Why Tim Sherwood’s latest Benteke comments show real managerial naivety

Aston Villa

Aston Villa sold Christian Benteke to Liverpool during the summer.

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood cursed the sale of Christian Benteke to Liverpool, finally opening up on the ordeal during the pre-match press conference on Friday.

Indeed, the former Tottenham Hotspur boss spoke very highly of the Belgium international and claimed without his release clause, the Villans would have rejected a proposal of up to £100 million.

“Christian wasn’t worth selling for any money. No money can guarantee you Premier survival — but that player could,” Sherwood explained to reporters from The Sun.

“If Christian didn’t have that clause in his contract then £100m wouldn’t have taken him away from us.”

Sherwood’s comments came just before Villa’s defeat to Chelsea, their seventh Premier League loss in their previous eight matches leaving them some four points from safety.

While the loss of Benteke was huge, Sherwood’s comments smack of real naivety and suggests he placed far too much emphasis on his side being built around the striker.

Were Villa really a one man team last season? Didn’t Sherwood have anything else up his sleeve other than hoping for Benteke to bail out his side? These are important questions which now need answering.

But more importantly, Sherwood’s comments suggest he’s still cursing Benteke’s departure and illustrate how he hasn’t adapted to the situation, despite 12 new players joining the club in the summer.

Villa set up for matches without any sense of purpose or direction.

Moreover, Sherwood’s persistence in changing formations also suggests he doesn’t have any real plan in terms of a system in place and he evidently doesn’t know his best team.

Poor recruitment could be blamed for Villa’s struggles, yet one has to wonder whether Sherwood is savvy enough from a tactical perspective to get the most out of what he has available to him.

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