Is Sherwood the best ever appointment by a Premier League struggler?

The Aston Villa boss has been a breath of fresh air at a club who were really struggling before his arrival.

Tim Sherwood has, in his short spell as Aston Villa boss, performed something of a miracle.

When the 46-year-old took over at the Midlands club, Villa were on a winless streak of ten in the Premier League, and without an away goal for the entirety of that spell.

Now the Villans are approaching every game with unprecedented optimism.

Not only has the former Spurs boss stopped Aston Villa's nosediving league form, he has also taken them to an FA Cup final, and if he is successful in the May 30 showpiece event against Arsenal, it wouldn't be a stretch to say his appointment is one of the best ever made by a struggling Premier League team.

The likes of Harry Redknapp, Tony Pullis and Gus Poyet all saved their club from relegation in recent years after being appointed, but none of them took over as late as February in a season, or won a trophy on the side of that battle to escape the drop.

Under Sherwood, Villa have suffered four narrow defeats from their ten games, but have put together some phenomenal wins to underline the ex-Blackburn captain's qualities.

A big win against Sunderland, two derby wins against West Brom, and the away victory at Tottenham, Sherwood's old stomping ground, were all trumped by the outstanding victory against Liverpool at Wembley last weekend. 

And with Villa four points clear of the drop zone, and with three winnable home games against Everton,  West Ham and Burnley still remaining, there is no reason why that good form shouldn't carry them to the certainty of Premier League football next season.

The change in determination displayed by Villa players on the pitch, the incorporation of Jack Grealish in the first team, as well as tightening the back line and opening up the floodgates when it comes to goals, particularly in star striker Christian Benteke, these things often take entire seasons to do effectively, yet Sherwood has successfully changed things in a matter of weeks.

Villa and their boss will be riding a Wembley high into the Etihad on Saturday, and that game could well establish just how much Sherwood has really changed the club. If they get a positive result against Premier League champions Manchester City, it's hard to argue against his arrival being one of the most impressive of the last 20 years at Villa Park.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch