The day is nearly upon us, will there really be a Sherwood Affect?
News from within the squad is that apparently the place has been "electric" and everyone is "up for it"... Whilst I welcome the comments coming from the the club, I also view them with a little trepidation. For a start all the players are going to want to butter up Sherwood to get a starting place, look at Shay Given's shameless sucking up in the press this week. I expect Westwood will have a brown stained nose on the weekend...
Without wanting to put a damper on it, we where always told that the squad was training well, where together and behind Lambert.
Never-the-less we start this weekend a fresh, as a club looking to move up the league not preparing for the Championship. I don't care if its just a new manager bounce or if Sherwood really is the long term manager the club want him to be, just as long as he gets a performance out of this squad and gets us out of this mess.
So I've been looking through Sherwood's brief time in charge of Spurs, the stats are there for everyone to see already, but they don't always tell you what you need to know.
Its been aired that Sherwood plays a 442, that he dislikes Defensive Midfielder and prefers Box to Box types in the middle area, he like the defence to defend and the attack to attack, that he is a loose canon in Press Conferences and Post Match Interviews... But these just don't ring true.
At Spurs his tactics where mixed, he picked teams and formations designed to attack the weaknesses of teams, I'm not telling you this from my analysis, this is what Sherwood and the Spurs fans them selves have said. He is also not adverse to playing a defensive midfielder should the game call for it, many people point to Sandro's exclusion from the Spurs squad as evidence for this, his exclusion was down to a poor attitude in training, Sherwood actually played him toward the end of the season when he sorted that out and the game called for someone like him to play.
His post match interviews are going to be interesting, but I wouldn't call him a loose canon, he's honest, but he's intelligent enough to know the limits, there's nothing wrong with a little provocation and firing a warning shot over the bows of the squad. He didn't single anyone out, he made a point to those who knew who they where...
So can we improve? Our first team is certainly not one that should be struggling at the bottom of the league, there is quality throughout the spine of the team, it's just a case of getting them all firing at the same time, with self belief and hard work...
I'm going to second guess Sherwood now and see what happens.
Hutton Vlaar Clark Cissoko
Sinclair Delph Sanchez Gil
I'd prefer Bacuna on the left wing and Gil in behind Benteke, but I think with a Stoke defence struggling for players and have very little pace Sherwood will look to exploit the situation. Sanchez and Delph are certainly not going to be intimated in midfield and Sinclair and Gil's pace and trickery on the wings will cause problems all day long. The defence should pick it's self. Given, it's a tough, but Guzan has been very quiet this week and Given does bring experience behind the defence and performed well in the cup.
I'd be worried about Given if Stoke still pounded the box with high balls because he doesn't come out and command a box, but the way stoke play now I still don't think there aren't many who can match Given for reaction saves.
Come on you Villa boys give us something to shout about!!!
Oh dear! Tim now knows what he's got on his hands. Only consolation is that only Hull of those around us won.
Having 10 players plus Gabby on the pitch is asking for trouble. He's got to start playing Bacuna, as he's almost the only forwards-thinking player we've got. Sinclair looks good; I wonder if Gil hasn't recovered from whatever injury he had.
Newcastle next. With the right team I still think we can get a win. And Tim'll have more time to sort things out before then.
Where's the rest of you? Not stunned into silence? Come on, we are the Villa, we take little setbacks in our stride. After all, we're used to them...
Didn't see the game as I'm travelling from Miami to Darwin, in LA now, sad we lost, not surprised really, but I think Sherwood can turn it around, he will now realize the size of his task and another week in training will help.
To be fair to Sherwood, it was his first match, he doesn't know how the players will respond to what he wants to do, so playing the obvious suspects was maybe the obvious thing to do; most managers coming in would do the same. At least he made it clear he wasn't impressed, and hopefully he'll be prepared to make changes to turn things around.
Vlaar had a poor match. He was totally responsible for the second goal and arguably so for the first, ironic when our defence has generally been OK. However, with him suspended Okore should be back for the next match, him and Clark work together, and I think Clark plays better when he's in charge of the defence. That's one change probably for the better.
Hope Tim sees that Gabby is useless. However much he's "on fire" in training he doesn't do anything like enough of what's needed on the pitch. Bacuna's one of our most positive players going forwards and needs to be fitted in somehow. Cleverley had his best match in the second half against Leicester and is an option. If Weimann is on the pitch then don't play him wide; he's an out-and-out forward. Guzan wasn't at fault for either of the goals, but Given has to be in contention. Not sure if Sanchez is better than Westwood.