I can't stop thinking about Tim Sherwood during yesterday's match against West Bromwich Albion. He began the day by enraging me and ended it as my own personal, if perplexing, hero.
Let's get one thing clear up front: given what we have seen lately, playing Gabby Agbonlahor and Charles N'Zogbia while sitting Carles Gil and Scott Sinclair is a terrible idea. Just because it worked today does not change the fact that it was a poor decision. Bad decisions get lucky results sometimes.
But I think that's what we can expect from Sherwood: mind-boggling decisions that defy logic and either work miraculously or fail miserably. We kind of knew that, though. What we maybe didn't know is just how much passion Tactics Tim was going to bring to the sideline.
Maybe what he shows isn't abnormal, but consider who we're comparing him to. As a person, I really loved Paul Lambert. But one of the biggest issues I had with him is that he never seemed to care about what was happening on the pitch. Rationally I know it's dumb to assess someone's commitment by their outward appearances, but it was always a drag to see Lambert giving us the same :-| face no matter what happened.
With Tim, it's different. He's living and dying on every chance. He may not actually care more about this club than did Paul Lambert, but it sure looks as if he does.
And god, after months of drifting aimlessly through the season, it feels good to have some passion again. To see it from the team. Or from the manager. Or, most of all, to feel it as a fan. Winning, and doing so in dramatic fashion, may be all it takes to turn around the attitude at this club. If they can pull off the double over the weekend and secure a spot at Wembley, I think we may hear Villa Park louder than it's been at any time since Randy Lerner bought the club.
Lost in all the anger surrounding Aston Villa has been the fact that the fans want to cheer for this team. And whether or not Tim Sherwood knows what the hell he's doing on the pitch, he's certainly doing everything he can to give us reason to cheer again. You can tell from his press conferences that winning means as much to him as it does to us. He's desperate for approval, and we're desperate to give it. Sure, we're all a bit leery. And yes, his team choices have been perplexing and his running of his mouth about his time at Spurs could slow down a bit. But he also does stuff like this:
He certainly is not without his charm, though pic.twitter.com/DWicm4iIJj— Aaron Campeau (@AaronCampeau) March 3, 2015
You want us to love you? Condescend to the Baggies and then lead a team that rips their hearts out. Do that, and we will love you. Tell us that you'd rather see Villa win than see your wife win the £54 million lottery. Defend Alan Hutton's indefensible tackle.
Basically we just want to know that the person in charge of this club cares as much about it as we do. And for the first time in ages, it actually feels as if that might be true. So what if Tactics Tim is a little bit crazy? That just makes him more like us.