“He’s got no badges.” “He’s got no experience with a big club.” “He’s a Gooner.” Well, he hasn’t started too badly has he? Tim Sherwood has come under heavy criticism since taking over from Andre Villas-Boas as Spurs manager, much of the dislike coming from Spurs’ own supporters. However, he’s beginning to prove many wrong.
In the 12 games under Tim Sherwood – Spurs have won 7, lost 3 and drawn 2 – a win percentage of 58.3%. For any manager at any club, that gives for very good reading. Spurs have only lost to Arsenal and Manchester City under Sherwood so far. With an impressive 4-0 win at Newcastle, a 3-0 victory at home to Stoke and a 3-1 defeat of Swansea, Sherwood has brought back the fun at White Hart Lane. Spurs look a rejuvenated side.
Much of this is down to the goal scoring powerhouse, Emmanuel Adebayor. Brought back into the fold by Sherwood after being left out by Villas-Boas, Adebayor has scored 9 goals in 12 games, including some very vital ones at Manchester United and Southampton as well as at home to Everton. The Togolese man has been prolific in front of goals, relieving Roberto Soldado of his lack of form.
Sherwood began deploying a 4-4-2 formation but after being overrun in midfield at The Emirates and at home to Crystal Palace in the first half, the ex-Spurs midfielder switched to a 4-3-3 formation; adding strength and numbers in midfield as well as the ability to counter attack with pace and creativity; proving vital against Everton and Swansea. He even went against his word and played a defensive midfielder, Etienne Capoue, against Newcastle. Capoue went on to play a key role in Spurs’ victory. Unlike Villas-Boas, Sherwood isn’t stubborn and seems happy to change things if he believes it will benefit the side.
Another masterstroke by Sherwood has been the involvement of Algerian midfielder, Nabil Bentaleb. The 19 year old has caught the eye in many games, most recently away at St James’ Park and looks extremely assured, calm and confident in the heart of the Spurs midfield. He was originally deployed as a midfielder to sit in front of the defence and came up against the likes of Wayne Rooney, Santi Cazorla and Yaya Toure. However, after being relieved of his taxing and vigorous defensive duties, he has been given a new lease of life as a box-to-box midfielder. He ran riot at Newcastle, gaining two assists for Emmanuel Adebayor and Nacer Chadli. The young man looks extremely assured and is a huge prospect for the future of the Tottenham midfield.
After a lot of confusion and debate at the time of his appointment, Sherwood has made many people think twice. There were many questions raised at the start of his spell in charge, one that appeared to be on an interim basis at first, but he has exceeded expectations and finds his side seven points off the top of the table. He may lack experience but has shown a lot of nous in his team selection; despite their questioning look.
Spurs are reportedly looking at other managers to take over in the summer but if Sherwood continues the way he has, there is no reason why he doesn’t deserve the job. Football is a results game and at the moment, he is getting the results. He may have his ‘haters’ but at the end of the day, if he bring success to the football club then he is the man for the job.
What he lacks in experience, he makes up for in charisma. He knows the insides of the club well, he played for the club and is also very familiar with the entire youth set up at Hotspur Way – an essential part of the future of the club. And anyway, Bill Nicholson came through the ranks from player to coach to manager and that one turned out alright, didn’t it?
Come On You Spurs!