Photo: Sherwood issues instructions to Villa's key man during first training session

Benteke 2

Aston Villa's Tim Sherwood took charge of training on Tuesday morning.

New Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has been pictured taking charge of his first training session at the club.

Sherwood was appointed as the man to see Villa to safety last week and his work on the training ground started in earnest on Tuesday.

The 46-year-old seemed keen to take a hands-on approach, too, as he could be seen giving Christian Benteke instructions during the session.

Sherwood has told the Birmingham Mail of his desire to make Benteke the focal point of Villa's attack this season, and ensuring that he gets the best out of the powerful forward is likely to be pivotal in steering Villa clear of the drop.

Benteke has the potential to be one of the best strikers in the Premier League, but his standards have slipped well below his best.

In his first season in England, back in the 2012/13 campaign, Benteke proved just how much of an asset he could be to the side, but he has failed to progress since then.

The Belgian international found his season curtailed by injury last time around and he has cut an isolated figure throughout this campaign so far.

Paul Lambert's defensive tactics seemed to stifle his attacking play and he now looks short on confidence.

  SeasonGoalsGoal AssistHeaders won per gameShots per gameScoring V Shooting AccuracyChances created per gameAppearancesMins Played
Christian Benteke 2012-2013 19 4 7.91 3.05 18.26% 1.55 34 2823
Christian Benteke 2014-2015 2 1 4.5 3 4.16% 0.75 16 1232

Benteke scored with 18% of his shots during his first campaign in English football, where he notched 19 times, but he has only managed to hit the back of the net 4% of the time this year. 

It is a startling regression and Sherwood will be determined to get the 24-year-old back to his clinical best as soon as possible, to help get the side firing once again.

It is not just in the sense of goalscoring that Benteke's influence has decreased, though. The front-man has also started to struggle to link up play and unless Sherwood can devise a system that gets him more support, then Villa look set to struggle. 

At the moment Villa are in the bottom three, but Sherwood's side can climb out of the drop zone if they win in his first game in charge this weekend, when they take on Stoke City. 

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