Tim Sherwood started his footballing career with Watford, followed by Norwich and then to Blackburn Rovers, which was the pinnacle of his career, and where he won a PL medal. He was at that club for 7 years. After leaving the Rovers it was downhill all the way. Four year spell with Spurs, followed by Portsmouth and then Coventry where he saw out his career. He also played for England U21, England B and ending with three appearances for England.
He left Spurs because of a major argument with the then manager Glenn Hoddle. Hoddle allegedly said that he would never play for the club again. One can presume that it was over tactics.
He came back to Spurs under Harry Redknapp’s tutelage as a coach. Five years later he was promoted to Head Coach of the first team after the sacking of AVB. His first match in charge at Spurs was against struggling West Ham; who knocked us out of the Capital One Cup. Spurs then had a good run under his guidance. Three wins and a draw before being knocked out and humiliated by Arsenal in the FA Cup 3rd Rd by 2 goals and no returns. This was followed by a 2-0 victory over Palace at White Hart Lane, then an away win over Swansea (3-1) before a humiliation on his own territory at the hands of Man City (1-5).
In February there was a mixed bag from Sherwood’s Spurs. We won 3, lost 1 and drawn two. March was a disastrous month for greenhorn Tim. Spurs lost 4, drew 1 and only managed two wins. With the two heaviest defeats coming from Chelsea (4-0) and Liverpool by the same score line.
When AVB was sacked we were still in all competitions. From day taking over Sherwood’s Spurs were knocked out of all competitions gradually, methodically and in a spectacular way. Capital One Cup by Struggling West Ham (1-2), FA Cup by Arsenal in the 3rd Rd proper and then humiliation at home by Benfica in the Europa Cup by 1-3 (on agg 3-5).
Whatever you throw at AVB one thing is for sure, he was replaced by somebody who couldn’t or wasn’t capable of improving on his record. As I have previously said we should have waited until the end of the season before doing an assessment on AVB. If you are going to sack a manager mid-season then it would be logical to replace that manager with somebody who was an improvement and experienced rather than replacing him with an inexperienced wannabee. That is totally nonsensical and bad business. But it did happen and we can’t undo the stupid.
Let us look at Sherwood’s coaching abilities on the big stage. He has been criticised for not being down on the touch line where all the action is. His argument was that he can see better from high up. The critics (professional footballers and managers alike) say that he should be down on the touch line. Maybe the first half in the director’s box, but he should be at a shouting distance to his players; encouraging or bollocking them where necessary.
He has unprofessionally criticised his players in public. There have been rumours that he was in fisticuffs with one of his players (denied). He also – reportedly – held his players back half an hour after the Liverpool game to give them a dressing down. It is believed that the players were confused with his tactics. In the game against Liverpool, before the match, they looked confused and disorientated; lambs being led to the slaughter. Why wasn’t Sherwood there building them up into fighting lions?
On tactics he, or I should say the team, seems to be all over the place; with different formations and odd substitutions and here and there.
All the games I saw live at White Hart Lane (under Sherwood) I thought they played terrible, but won with luck, rather than anything spectacular and encouraging. The only two exceptions were the Arsenal and Sunderland games: the Arsenal game I thought we were the better team, but still lost. As for Sunderland; yes we thrashed them and played better, but against a team that was at the bottom of the PL, with a poor defence. And probably will be relegated at the end of the season.
Another problem AVB and his predecessor Tim Sherwood had was whether to have one or two strikers up front. Both managers tried different possibilities but failed to achieve anything constructive, worthwhile, consistent or coherent.
To be fair on Sherwood he was thrown in the deep end. Nevertheless, like AVB he had to embed 8 new players in, quickly and probably with players not of his liking. Which goes back to what I originally said; why replace one manager with another only to create a backwards step with no visible solutions? Both managers ended up with the same teething troubles.
What does the future hold for Sherwood and Spurs? I think it is inconceivable that Sherwood will still be here next year (even though he has another year on his contract to go). As for Spurs next manager? Every Tom, Dick and Harry has been hypothesised by the papers, critics and fans alike and it will probably keep changing from here until the world cup is over. Sherwood will no doubt go away and lick his wounds and probably will be picked to manage a lower league team (he has stated that he would not stay at Spurs if he was sacked). If for some strange thinking Sherwood is still here next season then all eyes will focus on the Tottenham board and their capabilities in running a prestige’s club like Tottenham Hotspur FC. Apart from that Spurs could be turned into a global laughing stock, if they haven’t already.
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