Simple TimAlas, poor Tim! A man of infinite jest, of most excellent Gillets and an ability to try and be the blokiest bloke that ever did manage. In an era of philosophies and statistics Sherwood represent an almost forgotten aspect of English football management; that of the anti-intellectual. One wonders if followers of the premiership from nations replete with technical footballers and young managers with vision looked upon Sherwood as the English games Klopp, following the fortunes of Aston Villa from designer dingy bars and yearning for someone a little bit different.

The question was always asked of how Tim would do when required to actually manage a team over preseason and the results seem to be inconclusive. I’m certain that they did probably spend some time training and bedding in his new arrivals but that certainly doesn’t seem to have transitioned onto the pitch. The loss of Benteke and Delph were certainly damaging but the signings that he has made were his and they simply don’t seem to be good enough.

Sherwood’s talents seem far better suited to motivation than to managing and it will be interesting to see where he ends up next. One can imagine premiership chairmen dutifully noting down his number in case they need the greatest “Striker Whisperer’ the game has seen but he might find his next job rather hard to come by. The writing appeared to be on the wall with Villa’s collapse last season. Their performances after securing promotion in the league were simply terrible and their performance in the F.A Cup final was mind boggling to the extreme. For a manager so based on motivation his inability to inspire his squad in what will surely be the biggest game of their careers was shocking.

The point of no return seemed to be reached in the League Cup match against cross city rivals Birmingham where Sherwood, after his team played woefully in the first half, claimed that this was actually a clever strategy by him to lure the opposition into a false sense of security in what might have been one of the most bizarre claims by a manager in the league’s history.

The difficulties that Randy Lerner has had in selling the club, coupled with the impossibility of making back a fraction of his investment if it enters the championship forced his hand. Villa now enter the search for a manager to maintain their survival and hopefully greatly improve the quality of their football. Sherwood departs to await the need of a striker with a confidence issue. That or perhaps he will become a travelling motivational speaker.

Neil Ryan