Aston Villa have limped their way to a 1-1-8 record that has amassed only four points in ten matches. For many fans, and obviously the team front office, that miserable record was the fault of manager Tim Sherwood. As a result, Sherwood got the sack this morning, and plenty of fans were happy. Changing managers certainly doesn't guarantee that things will turn around, but sticking with Sherwood almost certainly wasn't going to either.
But in a testament to how beloved Sherwood was by his players (especially his young ones), a number have taken to social media to express their sadness at the news. A couple certainly might be about something else, but given the timing it seems unlikely. Let's start with an unambiguous trio: Jack Grealish, Lewis Kinsella, and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy. All three were given chances to shine under Sherwood, so their disappointment is understandable.
Gutted , thank you for everything pic.twitter.com/coIpMPdxFq— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish1) October 25, 2015
Grateful for the opportunity I was given ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/1BpWLAgYLP— Lewis Kinsella (@Lewis_kinsella) October 25, 2015
Can't thank this man enough pic.twitter.com/JGxINomRys— Rushian H-Murphy (@Rushcmpt) October 25, 2015
Then we've got the more cryptic versions. Andre Green and Gary Gardner both went with the same sad-face emoji, and both were highly praised by Sherwood.
— André Green (@AndreGreen_30) October 25, 2015
— Gary Gardner (@22Gards) October 25, 2015
Professional footballers are obsessed with success, and given how little Villa have had under Sherwood this season, it says a lot about his man-management that these players were willing to overlook the problems to still love the manager. We didn't see much of this when Alex McLeish or Paul Lambert left.