After a six-week absence from the starting XI, now is the time for the Villa boss to bring Carles Gil back into the fold.
Despite the injured Scott Sinclair’s absence for the trip to Manchester United, Gil watched from the bench as both Charles N’Zogbia and Andreas Weimann started over him on the flanks and offered almost nothing in attack over the course of the 3-1 defeat.
Even with Villa just a goal down for most of the second-half, Sherwood never looked to the Spaniard for a creative spark and even opted to introduce Joe Cole instead as his third and final substitute for the last 15 minutes.
Having promised so much during his first few weeks at the club, his continued absence from the side is growing more and more baffling and one now has to wonder if former Valencia product just isn’t the new manager’s cup of tea.
|Position||Team||Goals||Assists||Total Key Passes MINS||Passing Accuracy||Total Crosses MINS||Crossing Accuracy||Total Dribbles MINS||Dribble Accuracy||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Carles Gil||MF||Aston Villa||0||1||59.83||89%||10.88||15%||13.81||69.23%||5||359|
|Charles N'Zogbia||MF||Aston Villa||0||2||77.93||79%||37.62||24%||24.8||31.25%||21||1,091|
|Andreas Weimann||FW||Aston Villa||3||2||87.5||81%||70||20%||102.94||52.63%||30||1,750|
|Scott Sinclair||MF||Aston Villa / Man City||1||0||219||79%||73||0%||48.67||33.33%||9||438|
Unfortunately for Sherwood, though, few supporters have forgotten the fast start Gil made to life in England following his mid-January arrival from Valencia, scoring a stunning full debut strike in the 2-1 FA Cup win over Bournemouth, before assisting Jores Okore in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea to help end the club’s 11-hour goal drought.
His initial introduction couldn’t turn around Villa’s dismal league form, as Paul Lambert’s side suffered defeat in each of his first five top-flight appearances, but his performances still suggested that he was set to prove a major factor in their bid to avoid the drop.
Nevertheless, after Lambert’s departure, Gil lasted just 58 minutes into Sherwood’s first game in charge against Stoke before being hauled off and, for whatever reason, hasn’t been back in the line-up since.
Teething problems were to be expected following his switch to a new league but, having earned just a one-minute cameo in the 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over West Bromwich Albion over the past six weeks, there seems to be a bigger issue going on.
Still just three points above the relegation zone in 16th-place with seven league games, Villa need a win in tomorrow night’s home match against fellow strugglers Queens Park Rangers and, to outside observers, it would seem like a no-brainer to get a difference-maker of Gil’s calibre on the pitch.
After all, it’s not as if Sherwood’s squad is endowed with in-form attacking riches, despite their recent mini revival, and, with Sinclair doubtful and N’Zogbia and Weimann disappointing against United, now could be the perfect time to bring him back into the fold.
Fans shouldn’t hold their breath given recent trends but, if Villa were to suffer a third consecutive loss without Gil and see QPR leapfrog them in the table, then it’s guaranteed there’ll be a fair amount of backlash towards the former Tottenham Hotspur boss over his omission.