The best Aston Villa XI to fit Sherwood’s Spurs blueprint
Now in charge of Aston Villa there is every chance Tim Sherwood strips it back to basics by employing the 4-4-2 system which served him so well at Tottenham last season.
Although the oldest formation in the manager’s manual is more passé than the humble CD walkman, Sherwood’s short time in charge at Spurs showed he is not a man afraid to go against the grain.
Villa’s new boss took the bold decision to pair White Hart Lane outcast Emmanuel Adebayor with Roberto Soldado in a classic big-man/little-man partnership and was immediately vindicated.
Largely thanks to the goals of Adebayor, the Lillywhites set about collecting 25 of the next 30 Premier League points available; figures which would catapult 6/4-rated relegation candidates Villa into the security of mid-table.
The question is, which personnel at Aston Villa would suit this switch in tactics?
Going with two up front it only seems natural that £16m man Christian Benteke is partnered by the Villans’ all-time Premier League top scorer Gabriel Agbonlahor, whose pace to run in behind is tailor-made for this set-up.
Midfield is certainly the most contentious. Villa have a host of options but arguably their two newest signings should be given licence to fly down the wings.
Scott Sinclair showed what damage he can do at Swansea from the wing, while the first sightings of Carles Gil in claret and blue suggest the Spanish trickster is a shoo-in for the right-hand side.
In the engine room, two England internationals get the nod, though Fabian Delph’s inclination to burst forward means Tom Cleverley would have to be more disciplined than he’s used to being.
At the back Brad Guzan’s lack of competition sees him as an automatic selection while Alan Hutton’s renaissance at right-back makes the Scot the firm choice.
Captain Ron Vlaar is partnered by an improving Ciaran Clark, while Aly Cissokho is the more reliable defender than Kieran Richardson, so the former Sunderland man loses out to the Frenchman at left-back.
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