Tim Sherwood ‘speaks’: How the Swindon Town director of football’s post-Bristol Rovers interview should have gone
After the latest defeat of his Swindon Town reign, Tim Sherwood once again failed to show up to explain himself to the fans through the media.
Had he had the guts, guile or sense to do so, here’s how the interview should have gone…
BBC Wiltshire’s Sam Parkin: So Tim, how did that happen?
Swindon Town’s (we think) Tim Sherwood: Well, to be honest Sam, we’re not good enough, experienced enough or organised enough to be consistent in this division.
We don’t create enough chances, we dally in possession, we don’t have a wherewithal to play the way we idealise and, quite frankly, it’s remarkable that supporters are still putting up with it.
Parkin: What did you make of the goal?
Sherwood: Well, I saw that it was scored by Billy Bodin, who has more professional goals to his name than all four of the strikers we had on the pitch today put together.
Super Sam: Is that a comment on your transfer policy?
Tactics Tim: I think our transfer policy is pretty obvious, Sam. We spend the first fortnight of the January window blustering about experience and know-how to placate fans who have legitimate and generally unanswered concerns, and then take on kids who, while talented, absolutely cannot influence a game without the expertise of more seasoned operators around them.
And – though we might love him for those goals against Sheffield United (I was in the stands cheering, of course) – Ben Gladwin is as seasoned as a cub scout.
Parkin (League One play-off semi-finalist, 2004): So what’s the solution?
Sherwood (19th in League One, 2017): Our solution or the solution? Two very different things.
The solution would be to try to inject energy back into the fanbase, engaging with the community, apologising for a total abandonment of history and tradition, and trying – just occasionally – to make supporters proud to support Swindon Town again.
The solution would be justifying the relentless stream of Premier League drop-outs and cast-offs with public explanations of just how our budget works. And how we can use it IN THE NEXT THREE DAYS to prevent a slide into the League Two abyss.
The solution would be explaining how a club with a turnover of around £5million up until recently, and has a top-eight average attendance in League One, has to be run on such an apparently skin-flint basis to ensure ‘self-sustainability’.
The solution would be getting the chairman to say what he actually wants out of his ownership of this club.
The solution would be implementing a management structure that is not the butt of 1,000 jokes in the national press and among supporters of clubs across the country.
The solution would be honesty, transparency and truth.
Our solution… hands over ears, ‘la, la, la, la, I can’t hear you’, make sure Luke does the pre-match for Oxford, send out season-ticket renewal letters.
Free transfer from Chelsea (73 goals in 142 games): Could you hear the discontent among the fans today?
‘One of the biggest appointments the club has ever made’ (15 games, 3 wins, 4 draws, 8 defeats): We can hear it every game and, quite frankly, for a group of young boys with little experience of playing in front of big crowds, and others who are already down in confidence, the boos and criticism will be destructive, not constructive.
But it’s absolutely impossible to have a go at the fans who have to pay £20-plus per game to watch 90 minutes of rudderless garbage. Or, in the case of today’s opponents, £20-plus per game, and an extra £20 for the game that never was.
Swindon Advertiser reporter Matt Edwards: Tim, what is…
Timmy S: Hang on, Matt. Before you get into your questions – and, believe me, I’m going to stay here and answer every one – I just wanted to apologise to you and your colleagues for the way they’ve been treated over the past few years.
Obviously, you’re getting a little more access now, which is great, albeit that access is to tepid regurgitation of cliches from a coach who has little to zero direct say in how the team is run, but for many, many months you were subjected to dog’s abuse for simply doing your jobs. We should appreciate that the local press is not just a promoter for the club but also a critical friend.
We lost our way and then, when we allowed you back in, set the whole thing up to look like we were the Good Samaritan, extending an olive branch to the reformed convict. We owe you an apology.
‘Bloody Adver’: *shocked silence*
Mr Sherwood: I think it’d also be prudent of me to pick up on some of the concerns about the management structure.
Whether or not it’s the security of the five-year contract, I don’t know, but Luke Williams’ one-man impression of a flak jacket needs context. The poor guy doesn’t deserve an iota of criticism, and his answers in press conferences when it comes to transfers, recruitment and future strategy need to be recognised for what they are… obsolete.
It’s not his fault, he’s just a cog in the machine, but you’d be better off following @ITKtransfergossipking for accurate info on the next signing. If there is one. We haven’t checked the Spurs ‘for-loan’ fax yet.
Matt Edwards (jaw returned from floor): So Tim, why don’t you spend some time with the media? You’re the man in charge, after all…
Sherwood: Honestly, Matt… I don’t need the hassle. I have no contract with the club and, as such, no formal ties with the place other than a friendship with the owner that stretches back many, many years.
Why else would my name have been linked with major jobs within a month of me being heralded in front of the media at the County Ground – employees of the football club herded into a suite to applaud my arrival in the sort of quasi-Orwellian spectacle that is quickly becoming synonymous with a certain leader of the free world.
It does me little good to be subjected to cross-examination by the media, so there is little point in me doing so. It seems the chairman has chosen a similar route. I mean, when was the last of his monthly phone-ins which he promised upon excluding all non rights-holding media from pre-match press arrangements all those months ago?
By the way, someone mentioned something about ‘Fanzai’ to me the other day. What do you know about that? Is he a free agent?
Football Phil (shouting over the fence): Does anyone care any more?
Sherwood: *pulls on gilet and runs for the bus*
AS OVERHEARD BY ‘RED IN THE FACE’