Tim Sherwood's had some mixed results in his time at Aston Villa so far. The highs have been extremely high. But results like the QPR and Swansea matches have some people worried. So I thought I'd ask the 7500 staff where they stood on Tim Sherwood's reign thus far.
Q: After Saturday's big win, where are you at with Tim Sherwood? Are you still totally on board or are you quietly hoping Villa look around this summer just in case?
I totally support the decision Villa made to bring him in. We needed a very quick appointment, he was a decent, available option. His personality couldn't be more different from Lambert, which meant he immediately had the fans on side. I think he's done a pretty good job up to now, far from flawless but overall he is doing the right thing. Getting us on the front foot and playing with confidence.
I wouldn't look to replace him in the summer, for a start which top manager would come to Villa knowing we didn't even give the previous guy a chance? I think whether it's Randy or new ownership they have to give Sherwood at least a few months, a chance to shape the squad a bit. He said he's playing a different style now to what he would look at long term - let him try. I doubt that he is a true top quality manager that will take Villa to new heights in the long term, but we simply haven't seen enough of him to know for sure.
I love the guy right now. Some said that for where Villa were when Lambert was sacked, both in the table and in spirit, that Sherwood would be just the personality to keep them up. So far it's hard to see any fault with that line of thinking.
They also said he'd be the man to "fix" Benteke and whether it's coincidence or instructional, he has done that too.
If he keeps us up, he deserves the summer and next season and I believe he'll get it. Ideally the conversation around his hire included the plan to bring in a director of football to help shape the squad for next season.
The aim at a minimum must be top half. There's no reason with a few shrewd moves and some better health that Villa can't be Palace or Stoke. That'd be something to build on.
Sherwood is already making himself into a minor Villa legend. This is the most interesting and fun team since Houllier. He's brought back something that's been sorely lacking around Villa. Fans aren't treating each match as a necessary evil anymore. It's fun again.
All hail Tactics Tim.
Regardless of what we think, it's only fair that Sherwood gets a summer under his belt.
That being said, he's doing everything right, for better or worse. The team is clearly being picked based on training performances and even though that does result in some questionable selection decisions (Richardson, No Gil, etc), it means that Sherwood is picking those that are willing to fight for Villa all week, not just on Saturdays.
Funnily enough, this tactic is employed by managers at a grassroots level. You might be the best player in the team, but unless you give your best in training, you'll be on the bench come match day.
Also, it's clear Sherwood cares and this opens him up to digs by fans of other clubs (ahem) who probably aren't used to a manager who wears his heart on his sleeve.
He may have the ironic moniker of 'Tactics Tim', but Sherwood is proving that tactics might not be the be all and end all of modern football victories. I'd quite like to see what he can for us going forward.
I'm still hoping that a new owner will bring in his own man. In getting Benteke scoring, he has probably done enough to keep us up and I'm grateful for that. But there have also been some performances, especially against Swansea and QPR, which show he's tactically not there yet. And as much as I admire his enthusiasm, his attitude with the media, his inability not to talk about Tottenham, it all just shows me a manager who's not mature yet and I don't have the patience to wait for a few years while he gets that experience.
I want Villa back up fighting for Europe now. I want us to expect a win. I want a team that is not permanently two bad matches away from a relegation battle. And I don't think we get that with Sherwood.
Entirely on board with Sherwood staying around for next season. He can't keep Villa mired in the relegation fight though.
Everyone'll point to a couple matches so far where Sherwood maybe isn't tactically there but there are very few managers who get it perfect every time out. Sure, the Swansea and QPR results were frustrating, but at the same time, he gave Villa a chance to win at Spurs that Lambert wouldn't have. He's letting Villa save themselves. He's letting guys like Benteke, Agbonlahor, Cleverley and Delph just play right now and that's huge. Sherwood absolutely deserves a season of his own to work his magic, especially given how good his record at Spurs was.
Obviously, if we're mired in a relegation scrap again next year, he's gonna have to go. I hope that's not the case. Ideally, QPR go down and he brings in Chris Ramsey to aid him with the mid-match tactical changes that he's perhaps struggled with so far.
If he's funded well this summer, I think he should be able to get Villa back mid-table next year and that'll be successful.
Plus, he's given Jack Grealish two straight starts. Who would want anyone else in this job right now?
Absolutely on board with Timmy. He's got Villa playing exciting football that will likely see them stay in the Premier League. Contrast that with what we've seen the past few years and I'm not sure how you can be mad at the guy.
He also has the wonderful added benefit of being unlikable to the rest of the football world. It's not often that a bad team can troll hard, so we should embrace the chance while we get it.
If he keeps us up, I think it's fair that he gets at least a transfer window to work with. He's clearly motivated our players and has gotten the best out of Benteke. He may not be the man who can take Villa to Europe, but right now I'm not sure who a better option is out there.
Assuming Villa stay up, I'm all for sticking with Sherwood. He's honestly exactly the kind of manager that the club needs right now: young, energetic, confident and carrying one heck of a chip on his shoulder.
Sure, he's never had a transfer window to buy and sell players, and his tactics and in-game management can improve. But I'm willing to give him time to learn and get better at these things. I don't see Villa ever becoming un-watchable or boring under Sherwood like they did under Lambert, even though bad runs of form will likely happen.
Plus, who else would we go and get right now? Until there's a new owner, finding another manager would be a huge risk when we already have someone who, if nothing else, brings excitement and intensity to the club.
As much as I am with him in riding this ride (hopefully) away from relegation, I am very nervous about what might happen after that.
Yes, we haven't seen him have a transfer window and maybe he'd do great in it. But I'm worried that his transfer tactics would mirror his patterns in team selection. And by that I mean that the way he's frozen out Carles Gil. Maybe Gil isn't actually that good, but the way he's just gone from the team in favor of players like Charles N'Zogbia (who, admittedly, has been fine under Sherwood) worries me.
In Villa's situation, I think you need to make shrewd, relatively inexpensive signings like Gil to make any progress. (I don't count players like Antonio Luna in that, they were just cheap.) I could be wrong, but I could see Sherwood's transfer window being like a cut-rate version of a MON transfer window. A bunch of guys who have been around the English game for a while and have no real re-sale value. I just could see a Sherwood-built squad going down in flames.
I very much hope he proves me wrong. I find his trolling extremely amusing and it would be even more amusing if it was accompanied by steady, upward improvement. And by no means am I advocating for ditching him for anyone. Like, if your options are Sherwood or, I dunno, Alan Curbishley or some other random retread, then, yeah, I'll take Sherwood. But if Tom Fox can identify a candidate like Southampton did with Pochettino, then I have no problem with making that change.
Those are our answers and now we want to hear from you. Where are you at with Tim Sherwood?