Sadio Mané’s fastest-ever hat-trick brings back all of Tactics Tim’s worst nightmares

176 seconds was all it took for “Tactics Tim” to become a punching bag once again.

When Aston Villa appointed Tim Sherwood to replace Paul Lambert, the English media – and a vast majority of the real in-the-knows, Those Who Tweet Constantly – gave snorts of derision upon hearing the news. But then Villa started to do things like beat Liverpool to reach the FA Cup final and managing to win two straight games. Suddenly “Tactics Tim” was being discussed without tongues firmly in cheek.

Then Aston Villa visited Southampton.

Southampton’s Sadio Mané completed his hat-trick in less than three minutes, shattering Robbie Fowler’s previous record of 4 minutes and 33 seconds, a feat the Liverpool player accomplished against Arsenal back in 1994.

The Saints’ attacker had more than a little help from Shay Given for the first, which might make many wonder if good ol’ Tactics Timmy has done right in dropping Brad Guzan. Then came the horrendous back-pass from Ron Vlaar, another player some weren’t so keen on returning to the fold. Mané definitely deserved all the credit for his last goal, but Southampton ultimately beat Villa 6-1.

Unless Hull City loses today, Aston Villa will still definitely be in the relegation battle. Plus, there’s still Arsenal to face in that pesky FA Cup final. Perhaps it’s best to reserve judgment until Villa knows it chose the right man to keep the team safe.

You just know Sherwood’s out there right now, burning his old signed Harry Kane kit in sacrifice to the Gods of Moral Judgement to insure Tottenham beat Hull.