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Aston Villa vs Liverpool: Tim Sherwood’s box of tricks could be crucial at Wembley

16 Apr | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: Tim Sherwood’s box of tricks could be crucial at Wembley

The Villa manager is one of football’s most compelling figures and will be aiming to stage an upset against the Reds

You may hate Tim Sherwood to the bone and curse the very ground upon which he stands, but you’d be hard-pressed to deny that – in the relatively anodyne world of football managers – he is pretty good value.

Not value in terms of wages and results (although maybe that too, depending what his pay deal is like), but in terms of sheer, unadulterated entertainment. Oh look, there’s Tim, inviting a fan to sit in his seat. There he goes, sprinting down the touchline with his fists clenched, looking like a man who has just been told that chocolate bars count towards his five a day.

And now tearing off his trademark gilet (which, he claims, is not a gilet at all) and throwing it to the ground in… well, he doesn’t appear to know whether the emotion he’s experiencing is anger or joy, but it just made him lose it.

It’s thrilling to watch. Then there are his interviews, enlivened by liberal dollops of ego (“This was a great result for me… and Aston Villa”) and those wide, gazing eyes. At times he looks like a small dog done up for a village fair; at others a photograph of a schoolboy put through one of those programmes that makes people look older. He is confusing and alluring and amusing.

He is also doing a good job. Results since he took over at Aston Villa have not been uniformly excellent, but there has certainly been more life about the side in recent weeks. Two wins in a week over West Brom did plenty to get the fans onside, while victories at Sunderland and Spurs have helped lift Villa away from the relegation picture.

They will still have half an eye on their survival bid this weekend, but an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley is some bonus. With Christian Benteke firing once more (Sherwood seems to have repeated the trick he managed with Emmanuel Adebayor), they will see this as a free hit after a long old season.

In their way are Liverpool, themselves seemingly back up and running after a wobble. With fourth place in the Premier League still up for grabs due to Man City’s struggles, they have more to play for than most in the remaining weeks of the season.

It’s a hard one to call, but imagine for a second Tactics Tim leading his side out in a final. It’s almost too compelling to ignore.