Sunday Sermon. Nice, but Tim is hardly qualified for the Aston Villa job

Sunday Sermon. Nice, but Tim is hardly qualified for the Aston Villa job
Sherwood has 13 games to save Villa

Sherwood has 13 games to save Villa

How does Tim Sherwood get to be the new manager of Aston Villa? Why? What has he achieved in such a role? How come he hasn’t had to learn the art of management in the lower leagues and work his way up?

Why have Aston Villa appointed him? Is it because he was unemployed and Villa would not have to pay another club for his services?

I just do not understand on what basis football clubs make managerial appointments.

I have nothing against Sherwood. I can see that he may well be able to motivate lazy Aston Villa players to perform. He will put his arm around them, tell them they are better than they actually are and they should, therefore, be able to score more league goals in their final thirteen games of the season than the mere twelve goals they’ve netted since August.

Sherwood got Emmanuel Adebayor to perform when he was in charge at Tottenham. He flattered Adebayor. He befriended the gifted but often lazy striker. Although Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke wants to leave the club in the summer, Tim Sherwood may at least be able to get the best from the striker between now and May. He’ll put his arm around him. The Villa players will be happier working for Sherwood than Paul Lambert. But that would not be difficult.

Club owner Randy Lerner gave Chief Executive Tom Fox the job of finding a new permanent manager. Fox acted fast. Perhaps the club had already spoken with Sherwood prior to Lambert being sacked.

QPR owner Tony Fernandes decided he didn’t want another manager who talked a good game. He didn’t want to replace Harry Redknapp with a younger version of the same thing, Tim Sherwood.

For his part Sherwood would likely prefer to manage Aston Villa rather than QPR. Maybe he thinks Villa have a better chance of staying up. Good luck to him. I do worry about his many malapropisms. That’s probably the best excuse I can make for his most recent gaffe, when he labelled Luis Suarez a Dutch footballer.

Sherwood seems like a nice enough guy and gave everything as a player. But on what basis is he qualified to manage a Premier League club?

I have long wondered about how club owners, most of them from overseas, arrive at choosing their next manager. Too often I have heard of them asking the opinion of people who themselves are not fit to decide. Myself included!

They ask people who know less about football than my dog. They read the newspapers to see who is available. They take notice of what so called experts say on TV or Radio. If they hear a journalist speak well of a manager, they tell their Chief Executive to go get that man.

Club owners seem to make managerial appointments based on the flimsiest of evidence. Often a nod and a wink.

Some appoint so fast that the interview process is a thing of the past. It is increasingly rare for a selection of candidates to be interviewed, the board of directors debate their individual merits and then a decision be made.

These days it seems to be a case of: ‘Give him a ring, see if he wants the job and how much he’ll cost us.’

Randy Lerner

Randy Lerner

Not content with awarding Paul Lambert a contract extension only last September (which they will now have to pay up); Aston Villa have given Sherwood a three year contract. Indeed, his contract is due to end at the same time as was the case for Lambert. June 2018. He’s being paid in the region of £2M a year. Read that again. Somewhere around two million a year. And he’ll get a bonus if Aston Villa stay up. His managerial experience consists of five and a half months at Spurs.

These are not the actions of sane men. It’s the financial strategy of the madhouse.

All the right noises were coming out of Villa Park overnight. The usual tripe Chief Execs and Chairman spout at this time.

Tom Fox, who sacked Paul Lambert by telephone, says: “Randy and I are really pleased that Tim has decided to join the club. Tim had a fantastic career at Tottenham. We are determined to build a football operation with a long-term vision and a commitment to youth development. We strongly believe Tim has the qualities to get the best out of our squad and help us build and develop for the future.”

Blah, blah and thrice blah. Heard it all before.

My rant is not about Tim Sherwood. There are several instances of managers getting Premier League jobs based on little or no previous experience, let alone success. And, praise the Lord, at least he is British. An English manager in the English Premier League. A novelty.

I recall being told how a former owner of the club I support, Sheffield Wednesday, was in the dock with a manager. Milan Mandaric and Harry Redknapp were subsequently cleared of tax evasion charges. During a recess Mandaric told his friend and co-accused, Redknapp, that he was thinking of appointing Paul Ince as the new Owls boss.

“Don’t do that for ***** sake” implored Redknapp. “Why do you want him?”

Mandaric replied “Well I saw him on television on Sunday morning and he seemed to know what he was talking about. And he was such a good player.”

Redknapp: “And Bobby Moore was the greatest player I played with. But he was hopeless as a manager. Paul Ince is a ****** and you’ll regret it if you employ him.”

Thank you Harry.

Football clubs being run by totally unfit and improper people is nothing new. I recall the Chairman of one lowly club telling his manager in no uncertain terms, and in my presence, that if said manager got the team promoted – which looked likely at the time – he would be sacked! The Chairman didn’t want to incur extra costs that would have been forced upon him through playing the game in a higher division.

Big club. Big job for Tim Sherwood

Big club. Big job for Tim Sherwood

Very few of those who run clubs understand the game.

I knew one such man personally. Derek Dooley had been a fine footballer for the biggest club in the steel city, Sheffield Wednesday. He literally gave a leg in the service of the club. Decades later he had the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive at Sheffield United. In his care it was a well run and respectable football club. Which was not the case before and, courtesy of their inept handling of Ched Evans, has not been the case since.

Derek Dooley was a football man through and through. Who is there running a club today who fits that bill?

The majority know nothing about football. Few are fit and proper businessmen. Time and time again they make bad managerial appointments, without thought or any in depth research into the credentials of the man they intend to appoint.

I think Tim Sherwood is a very lucky man to be managing Aston Villa. Historically a fine football club with superb supporters.

But owned by a man who wants to sell the club. A man who has appointed someone to run the club day-to-day who didn’t have the good grace or backbone to sack the previous manager to his face.

I wish Tim Sherwood all the best. In the fullness of time, I think he may well need it.

1 Comment

  1. mike 5 years ago

    not this “they no nothing about football” nonsense again. Wolverhampton Wanderers were THE team of the 50’s but died because those that knew about football didn’t know about running a business – which running a club is. although I dislike ManU intensely, it is wot the owners realised from the mid 50’s and is why they have, with a large amount of luck, have the budget they have now.

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