Tim Sherwood faces a bigger job than he may realise at Aston Villa.
Their new manager has been appointed with Villa languishing dangerously in the bottom three. They are positioned in eighteenth and his immediate priority will be keeping the club in the Premier League.
However, his long-term goal must be to finish higher than Villa have in recent seasons under their former manager, Paul Lambert.
Under Lambert, Villa have narrowly avoided relegation on each occasion. They finished 16th in his first season, which was followed by two 15th placed finishes.
To simply stay in the Premier League should be unacceptable for a club of Villa's size.
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Villa's current position unacceptable
This is a club that are the fifth most decorated in the history of English football. They have won the European Cup once, an accomplishment that Arsenal and Manchester City have not managed. They have won the league and FA Cup seven times each and have five League Cups to their name.
Under Martin O'Neill, the Birmingham club narrowly missed out on the Champions League places. They finished sixth, three years in a row and were regularly competing in the Europa League. While the club's fans may have been disappointed not to finish higher and break into the top four, those days seem like comparative glory years now.
Sherwood's long-term aim must be to return Villa to challenging for Europa League places. He will face the same financial restrictions that Randy Lerner imposed on Paul Lambert, who's record signing was Christian Benteke for £7 million.
Aston Villa's fans will hope that Sherwood's appointment will have the same effect for the Belgian striker as he did for Emmanuel Adebayor who was prolific in the second half of last season.
Good things come to those who wait
However, until the Villans' owner finds a buyer for a club he clearly wants to sell, or decides to commit more funds to player recruitment, Villa fans may have to be patient. Sherwood is no miracle worker, despite his success with Tottenham Hotspur last year. Nevertheless, if the former Blackburn Rovers captain remains in charge by then, then perhaps Villa fans can dream big once again.
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