Prior to Sherwood becoming our new manager, a few Spurs fans did point out Sherwood’s weaknesses. The main weakness was Sherwood’s formations and tendency to play players out of position. I think this was the first time we have seen this under Sherwood, especially after his substitutions. I’m still a fan of Tim Sherwood and what he is trying to do, but at times I was scratching my head in confusion when Villa played against Swansea.
The starting 11 itself was solid. With no fit left-back or Matthew Lowton, Alan Hutton had to play at left-back. This made more sense than playing Bacuna in another position in which he isn’t familiar with. Ideally, I’d play Hutton at right-back and move Clark to left-back, however Villa are struggling with defensive injuries. Playing Kinsella could’ve been even more of a risk.
The midfield was solid, containing width and pace. And our strike force was the inform Benteke and Agbonlahor.
Tim Sherwood brought on Sanchez for Cleverly (injury), N’Zogbia for Westwood and Weimann for Benteke. When Westwood replaced N’Zogbia, Villa only had one wide player left, Sinclair. Having three central midfielders would make sense if Villa were seeking to see the game out. But no, Delph was moved to left-midfield and Sinclair out to right. Why move two players out of position to make room for Westwood, when Carles Gil, a natural right midfielder was available for the bench? Even if Sherwood wanted Westwood to play, why not sub him on in place of Cleverly and not Sanchez?
Immediately, Villa lacked width and Sinclair’s decision making wasn’t great all game. He seemed more interesting in scoring against his former side than get his current side a Villa victory. N’Zogbia was playing well on the right, he was making runs, challenging defenders and was one of Villa’s greatest threat that night. Delph wasn’t a terrible make-shift left midfielder, in fact he remained me of O’Neil’s tactic of playing Reo-Coker at right-midfield.
When Sherwood was at Spurs, fans witnessed the likes of Kyle Walker playing at right-midfield, that experiment also didn’t give Spurs a result.
I still have faith in Sherwood, but when the likes of Gil isn’t even coming on as a substitute in favour of another right-midfielder. You need to question the tactics a little bit. We are in a relegation battle, why not play it safe when there are points available?