Tim Sher to liven up ailing Villa

Villa Park Outside

It's a new dawn for Aston Villa this weekend, as Tim Sherwood oversees his first match from the dugout. Here's what the former Tottenham coach will offer.

It'd be a cliche to compare Tim Sherwood to a certain yeast-based spread, but his ability to divide is probably more remarkable than his coaching pedigree.

Cock-sure, outspoken, and possessing an unashamed knack for self promotion, Sherwood has found himself the front-runner for virtually every Premier League vacancy this season, despite less than five months of experience as a top tier manager.

To his nay-sayers, he's more mouth than trousers, a trait his teams reflect on the pitch - with plenty of enthusiasm, but limited substance or subtlety.

But, for those who were won over by his brief tenure at White Hart Lane, Sherwood oversaw a rejuvenation of a seriously struggling outfit, guiding them to a decent league finish of sixth, boasting the highest  win ratio of any Spurs boss in the Premier League era - 59%.

That rescue project, along with a willingness to blood youngsters - Sherwood hasn't been shy in pointing out the rise of Harry Kane since giving him a first-team run - was what tempted Villa to turn to a relatively unproven man to fend off relegation.

Certainly, one of the things Sherwood will bring to Aston Villa is quotability. If his predecessor Paul Lambert was dour and almost monotone, press conferences at Villa be re-energised.

Already, he's produced a corker, speaking of his vision for the rebuild, quoted by the BBC: "It's not the Krypton Factor, it's a gradual process - Rome wasn't built in a day, and it's going to take time."

Though he might prefer to shun comparisons to Harry Redknapp, who he almost succeeded at QPR, that likability factor and rapport with the media will certainly help Sherwood get some goodwill going in a way that Lambert struggled to.

His reputation for favouring young talents developed by his club bodes well, too, especially as Villa have plenty of promising youngsters on their books. Jack Grealish is the headline commodity here, though there are plenty of others to develop in the longer-term - youth team forward Callum Robinson, in particular.

But task number one, surely, will be to get Villa firing again - specifically Christian Benteke, once rated as a £20 million target for Europe's elite.

A tall, brooding front man, powerful and with all the attributes to terrorise opposition defenders, but in danger of going missing when his head's not right, the parallels with Emmanuel Adebayor are definite.

And the Togolese star reacted well to Sherwood's enthusiastic man-management style.

If he can reap the same dividends with Benteke, Villa will soar to safety. The lowest scorers in the Football League, Villa already showed signs of promise in their FA Cup win over Leicester on the weekend, offering slightly more threat going forward.

With a team that hasn't won in 10 league games, Sherwood will know that he needs to stop the rot fast, with Saturday's hosting of Stoke a prime opportunity - the Potters having been demolished by Championship side Blackburn in the cup last time out.

But there is one rather large question mark over Sherwood's ability as a top-class manager - his tactical acumen. For many, he is more of a motivational speaker than great philosopher of the game.

In the short-term, that might just be enough to save Villa from the drop. Over the course of his contract, though, he will have to prove his strategical nous.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch