The former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder is gearing his players up for this weekend’s final-day clash at home to Burnley, a warm-up of sorts for Villa’s upcoming FA Cup final showdown with the Gunners.
The encounter with Arsene Wenger’s men has a little added edge for Sherwood, especially considering his former allegiance to Spurs and his time as manager at White Hart Lane.
However, the common perception over the years has been that the 46-year-old is indeed a supporter of Spurs’ North London rivals – a little something the Arsenal supporters like to remind their rivals.
Speaking to reporters from The Sun ahead of Villa’s home clash with the Clarets, Sherwood has opened up on his alleged affiliation with Arsenal by labelling it a myth.
“Arsenal fans will sing ‘Tim Sherwood’s a Gooner’ for at least 30 minutes of the game. Am I an Arsenal fan? No, it’s a myth,” he explained.
While Spurs fans may take comfort in Sherwood’s revelation, the Villa Park leader concedes he was close to joining Arsene Wenger’s side but the Frenchman’s arrival in 1996 caused it to fall through.
“Bruce (Rioch) rang and, basically, I was signing for Arsenal. He phoned me back a bit later — and I thought it was to let me know what time to go to London Colney and sort everything out,” Sherwood revealed.
“But he said he had been sacked. It was one of those things that happen in football, you just get on with it. They got rid of Bruce and brought in some guy called Arsene Wenger!
“He then signed two players called Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit — who no one had ever heard of. My move was all but done. We never spoke about money — but it was Arsenal, wasn’t it?”
19 years on and Sherwood can finally get his revenge on the former Monaco boss, though such thoughts will surely be pushed aside as the two teams take to the field at Wembley.
It would be a fitting occasion for the Villa boss given the way things have worked out over the past year, and one which is a real possibility judging by his side’s huge strides since his arrival in February.