Tim Sherwood

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Reports say Garde will be fired; The numbers say he’s on short end of stick

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Another loss and the near-inevitability of escaping the drop zone may give Aston Villa its third manager of the season.

Remi Garde is set to be fired in the next 48 hours, according to several reports. Villa’s on-field look was again poor in a 1-0 loss at Swansea City on Saturday and the club is operating after a board overhaul.

[ MORE: Swans 1-0 VillaPremier League roundup ]

Adrift under Tim Sherwood, Villa brought in Garde on Nov. 2 to right the ship and then did not purchase a single player in the January window. After inching the team up the table, Villa has lost six-straight to drop Garde’s record to 2W-6D-12L.

That brutal run against a tough slate of opponents, coupled with pressure on the new board, is what’s doomed Garde.

From Metro:

New chairman Steve Hollis is under pressure to act now, according to the Mirror.

Garde has lost the support of the relegation-bound club’s boardroom and dressing room after a disastrous four-month reign.

Villa was 1W-1D-8L when Sherwood was canned, then lost to Spurs on the day Garde was hired to replace him. Garde guided the team to points in 8 of his first 14 matches.

That’s woeful .85 points-per-match is still much better than Sherwood’s eye-stabbing .40 mark, a pace that over 31 games would have Villa at 26 points. That would still have Villa in the drop zone, albeit with a fighting chance.

Garde oversaw draws against Man City, West Ham and Leicester City, but things have been horrible since a 2-0 win over Norwich in early February. The Villans have lost their last six matches by a margin of 18-2, a tough run of opponents which includes Spurs, Man City, Liverpool, Everton and Stoke.

A French Cup champion at Lyon in his first managerial stint, Garde was hot property and reportedly a big target for Newcastle United before the Magpies settled on now-fired Steve McClaren.

Given the mess he inherited, his failure is not a surprise. But he surely could’ve fixed something to at least have the club in the hunt for safety instead of running its worst campaign, well, maybe ever. He’ll get a new job, and likely do much, much better (not that that’s a difficult proposition).

Sherwood bashes advanced statistics, signing players from Europe

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Being out of management hasn’t stopped Tim Sherwood from speaking atop a pedestal.

The 46-year-old former Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur manager is looking down on advanced statistics.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Sherwood politicked on behalf of lower leaguers everywhere and issued a bit of a call against foreigners.

[ MORE: Arsenal’s injury crisis | Latest transfer rumors ]

Of course, this is a man who held out for two Premier League jobs despite reported interest from the lower leagues (seemingly because the quality wasn’t good enough for his managerial skill set).

And he certainly will have his supporters when it comes to his absurd opinion on next-level statistics.

From The Telegraph:

All that data analysis can be used for something but it can’t be used to pick your players. Some of the data is not about goals, or assists, it’s about ‘expected goals’ when a player got himself in position to score, but didn’t. What a load of nonsense. Trust your eyes. You can’t get a feel for them on the screen. Any player can be made to look good on a showreel. It’s far sexier to go to the top European leagues and find these players. It’s easier to sell it to your fans.

By the way here’s who Sherwood signed this summer at Aston Villa, recognizing that the manager isn’t the only one to make personnel decisions at a club:

Jordan Ayew (Lorient — Ghana)
Jordan Amavi (Nice — France)
Mark Bunn (Norwich — England)
Jose Angel Crespo (Bologna — Spain)
Jordan Veretout (Nantes — France)
Idrissa Gueye (Lille — Senegal)
Adama Traore (Barcelona — Spain)
Joleon Lescott (West Bromwich Albion — England)
Rudy Gestede (Blackburn — Benin)

Lotta lower-league English there, Tim?

Don’t even get us started on calling expected goals “nonsense”. While they certainly aren’t as good as converting chances, that’s a terribly unfortunate opinion.

Sherwood: “Players not confident” as Villa lose another

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The pressure is beginning to really get to Tim Sherwood.

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Following their latest defeat, 2-1 to Swansea City on Saturday, Sherwood’s Aston Villa side currently sits 19th in the Premier League. Speaking in his post-game television interview (above video), it became quite clear that Sherwood, despite his best attempts otherwise, is beginning to crack underneath the surface.

How badly is Sherwood feeling it? The 46-year-old first-time permanent manager, widely regarded as a “player’s manager” and a “motivator of men,” offered little emotional support to a locker room full of players currently toiling in the doldrums.

“I’ve got to believe we’re going to win every game. There’s no point in [me] being not confident. I think we’ve got enough players out there who are not confident, so your manager needs to be.”

Well done, Tim, surely that’ll boost spirits inside the dressing room and have everyone pulling in the same direction come training Monday morning. Sherwood knows he’s fighting for his job at this point, which would suggest the above comments were made out of desperation.

[ MORE: How much longer does Sherwood have at Villa? ]

Backing his players’ ability and mental strength week after week hasn’t improved the situation at Villa Park, so what else can Sherwood do? Oh, I know, I’ll throw the players under the bus a little bit and see how they respond to that. As the season begins to slip away and a fight against relegation becomes more and more likely (currently four points from 17th), the scrutiny on Sherwood will only continue to increase until, 1) he starts winning games, or 2) he no longer has a job.

How much longer does Tim Sherwood have at Aston Villa?

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Aston Villa started off the 2015-16 Premier League season with a win.

They have not won a match since, losing seven and earning one draw against Sunderland, the only team that sits below Villa on the table.

That has led to increased pressure on manager Tim Sherwood, who is running out of time to turn things around at Villa Park.

[ MORE: Kompany sits down with JPW ]

After being brought in last February and successfully keeping Aston Villa in the Premier League, Sherwood has not been able to cope with the losses of Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph, as Villa sits 19th on the table with just four points through nine matches.

Ahead of Villa’s match on Saturday against Swansea City (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via Live Extra), Sherwood said the fixture is as important as a cup final.

I am telling the players it is must-win.

I think it is important we win sooner rather than later. I am telling the players this is the cup final, forget Wembley last season, this is the cup final.

There ain’t a bigger game in my mind, it is massive.

Not only for me but it is a massive game for them as well, they all want to be Premier League footballers. This club needs to be in the Premier League.

Looking at Villa’s upcoming schedule, they need to take all three points against Swansea. After Saturday, Villa has a tough run of Southampton, Tottenham, Manchester City and Everton, a grueling stretch for any club.

[ WATCH LIVE: Stream every PL game via Live Extra ]

After the initial high of keeping Villa in the Premier League, Sherwood needs to get the club back on track. While joking that he would “be checking over my shoulder to see if anyone is positioning themselves in the directors’ box tomorrow,” he can be sure that American owner Randy Lerner will be looking over his shoulder for a result.

Currently the bookies favorite to be the next manager to get the sack, Sherwood is right that Saturday’s match against Swansea City is a must-win. Swansea is also another side in need of a result, so Sherwood needs the performance of the season out of his men. If not, he may be on his way out.

Sherwood gets shaky ‘vote of confidence’ from Villa owner

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As far as “votes of confidence” being given to an under-fire manager go, Tim Sherwood received what can only be described as an iffy reaffirmation from Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner, via non-executive board member Charles Krulak, on Thursday.

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Krulak acknowledged Villa fans’ discontent with the way their 2015-16 Premier League campaign has begun (currently 18th in the league with one win from eight games), and while dispelling the idea Sherwood’s job is already on the line, stopped well short of saying, “He’s our guy and we’re sticking with him” — quotes from the Guardian:

“We realize there is concern amongst our supporters. I see that on their message boards and I see that on social media as well.

“This is a critical point in a season, we know. I speak to Randy just about every day and we are still convinced we have good players and a good team.

“There has been a bit of bad luck along the way. To say Tim Sherwood has to win those games to survive is pure speculation. Randy has always wanted continuity and someone there for the long term.”

Sherwood’s side was always going to struggle to start the season after losing Christian Benteke in the summer — though, well over the $50 million received was reinvested into the squad — but we must remember that the year is 2015, and with that, managers are constantly getting less and less time to right the ship before being cast overboard.

It gets no easier for Villa this weekend — or does it? — as they visit Stamford Bridge to take on the defending champions, Chelsea (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on USA and online via Live Extra).