Sherwood defends Wenger record

Describing him as an ???incredible manager???, the Aston Villa boss has nothing but admiration for the Frenchman???s achievements with the London club.

While Sherwood has only 43 games as a manager behind him, Wenger has taken charge of 1,065 matches since his appointment in 1996.

Holders Arsenal ended a nine-year wait for another trophy when they defeated Hull 3-2 last season to win the competition for the 11th time.

The longer that barren spell went on, the more criticism from fans aimed at Wenger increased but Sherwood has been impressed by the way his rival has gone about his business.

He said: “You have got to be careful what you wish for as a fan. For me, he’s done a tremendous job. If you line up the chairman and every director in a football club, they all want a Wenger.

“Maybe Chelsea and Man City might be an exception because they’ve got gazillions of pounds to keep throwing at it.

???If you want a sustainable business and someone to run it through, I think Arsene Wenger is a great model of that.

“It does drive me mad if someone has never stepped into that technical area and claims to be the expert.

“That is a little bit gruelling. They don’t know what it’s like. It’s impossible for them to know.

“When you first step in the technical area it’s a whole expectation of the football club. I don’t think anyone should be criticising Arsene Wenger.

???You can criticise Tim Sherwood all you want. I think it’s a bit rich criticising Arsene Wenger. I think he’s an incredible manager.”

Villa will bid to win silverware for the first time since Wenger moved to England, when they defeated Leeds United 3-0 to win the League Cup.

The Midlands team are also looking for a first FA Cup since 1957 and after surviving a relegation battle this season, Sherwood is looking for a clear turning point.

He added: “We know we are huge underdogs going into the game but every time we’ve been underdogs this year I’ve asked them for a big performance and we’ve produced it.

“They ticked the boxes in all those games. They can rise to the occasion, they just need to do it one more time. It’s a great opportunity for everyone involved to give the club a platform to move on.

“There’s no getting away from the fact it’s got a losing mentality. People keep looking at the players saying this group of players shouldn’t be where they are.

“You are there for a reason and four years on the spin is because something is wrong with the mentality. Losing becomes a habit and we have to make sure winning becomes a habit.”