Aston Villa were in deep trouble after 25 matches played in the 2014/15 season, the club were in the bottom three and having had a few bad years, Villa fans were fearing the worst.
Paul Lambert had been in charge at the start of the season, but after the start they had had, he was sacked after a 2-0 away defeat to Hull City – a loss that extended their run without a win to ten games, including five consecutive defeats.
The transfer window had closed and the turn of the year had seen Villa rooted well and truly to the lower reaches of the table.
A change was needed, and it was indeed made by owner Randy Lerner.
Three days after the sacking of Lambert, a new man was tasked with keeping the Premier League ever-presents in the top division.
On February 14, 2015, Tim Sherwood was appointed.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) February 14, 2015
The former Spurs boss signed a deal until the summer of 2018, but on Valentines’ Day, plenty of Villa fans were not feeling the love with their reaction to his appointment.
“@AVFCOfficial: NEW MANAGER: A very warm claret and blue welcome to Tim Sherwood. – Something you may regret…..!
— Walter F. Smith (@SmithSpur) February 14, 2015
@AVFCOfficial You've got to be kidding me. 3 and a half years too? When Randy still has the club up for sale? I'm off to support the Moors.
— James Sedghi (@JamesSedghi) February 14, 2015
— Ross Burr (@RossiB15) February 14, 2015
Having been appointed, he watched the club’s match the following day and gave the half-time team talk, a game that they would win, 2-1 against Leicester City in the FA Cup.
But their horrid league form would continue in Sherwood’s first Premier League came in charge as they lost to Stoke courtesy of a 93rd-minute goal.
That would be 11 games without a win, and it would extend to 12 before back-to-back wins gave Villa some fight towards the end of the season.
Three wins in their last six matches was just enough for Sherwood to keep Villa up, with the club avoiding relegation by the skin of their teeth, finishing 17th – only three points above the dreaded drop zone.
The following year was a new start, Sherwood was still in charge and was looking to get Villa out the doldrums after a few bad years, and they won their opening game of the 2015/16 campaign, a 1-0 win away to Bournemouth. But that would be the Villa boss’ last win.
Seven games without a win and only one draw in that time, it would see the club 18th in the league and four points from safety after just eight matches.
It was a dreadful start, and Sherwood paid the ultimate price on October 10, 2015, when he was sacked.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) October 25, 2015
The reaction to his dismissal from many of the Villa fans was mixed, with some thanking him for keeping them up, to fans wanting the owner out and aiming their anger and dissatisfaction at the way the club was being run.
Bad mistake getting rid of Tim Sherwood, as a lifelong Villa fan I am disgusted by the clubs antics
— Ian c healey (@Ianchealey2) October 25, 2015
@AVFCOfficial Thanks for saving us last year Tim.
— Murdocke (@murdocke) October 25, 2015
— Osman (@Os_Baz) October 25, 2015
The reaction to his appointment was far from favourable, and that set the tone for a dismal spell in charge for Sherwood, despite having just enough the previous year to keep the club up.
It was an appointment that was doomed from the start based on some of the supporter’s reaction, and it certainly ended that way.