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Joke or Genius? Tim Sherwood's Personality Sees Him Get Underestimated

14/04/2015 20:04 BST | Updated 14/06/2015 10:59 BST

Sometimes, the biggest revelations in life dawn on you slowly. To quote, uh, One Tree Hill - "One day, you're 17 and you're planning for someday. And then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life."

Things sneak up on you. Big things. Important things. And also, sometimes, Tim Sherwood. It's getting to the point where, however little we realised, he's actually a pretty decent manager. He might even be good.

He came in for a reasonable amount of stick when he pointed out that his Premier League win percentage as Spurs boss - 59% - was still better than new manager Mauricio Pochettino's. He came in for a lot of stick when he took credit for bringing Harry Kane, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb through into the first team. He takes a lot of stick for most things that he says. But and whisper it quietly, does he have a point?

Under Pochettino, who Spurs fans generally consider to be a decent boss with an eye on the future, the club lie seventh in the table. Sherwood was able to blood youngsters and finish higher. Unless they win five of their last six games, Sherwood will have managed a higher points tally, too.

He did blood the youngsters, too. For all the complaints about it at the time, his work with Kane, Mason and Bentaleb has paid off hugely for the club this season. Credit has to go to him, however reluctantly.

Sherwood's main problem is himself. Or rather, most people's main problem with Sherwood is Sherwood. He's just far too easy to hate.

Sure, there are some pretty unlikeable managers around. Kenny Dalglish's most recent spell in charge at Anfield was a disaster of bad decisions and generally saw him mocked. Remember the Suarez t-shirt, for crying out loud? Jose Mourinho is about as popular as a particularly intimate infection too, but those two have earned some leeway in how they act, because they've won so much. If you've got the trophies to back you up, you can get away with being an arsehole.

Everyone has their (least) favourite Sherwood moment already, from less than 12 months of actual managerial experience. There was that bizarre wind-sprint celebration against West Brom, either of the times he's hurled his gilet - that bloody gilet - to the ground, the salute nonsense with Emmanuel Adebayor, the "I shoot from the hip" interview... there's quite a list building already. It's not hard to see why so few people can take him seriously.

If he can keep Villa up, which it looks like he will, then we'll finally get a full season to judge him next term. But everything he's achieved so far seems to point to him being equipped to make a relative success of things next term.

When he took over at Villa Park, the side hadn't won a league game in 10 attempts, in a run that had seen them score two goals. Two. In 10 games. Stretching back further, the run extended to two wins from 21 league games.

Since he's taken over, he's already grabbed three wins in eight, including an impressive and one would imagine, incredibly satisfying win over an admittedly sub-par Spurs - plus two wins from two in the FA Cup.

It's easy to write it off as New Manager Syndrome, but the Spurs game was his 10th in charge. In his ninth, Christian Benteke led a brilliant fighting performance to grab a 3-3 draw with QPR. The fact that QPR could score three goals at Villa Park needs addressing, obviously, but the Villa of three months ago would've crumbled. Sherwood's Villa fought.

Benteke's revival is pure Sherwood. Somewhere along the way, he's given the big Belgian his confidence back, and no league goals since the turn of the year has become eight goals from six games since the start of March.

It's not just the confidence boost, though. He appears not to put much stock in tactics, but his time with the Under-21s at Spurs showed that he's got a brain in his head - and uses it in subtle ways to get the best out of his players.

Now that I've accused Tim Sherwood of being in any way subtle, it's probably time to wrap up. None of this means that I like Sherwood. But you don't have to like or respect someone as a person to see that they're good at their job, which Sherwood is well on his way to proving that he is.

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