Speaking to Voetbal International, Ron Vlaar commented on Sherwood’s tactical work, suggesting that the new head coach has made every player more responsible for their actions on the pitch, whilst also playing a more possession-based style.
The Dutch central defender said: “Tactically things have changed. Aston Villa are playing a much more recognisable [system], has more ball possession in matches. And also, the players on the field take more responsibility, [which] has contributed to better results.”
Sherwood has certainly focused a lot upon changing the style of play on show at Villa Park since he was appointed successor to Paul Lambert earlier this term.
Rather than focusing upon defence and the need to not concede, the ex-Tottenham coach has brought a new-look system to the team which guarantees goals and consistent attacking play.
There is a focus upon keeping the ball in the middle third, but rather than playing it across the midfield or back towards the defence, players are looking to be progressive with their passes and create chances.
This has benefited the attacking players to no end, with Christian Benteke enjoying an incredible run of form under Sherwood.
Also, Vlaar highlights more ‘responsibility’ shown by the players, which suggests that they were not giving their all under Lambert. Performances suffered with players not trying at their full capacity, and Sherwood has revitalised the squad to give their all in every game they play.
Sherwood’s appointment looks an inspired one judging by this season, and he may yet end the campaign with the FA Cup to his name.
There will still be doubts about his managerial credentials until he completes a full season in charge, but, as of now, he looks the perfect manager to move Villa forward in the Premier League.