Today we found out that Paul Lambert's successor would be former Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood. It hardly came as a surprise, as he's been the odds-on favorite to take the position since it opened. What is rather surprising about the news, though, is the length of the contract he was given. Sherwood will be at Aston Villa until the end of the 2017-18 season. In other words, he simply taking over the remainder of Paul Lambert's contract.
Now, I'm not willing to jump on the Sherwood=doom bandwagon yet (though the testimony from Spurs experts is pretty damning), and I've even got a little hope that his time at Aston Villa will be more successful than his stint in London. But three-and-a-half years? Has Randy Lerner learned nothing from mistakes that he made just five months ago? Managers who stick around for more than a couple of seasons in the Premier League are becoming vanishingly rare. And when you sack someone before the contract is up, you've got to pay. With Paul Lambert it's reportedly a full year of his wages.
So we get to Tim Sherwood, who had enough bad news written about him to fill a book. Maybe he turns it around and is worth the long contract, but why give it to him now? Why not have a contract that takes him to the end of the 2015-16 season instead? If, by this summer he has proven to have the team moving in the right direction, you can easily extend him then. But Paul Lambert at least had to beat Liverpool before we gave him a stupid contract. Tim gets it for free.
It may be an issue in which this contract was the only way that Sherwood came aboard. If that was the case, I would have thought that moving on would be a better choice. This is nothing personal against Sherwood, but for a club that has had five real managers (and a couple of caretakers) in six years to give a long contract that they will likely not see out is wildly dumb. It smacks of rash decision making, and that's the type of thing that has gotten us into trouble in the first place.