I'm going to do this in a strange order today, but before I do, I'm looking forward to Gary Gardner coming good. But I read something about him this week that made me chuckle.
And let me be clear before you think anything; I*m a huge fan of bringing through our own local players and the three or four times I've seen Gardner play he has always impressed. But the story I read could have been written a few times for him. I fear this is his last chance. Another injury and I can't see why the club will keep him on.
And it's sad. It's sad that his brother gets to play week in week out and he doesn't. It's sad that there is so much potential and we've only scratched the surface. I hope he comes back and he stays fit. I think he will. He could be, as long as he takes this chance, the player to lead Aston Villa. He has to very quickly show that he's not just a youngster plagued with injuries, but an Aston Villa player that can make a difference.
He's back and doesn't want to go out on loan. And if he shines, I'm sure Sherwood will take the credit.
And this nearly wound me up
So, my Google alert threw this up today from Mail Online about Sherwood. And I think it wound me up a little and because it's a short piece with more images than text, I'm going to quote it below and bold out the parts that did pull a string or two. Then I'll explain why.
Tim Sherwood's future as Aston Villa manager remains uncertain as Sportsmail can reveal that owner Randy Lerner met senior staff in America last week. Chief executive Tom Fox, head of recruitment Paddy Reilly and sporting director Hendrik Almstadt were in the US for meetings that were already in the diary to discuss club business.
But the timing of the gathering coincides with a deepening crisis and Sportsmail understands Sherwood, 46, remains in a precarious position with his side third from bottom having won only four points from eight games.
The fact Villa did not follow Liverpool’s lead in using the international break to change their manager would suggest that some support still exists for a young boss who guided the club to last season’s FA Cup final. Indeed, there is a growing resentment in the club’s hierarchy that Sherwood’s position has become a subject of speculation. But there is a degree of friction between the manager and senior figures over recruitment policy and there is also a concern that morale among the players is so low.
With Villa travelling to Chelsea this weekend, Lerner and his deputies are unlikely to expect an immediate turnaround. But the pressure will certainly be on Sherwood when Villa host Swansea City a week on Saturday. Lose that and the former England midfielder could be in trouble.
Now, reading it again, I'm not sure why I let it wind me up. It's clearly someone that has heard something, but there are also contradictions. How can Sherwood be in a precarious position and there be growing resentment that he is, at the exact same time? Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but it doesn't make sense to me.
I mean, it's natural that the supporters are anxious. It was a huge gamble appointing someone with 20 odd games in management at this level. Simply because of that, it's going to be a lot sooner that supporters get frustrated. Surely nobody at the club can think otherwise? If they do, then they clearly don't know much about English football or is that a false narrative?
If it was David Moyes as an example, he'd get more games. But David Moyes probably wouldn't have bought so many new players. Moyes would have been given time by supporters because he has proven he can do it. Sherwood hasn't proven he can do it and supporters are starting to see and read things that don't add up. Because of this, expectations are weighted in certain areas.
But from the story I did like how the reporter looked to the Liverpool example. It shows that Liverpool saw an opportunity and that our club didn't. And he's clearly spoken to someone because I've also heard that there is growing unrest from some players at the club. I'm not saying he's lost the dressing room, but that is what comes next.
And when these things start, it's very hard for a manager to turn the ship around. If in fact, it has started.
A look at Chelsea
And even if we win at the weekend, it's not going to be enough for Sherwood. But who would put money on us this weekend? And it's now not about one win, it's about three wins on the bounce and the football getting better and consistent. Can anyone see Sherwood getting three wins on the bounce or can anyone tell me if during his entire managerial career Sherwood has ever had three wins on the bounce?
Basically, even though Chelsea are only two places above us, we don't expect to win. We're actually going into the game expecting defeat. Someone I spoke to last night expects us to get spanked and you know what, when a team is struggling, we're a great team to play. And this is another reason why it's all wrong at the moment.
You can expect whatever you want from Chelsea but should the club fire Sherwood after the match or even after Swansea - it would have been a wasted few weeks. And we just need to look at Liverpool to know that and it was even suggested here that it was a good time. Liverpool did it at the right time and if it happens to Sherwood, we'd all look back and say it was inevitable that Sherwood was going to go too. But why wait?
It's sad, but he doesn't have the experience and there is no proof that it's going to happen and when that's the case, how can supporters be expected to think differently?