Tim Sherwood made his Premier League debut as Aston Villa manager on Saturday, and following a 2-1 home loss to Stoke City, the 46-year-old was quick to point the finger not only at the opposition but his own team as well for what he called “a very poor football match.”
[ FULL RECAP: Aston Villa 1-2 Stoke City as Villans inch closer to relegation ]
Speaking in his post-game television interview (above video), Sherwood said he was pleased with some parts of Villa’s performance, but admitted there was much work ahead for the club.
“I thought we were the better team in the first half, and in the second half it was a nothing game. It was a really poor football match, a really poor football match. Both teams were very poor.
We’re going to improve. It’s (been) a very short amount of time to get some instruction in to them, and they did it OK at times, and we’ll get better. The players realize they need to get better to keep this great club in the Premier League.”
On one hand, it’s refreshing to hear a manager tell it like it is with regards to his own team. If they were poor, they deserve to hear as much. On the other hand, Sherwood frequently chastised his Tottenham Hotspur team publicly following games last season — despite leading the club to its highest-ever win percentage under a single manager, a statistic Sherwood himself will be quick to lob your way in defense of himself — and ostracized a number of important first-team players in the process.
There’s lots of work to be done if Villa are to avoid relegation this season, and Sherwood was absolutely right to make that the focal point of his post-game comments. Villa currently sit in 19th place, one point clear of relegation.