So, Tim Sherwood is back in football.
After being the favourite for about 50 million footballing jobs since he was given the boot by Tottenham last summer, ‘Tiger Tim’ is finally back in management at Aston Villa. Whether Sherwood will keep the Villains up is by the by really; as far as victories go, this is already a big win for the power of the footballing media.
Because, you see, Sherwood doesn’t really deserve this opportunity. (Before I go any further let me just clarify that I’m not suggesting that the Englishman won’t make the most of this opportunity, just that he doesn’t deserve it.)
So why doesn’t he deserve it? Well, in exactly the same way that he didn’t deserve the Spurs job. Sherwood has very little management experience. Five months at White Hart Lane that swung from the sublime to the ridiculous; sometimes several times within a single game. That’s the sum total of Sherwood’s managerial experience. Full stop. Even the most casual footballing observer will no doubt note that this isn’t particularly good preparation for what will almost certainly be a relegation dogfight.
The reality is that Sherwood has his work cut out at Villa, with a side who can’t score goals, can’t really win matches and have looked destined for the drop for about the last three years now. What is most surprising is that he is the man Randy Lerner has chosen to bail his side out.
Which he might do. But to me it seems fairly obvious that if I was looking to save a side for relegation I’d choose a man whose name isn’t synonymous with 4-4-2, seems to possess very little tactical acumen and has a habit of saying ridiculous things in the press. I’d choose an Allardyce, a Pulis; heck, even a Pardew if I was getting desperate. The fight to avoid relegation is tough, and the reality is that Sherwood has no experience of it.
Why am I saying all of this? So Villa have chosen a manager who could well fail to save them from the drop. So what?
The reason I’m saying it is that for me, this is the biggest indication for a while of the tremendous power that the footballing media has upon proceedings. The idea of most managers with such little experience being touted for a job as big as the Villa job is laughable to the extreme. And yet it seems entirely right and normal to most that Sherwood has just taken the reins. Therein lies the power of the football media.
Since Timmy was given his marching orders at Spurs, journalists have done everything they can to get the man back in management. He’s been the favourite for every single job, and has been talked about by pundits and ex-pros all over the UK. In short, the propaganda has been working for months, and now it’s come to fruition. Tim has proved – as did Harry Redknapp before him – that being British and outspoken is a great way to endear yourself to the press, and a great way to get ahead in this industry.
The trouble for Tim now is that, like Harry, he needs to actually prove that he’s worthy of his artificially generated reputation. In three months we’ll know if he is. Good luck Tim, you’ll need it.