Tim Sherwood must assert his authority in a tumultuous time for Aston Villa

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 20 July 2015, 14:35

The Sun's Andy Dillon (@andydillon70) takes his weekly look at the manager scene, with Tim Sherwood under the spotlight....

Tim SherwoodTIM SHERWOOD is a rare thing among football managers. It's hard to find someone who doesn't want him to be a success.

The heart-on-sleeve character which makes tough talking Tim refuse to cover up for shirking superstars appeals to fans of a certain age, who pine for the time when clubs controlled players and not the other way around.

But for a man who looks like he can handle himself in a street brawl, Sherwood has taken a few worryingly heavy hits in the short time he has been a manager - just 44 games so far.

And unless he learns how to dodge the next big punch, his career could be over before it has really got started.

The real art of boxing is in defence and rookie Sherwood has shown a glass chin on more than one occasion.

The farce of Fabian Delph's on-off move to Manchester City made him look a mug. Sherwood was way too quick to heap praise on his captain when it looked like he was staying put at Aston Villa.

The problem for Sherwood is that footballers are motivated by two things: cash and cups.

Delph signed a new 80,000k a week contract at Villa Park only last January and consequently there would be no pay hike as reward for rejecting the lure of Man City to remain in The Midlands.

It is the oldest trick in the book for players and their agents to play up to the crowd during the transfer window and either make the jump or get a fat wage rise out of it.

Delph's situation was different and Sherwood wasn't savvy enough to twig this before digging out the least used word in modern football - loyalty. It has since come back to haunt him.

Delph's done a bunk to City after all and Aston Villa's boss is left behind looking more than a bit sheepish.

Sherwood's reputation is taking another knock as he tries to replace another Villa defector, striker Christian Benteke, who is Liverpool bound.

To come back off the ropes from losing two of his biggest names, Sherwood needs to find a man to fill the boots of the departing Belgian who scored 15 goals last season for Villa.

And where has he started the search? At his old club Tottenham, still convinced he is the one manager who can get something out of the enigmatic but mainly erratic Emmanuel Adebayor.

Adebayor is 31 and can't get into the Spurs team, yet Sherwood appears willing to pay his 90,000k a week wages for the striker who has played just 66 minutes of Premier League football since Christmas.

Contemplating a move for Adebayor looks naive and suggest a lack of contacts in the transfer market.

When Sherwood took over as Tottenham boss for six months in December 2013, his first act was to reinstate Adebayor to the first team.

The decision was repaid with 14 goals but in the past year he has been dropped like a stone. That's normally for a reason.

And as Tottenham boss Sherwood showed again that while we all love him for plain speaking, it doesn't help his career prospects.

Failing to hold his tongue on the behaviour of the Tottenham board, in particular chairman Daniel Levy, was only going to end with one winner.

Publicly criticising your boss and your players as he did with midfielder Sandro shows a lack of ability to roll with the punches and pick your time to hit back.

This is a big season for Sherwood and there's a real feeling that the public want him to make it as a top flight manager in his own right, while flying the British flag as a man of the people, an underdog who can win.

But then again it was the same with Frank Bruno.


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