Saturday 21 April 2018

Sherwood needs goals to keep Villa in top flight

Tim Sherwood: ‘Great honour’
Tim Sherwood: ‘Great honour’

Tom Hayward

Tim Sherwood is the man tasked with preserving Aston Villa's ever-present Premier League status and igniting their misfiring attack after being confirmed as the struggling club's new manager yesterday.

Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Sherwood, 46, replaces Paul Lambert who was sacked by the Midlands club after they were beaten 2-0 against fellow strugglers Hull City on Tuesday, their fifth successive league defeat.

Goal-shy Villa, who have hit the net only 12 times in 25 Premier League games this season, are 18th in the table having won none of their previous 10 games.

"It is a great honour to manage one of the biggest clubs in English football. I can't wait to get started and I'm really looking forward to the challenge," Sherwood, given a three-and-a-half year contract, said in a statement on the club website.

Villa will hope Sherwood, who stepped up from Tottenham's backroom staff to replace the sacked Andre Villas-Boas, can have the same impact on their misfiring forwards as he did with Emmanuel Adebayor at Tottenham.

The appointment of Sherwood coincided with the revitalisation of the often-maligned Togo forward who scored 14 goals in 25 games in all competitions last season, having been left out by Villas-Boas.

In Christian Benteke, Villa boast a similarly talented yet erratic forward who scored 23 goals in all competitions in his first season at Villa but has netted only three times this campaign.

In his six-month spell at Tottenham, which ended with a 3-0 victory over Villa in May, Sherwood boasted a win ratio of 59 per cent, yet left after six months of an 18-month contract and was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino.

Tom Fox, Aston Villa's chief executive, said: "Randy (Lerner) and I are really pleased that Tim has decided to join the club.

"He had a fantastic career at Tottenham, not only in his brief spell as first-team manager but, just as importantly, in the role he played in developing young talent.

"We are determined to build a football operation with a long-term vision and a commitment to youth development.

"We strongly believe Tim has the qualities to get the best out of our current squad and help us build for the future."

Villa, who have 13 games to preserve their record as an ever-present in the Premier League, host bottom-of-the-table Leicester City in the FA Cup today.

Sherwood must not be afraid to spell out exactly where Villa are to the players and to the fans. Performances and results have failed to match expectation levels from the terraces, with supporters frustrated with the club's struggles. A lack of a clear message where Aston Villa are heading and what their limitations are has not helped the fans understand their problems. Their expectations need to be realigned to meet the abilities and current standing of the club.

Sherwood is expected to watch from the stands today before taking charge for the home game with Stoke next Saturday with home improvement needed.

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