Former Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood predicts that both Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers will be in mid-table come the end of the season.
Sherwood was on punditry duty for Sky Sports on Saturday and covered his former employers as they were shocked by local rivals Wolves – with ten minutes to go, and ‘cruising’ as Sherwood described, Villa surrendered their lead and indeed all of the points as Wolves hit them with three goals in the final ten minutes of the game through Romain Saiss, Conor Coady and Ruben Neves.
Danny Ings and John McGinn had put Villa firmly in control with second half goals after a tight first 45, but nobody could foresee what would happen as the clock struck 80.
Sherwood believes that boss Dean Smith might have regretted some of the substitutions, which the manager has since explained he was forced to make, and see both sides, after a classic ding dong derby, as mid table clubs.
“Firstly you’ve got to give Wolves credit for the way they’ve stuck at it and come back, but I’m just thinking that at 2-0, they’re cruising,” Sherwood told Sky Sports. “Danny Ings gets them off to a good start, a McGinn cross which he reaches for and gets them ahead.
“You just thought they’d go on from there, especially when McGinn goes and smashes one in from 25 yards, from outside the box. Watkins has a shot, it rebounds to him and he hits it first time past the goalkeeper. They were in cruise control.
“It’s easy to manage in hindsight and I think Dean Smith will look at it as well and think perhaps he made some changes he wish he’d never, now. It’s easy when you look back.
“Their three at the back turned into a back five. The midfield was too deep, they just conceded the territory, and to be fair Wolves kept going – they kept loading the box, crossing the ball into the area.
“Villa weren’t getting their heads on it, weren’t clearing their lines. When Conor scores, if you’re Villa you’re just thinking we’ll take the draw, but it was a silly foul from Ramsey on Traore and it’s the last kick of the game – Neves lines it up, Targett turns his back on it, he’ll be ashamed when he looks back, and it deflects past Martinez.
“It was a great game of football, a great advert for the Premier League between two teams who I’d suggest will be around mid-table. It’s a local derby, the atmosphere was electric. The Villa fans were brilliant, the Wolves fans with ten minutes to go were looking to go home but they’ll be pleased that they stayed.”
Did it become a bit too easy for Villa when McGinn scored their second? Did it become a case of complacency?
“Absolutely, at 2-0 up (it was almost too easy), but it’s like boxing – if you stop throwing punches, all of a sudden they start throwing them, then you start covering up and that’s what Villa did,” Sherwood added.
“In the end they (Wolves) got the breakthrough and they got the confidence from that. I couldn’t say they deserved to win, they deserved certainly to draw. To win was an extra bonus.”
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