The most gloriously entertaining and uncontrollably flaunting individual in the Premier League has to be Timothy Alan Sherwood. Timid Tim would be the most inappropriate and ill-serving alliterative nickname for such a vainglorious manager. However, those who profess unyielding allegiance to Liverpool football club must be warned that he could concoct a formula for Liverpool's demise in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Fear this man accursed reader, irrationally fear the obliterating nightmare of a semi-final defeat to Tim Sherwood. Liverpool aren't playing for a place in the final, they're playing to escape a corner of hell reserved for eternal embarrassment.
It's Monday morning and you slip out of bed. It could be your day off if you're fortunate enough. Perhaps it's an early start for a day of perceived education or preparation for a corroding commute to work. Whatever your day entails, it doesn't matter. It's the morning after and you wasted hours of your life fearfully or eagerly awaiting a game where Liverpool fucked up. In another semi-final. To relegation battlers! Tim Sherwood's relegation battlers! You devoured articles ranging from the unnecessarily pompous to the rudimentary in preparation for the day and you felt that slight flutter of giddiness that undermined your sage understanding that it's only a game until that happened.
Your life could be worse than repeated bouts of radioactive rabies but you made a decision to watch Liverpool to alleviate whatever stresses or concerns afflicted your daily existence. Life is shit at the moment but Liverpool can be better. That's a motto to increase Liverpool's global reach if there ever was one. Find the person who just forever blathers that they "just want to see Liverpool play good football no matter what" and point at them in unrelenting judgement. Thank you. This game's for winning and Liverpool are not going into this game to be a plucky loser, an unlucky participant, or concede a goal because of some fucky bobble on the pitch.
Liverpool surely can't lose to this lot. Aston Villa is a fine club with fans known for being a good bunch, and while they may enjoy improved results as well as performances under Tim Sherwood, they cannot have victory. The game is part of the Brendan Rodgers Liverpool managerial entitlement process where winning the FA Cup frees him from the criticism that he cannot steer the club to a trophy. King Kenny did it. Jürgen Klopp can do it. I'm sure even the most steadfast of Rodgers' supporters would understand the need for such concerns to be banished. Sunday also belongs to the Steven Gerrard servitude experience where Liverpool's players carry the captain to Wembley where he wins the FA Cup final somehow without no longer being good enough to make the first eleven but he deserves it because, in truth, he's big and fucking hard.
The first trophy of the Brendan Rodgers era and a winning goodbye for Steven Gerrard on his 35th birthday would make the 2015 FA Cup final a memorable Liverpool milestone. The problem is that Tim's taking names and settling scores. It's all the rage for English managers in the Premier League. Tony Pulis did it with Crystal Palace after he was sacked by Stoke City. Premier League manager of the year. Alan Pardew used the same club to revive his reputation after after oscillating wildly between overachieving and underachieving at Newcastle. Seven points above his former club. Now Tim Sherwood's at it after beating his former club Tottenham Hotspur at White Lane and could add an FA Cup final in just over what would be a special week for the former Blackburn Rovers captain.
The masterful mutilator of sporting statistics has been the subject of mockery gleefully delivered by fans who cannot thank the Football Gods enough for such a gift: a manager completely unaware of his own ridiculousness. Brendan Rodgers has his own brand of self-help inspired, overconfident, and philosophical banalities. However, Rodgers understands tactics. Tim Sherwood, to our knowledge, does not. Win percentages, gilets, tactical failings, and unbelievable quotes. Lose to that? Never. He's a prankster; think about it. This upturn in form must be part of some private, cosmic gag reel.
Watch as Tim Sherwood slays two sets of fans in places where it will hurt the most! Tim could do it too and should be credited with restoring confidence and goals to an Aston Villa side in grave need of both. He's also writing inspirational and heartwarming letters to kids with a passion for the game. For the sake of Fowler himself, he's become as noble and sage as bloody Eddard Stark. Even worse, he's managed to get a player with a history of upsetting Liverpool's defence back in ferocious form.
How will Liverpool deal with a hungry and confident Christian Benteke again? Gorging on defenders has returned to his routine after the clichéd, dual, and alliterative struggle with form and fitness. The Belgian international striker has scored eight goals in his last six games for a team focused on exploiting his talents as much as possible. Liverpool fans do not need to be reminded of the how Benteke has tormented Liverpool in the past. That very spirit that possessed him to commit such acts has returned. He leads a unit that is energetic and willing to fight for a relatively new manager. This sentiment may be somewhat irksome for various points of contention but Aston Villa have far less to lose than Liverpool.
Succumbing to Sherwood is possible, but if Brendan Rodgers can tactically outwit Tim and Liverpool's defence nullify the threat of Chrstian, the unthinkable will be avoided. Beware accused reader, beware! This man may be far more than we ever thought and this FA Cup semi-final would be the worst occasion to find out.