By Ian Palmer
Former Blackburn Rover player and Tottenham Hotspur coach and manager Tim Sherwood has been named the new manager of English Premier League club Aston Villa. The Birmingham-based team has been searching for a new field boss since ex-manager Paul Lambert was fired a week ago. Lambert was given his marching orders shortly after Villa dropped into 18th place and the relegation zone of the 20-team league. Lambert had just lost his fifth game in a row by dropping a 2-0 decision to Hull City last week, which was also the club’s 10th match without a win and fifth consecutive defeat.
The 46-year-old Sherwood, who left Spurs at the end of last season, has signed a three-year deal with Villa. Lambert has his work cut out for him since Villa is the worst team in all of English professional soccer when it comes to goal scoring. The squad has managed to hit the back of the net just 12 times in their 25 league games, which is an all-time low mark in the Premier League. Sherwood took over at Villa Park for the club’s fourth-round FA Cup game against Leicester City on Feb. 15 and had a successful debut with a 2-1 win. However, Leicester is buried in the basement of the Premier League.
While the FA Cup is still within reach for Aston Villa, bet365 lists them at 12/1 to win it. Sherwood’s priority will be keeping the team out of the relegation zone. That could be harder than it looks and their odds of being relegated are 6/4.
Villa released an official press statement whish read, “Tim Sherwood joins after a long and successful coaching career with Tottenham, culminating in a short but successful period as manager, and has agreed a contract that will see him take charge until the end of season 2017-18. The club is excited to have secured the services of one of English football’s most highly sought after managers.”
Sherwood spent five years as a coach with Tottenham before being promoted to manager midway through last season. He lasted five months on the job and was then let go by Spurs after their fifth-place finish. As a player, Sherwood captained the Blackburn Rovers to the Premier League championship in the 1994/95 season. Villa is known as one of England’s most famous clubs and has been in the Premier League since its inception in 1992/93. The team won the European Cup back in 1982, but was relegated from the top tier of English soccer in 1986/87 before earning promotion back into the top division.
The side has won just two of their past 21 league outings though and it was inevitable that Villa owner Randy Lerner of America was going to make a change before things got any worse. Lerner believes Sherwood is the man to dig Villa out of the relegation zone and keep them in the Premier League. While at Spurs, Sherwood gained a reputation as being a good coach of young talent and Lerner is hoping he can do the same in Birmingham.