Sherwood pledges to sort out heroes from Villans
The only sliver of consolation for Aston Villa's distraught supporters streaming like a river of tears out of Wembley was the look in their manager's eyes.
Tim Sherwood was deeply wounded by his team's FA Cup final capitulation to Arsenal and promised to make amends. He wants new players and a new mood.
Sherwood will take a quick break, catching up with his family and catching breath after a frantic few months since taking over Villa on February 14 and leading Villa to safety in the Premier League and to the Cup final.
"I need to get away (on holiday)," Sherwood said on Saturday evening. "It's been draining. Since I came in here, it's been non-stop.
"I haven't had time to think really. But I'm never going to be able to switch off. There's a lot of work to be done and what we do between now and the summer will be crucial to next season."
Asked whether it would take a long time to pick himself up, Sherwood replied: "It feels like it will at the moment." Yet he will recover quickly. He usually does.
At that point, Arsène Wenger strolled past. Sherwood shook the victor's hand, offered a "congratulations, mate" and returned to his reflections.
"As much as I feel it [hurt] for myself I feel it for other people more," he said. "When I drove in here and saw the support it was fantastic. I feel for them.
"It's such a big club and they are such good people around the club, and they've welcomed me. I wanted to win this trophy for them. Now I need to dust myself down and make sure this is a club they want to support again - and I will do that."
The Villa manager found out more about his players in defeat. "Absolutely. We can all be mates and it's all jolly, patting each other on the back, when we win. That's easy. I don't think we have a problem with the desire of the group. It was good the energy they put in, I just think it was a lack of quality."
Sherwood is planning to sit down and talk to his most valuable player, Christian Benteke, who is interesting Liverpool.
"I've told him I want him to stay at the club. I want him to have a good season and score at the same ratio as he did since I've come in here (12 in 16 games).
"It is right to talk to him about the speculation and we need to put it to bed. We need to offer him a new contract, which the club are prepared to do, and he needs to sign it.
"Then when he does we know he's not going anywhere. I put it out there: he's got a buy-out clause. If no one meets that then he won't be going anywhere."