tim sherwood, not for me thank you.

Ted Maul takes a look at the short, but eventful reign of Tim Sherwood as Tottenham's Head Coach after 19 games.



So, Tim Sherwood's time in charge at Tottenham has hit a tough spot after the heady goals galore days of his first three matches.  Managing, like all aspects of work is easy when things are going well, but when things go belly up, it becomes harder and how you respond to that, like how players respond to a sound beating (in football terms I mean), reflects the nature of the man.

But following a couple of big defeats and playing one man up front in home matches, are his tactics much different from the man that he replaced, Andre Villas-Boas ?

After the Arsenal match, his post match comments were fiesty, explaining how he didn't know how Tottenham didn't win the game.  Simple Tim, Arsenal scored one more goal than we did.  They exploited our defensive weakness with one good killer pass and that was something we couldn't do.  Battering away at their defence with long balls lumped into the box was never going to be sophisticated enough to give them difficult problems to solve.  Our one big man did well against their two big men, but their other two defenders were there to pick the loose ball up from our non-existent other one front man.

Bluster, touchline shouting and finger pointing is all well and good, but three points would be better.  It does not set a good example to the players, who are guided by this man, when he is ranting and raving on the side-line, having running battles with other managers, fourth officials and now opposition players.  The man is a winner according to his own opinion, so is that all down to intimidation and rage ?  Is that all winning takes ?  Is so, why is Roy Keane out of a job ?  Why isn't Joey Barton a shoe-in for the plane to Brazil this summer ?  Why is Robbie Savage working as a pundit on Match of the Day ?  Well, OK, I'll give you the last one, but success in that instance needs to be qualified.

The slaughtering of the players in public after the Chelsea match was one borne of naivety.  How often do you see Wenger do that or did Ferguson do it during his career ?  The line that he was only saying what the fans would be saying themselves is not one that holds a lot of sway with me.  I would rather that he was not saying that in the press and that we were winning games.  Sherwood proclaims that nobody cares more for this club than he does.  Really ?  How much of his own money has he spent following them at home and around the country over a number of years ?  I know he has indicated his appreciation to those fans who travelled to Ukraine a couple of weeks back, but don't suddenly make out that you have been Tottenham's greatest fan of all time.

Against Arsenal, Sherwood was losing his cool and so to ask the players to be patient is contrary to the volcanic figure he presented on the touchline, while not head-butting Arsenal players, his twice thrown ball at Sagna almost prompted a nasty scene. Apart from not doing himself a lot of god, it does not reflect well on the club when he is seen throwing his clothes around like a three year old having a temper tantrum. Working himself up into such a lather can not help considered decision making and taking off Christian Eriksen while leaving Nabil Bentaleb on the pitch was one which looked clouded in my honest opinion.

Was the young midfielder really having a better game than Eriksen ?  I don't want to stop a promising career in it's infancy, but what was Sherwood thinking ?  When Roberto Soldado finally got the chance to enter play, he must have been delighted.  When he saw Eriksen's number on the subs board next to his, his heart must have sunk.  We know that Sherwood has a lot of time for the Algerian international, even going to the extent of playing him when he first arrived in the NextGen competition when under-age and thus getting Spurs to resign their position before they got thrown out after beating Liverpool.  Bentaleb has played almost every game since Tim took over and he will have to be careful that Nabil doesn't come in for criticism from the crowd if things start to go wrong.  There are already some comments flying around about the favouritism shown to the youngster.

Coming so soon after the new Head Coach started with Harry Kane against Benfica, when a wily, experienced European campaigner sat on the bench, it looked like he was determined to make sure he got a 12 month pay off in May, when Levy would be giving serious thought to replacing him.  For all the "I am not a babysitter" and "I'm just going to shoot from the hip" talk, he might just be playing the game the wrong way off the pitch, while learning how to play it right on the pitch.  We all know that he will make mistakes as he develops into his role, as there is not a hope in hell that he is going to turn into a title winning manager over-night, but adopting an aggressive, "take me as I am or leave me" stance, might just persuade Daniel that the latter might be more appropriate.  With people touting themselves for the post in the summer, he may have a choice, but the players might have a say, if a number wish to leave in the close season.  A change at the top might persuade some of them to give it another go.

Sherwood is not all to blame.  The players, who disappeared down the tunnel quicker than a Spurs crowd ten minutes from the end of another home defeat, have to take their share of the responsibility, with individual errors costing Spurs and some of their performances have indicated that there is more than on offer.  Levy himself must look in the mirror and admit that he has made mistakes by chopping and changing managers with alarming alacrity.

We, the fans, are left with nothing more available to us than to try and get behind the players who turn out in the Lilywhite shirt and hope that things might take a turn for the better rather than the usual navigation into a dead end street.  Whether Sherwood's is the voice on the SatNav that takes us in the right direction or not, only one man will know.


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