and pushing it in the path of the Englishman who would make runs at unreal speeds. However Benteke on the other hand has been in extremely poor form. Going through a goal drought, the Belgian striker has not been himself ever since the red card he received in the Tottenham game he played in the start of the season. Tim Sherwooda s reputation at reviving strikers who are misfiring has been a bit of a success (except Soldado). After bringing Adebayor into playing and scoring form, Sherwood will look to do something similar with the likes of Christian Benteke. Although not as troublesome as the Togalese, Benteke has been misfiring and is the kind of striker who would be eager for some inspiration to get back to his scoring ways.
Aston Villa need a solution and need one soon from Sherwood. With just 13 games to go in the Premier League, Aston villa will need at least 6 wins in order to stay in the Premier League, and a lot of their performance will depend on the performance of their team. Will Sherwooda s magic make Benteke the goal machine he was last season, will he turn Cleverly into the prodigy Manchester United claimed he was or will he revive the Chelsea Veteran Joe Cole to boost confidence of rest of the team players, only time will tell.