May 29, 2015 09:21:52 UK
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been impressed with the impact Tim Sherwood has had on Aston Villa since succeeding Paul Lambert in February.
The two teams are set to meet in Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley, but just three months ago such a conclusion to the season seemed extremely unlikely for Villa when they were embroiled in a relegation dogfight.
However, since Sherwood took on the managerial reins at Villa Park, the club have moved clear of the bottom three and beaten West Brom and Liverpool to reach the FA Cup final against the Gunners.
The return to form and fitness of Christian Benteke has helped to revive Villa’s fortunes – the Belgium international has scored 12 goals in his last 12 appearances for the club, grabbing a hat-trick in the 3-3 draw with QPR, as well as netting braces against Everton and Sunderland.
They are positive so overall I believe he has done a very good job.
He has now scored 42 goals in 89 Premier League appearances for the club following his arrival from Genk three years ago and is 3.50 to score at any time on Saturday in a match Villa can be backed at 34.00 to win 2-0.
Wenger said: “Benteke is a player who has a massive potential. I think some of the bad fortune of Aston Villa this season was linked with the fact that Benteke was not there.
“When he came back into the team, he gave a lift to everybody He’s fantastic in the air and can score headers against any team in the league.”
Of Sherwood, Wenger added: “He has done extremely well. He has lifted their confidence and got them to go forward a lot. They are positive so overall I believe he has done a very good job.”
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