There’s no doubt that Tim Sherwood’s appointment, like him or loathe him, has caused a stir and even an air of excitement down the Villa.
That said, after the mediocrity of Paul Lambert, where I think we were pretty much guaranteed to go down had he stayed, anyone could have come in and give us a gee up.
But Sherwood it is and he’s come out with some encouraging talk about how he’s going to approach the way we play, in actally trying to score goals.
It’s exactly the right approach, as it was obvious to anybody except Lambert that our lack of goals was going to relegate us.
So we face Stoke today and from what a Stoke supporting friend of mine says, it’s a really good time to be playing them, when you consider Stoke have most of their defence out injured and our lads will have new manager syndrome on their side.
So basically, it’s all about us scoring and I personally think we will today.
Shock, horror, I even think we’ll get more than one, which would have been unthinkable with the previous incumbent in charge.
But at the same time, Stoke, although weakened at the back, are no mugs, hence we won’t be able to go with an approach that’s too “Gung Ho”, as they have the ability to hurt us, if we’re not careful.
Which is what will make today’s game interesting.
Indeed, the rest of the season is going to prove interesting, as I see us winning some and getting caned in at least a couple.
Whatever happens though, surely can’t be any worse than what we’ve suffered for most of the season and I’m sure we’ll at least try to achieve the objective of the game; putting the ball in the opponent’s net.
Squad news then and Villa have Gabby and Gil back in contention.
I’d expect both to start, but am wondering how Sherwood will approach this.
Will he play Gabby in a two, with Benteke?
Injury-wise, Baker and Sendoros are not available.
Those two apart, we’re doing ok squad-wise.
Stoke have Shawcross out, Muniesa has been ruled out for six weeks and Cameron is banned.
They could have Wilson and Pieters back though.
What do I think then?
As I’ve said, I actually expect us to score today and that’s good news in itself.
Sometimes, the game is not purely down to how good you are. You also need a bit of luck, something that was sorely missing under Lambert and yet another sign that we were massively failing, if the saying that you make your own luck, is true.
I think Sherwood will prove luckier than Lambert.
In short, I’m going for us to win, 2-1.
This is a game where we need the points and I think we’ll get them.
Any alternative is a very scary thought.