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Friday, 14 March 2014

Tim Sherwood is doing his best guys

Tim Sherwood is in a no-win situation as Head Coach at Tottenham Hotspur at the moment.

There are always two sides to every story so if you look at it from Sherwood's side then you have to feel sorry for him. Andre Villas-Boas having alienated everyone at the club including his own coaching staff had to go when he refused to do as Daniel Levy instructed him to do and bring Emmanuel Adebayor in from the cold.
Tim Sherwood in a no-win situation at Spurs
Tim Sherwood is in a no-win situation at Spurs

He made his own position untenable. Spurs needed an interim manager until they could appoint someone after the World Cup. The world and his wife knew it so let's not even bother to pretend otherwise.

Tim Sherwood said I can do that job for you boss and with complete belief in himself convinced Levy to let him fulfil the role. Unbelievable to me at the time Levy agreed and from that point the season was over.

Fast forward to now and he is a lonely figure, yes he has had words of encouragement from the board that they are satisfied with his work. What they don't tell you is the criteria they are using to assess that work. It has nothing to do with winning football matches or creating a team that's for sure, it can only be for building for the future and that means sussing out who they have bought.

Tottenham board member Sir Keith Mills has spoken of the job Sherwood is doing and had this to say.

"We were playing well at Chelsea and we made some silly mistakes and we got thrashed 4-0, it happens.

"Inevitably when things don't go well the media are very keen to have inquests but if you are not prepared to take the rough with the smooth then you shouldn't be involved with football.

"He was very emotional and upset and if I had his job I would probably be emotional and upset. When he got back to the training ground I am sure he would have sat down with the players and analysed where it went wrong and try to find a way to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Now I pop across to Harry Hotspur every now and then even if he does like to delete comments, it can be an interesting read at times and forthright. I don't always agree with his opinion but then life would be dull if everyone did agree wouldn't it, we all want the same thing but come at it from different directions at times. Anyway our dear Harold (reminds me of Steptoe & Son every time) revealed that Tim Sherwood went back into the dressing room to find the players laughing and joking, or at least some of them. He and Dawson went ballistic.

If accurate and it is very believable, then certain players obviously couldn't care less. As a sportsman I hated losing, teammates wouldn't talk to me for a while after a game if we had and I went ballistic with some of them on more than one occasion, both on and off the field, even to the players who were far better than me.

I can fully understand what that dressing room was right and a few of the choice words that will have been said. If you are a winner, losing hurts. Sherwood hurts, Dawson hurts, Spurs fans hurt. Tim Sherwood could probably employ any tactic he choose and it would not work at the moment because certain players couldn't care less whether it does or doesn't.

Sir Keith continued;

"This the cut and thrust and excitement of match-day but his job is to manage the team and that means understanding how each week we can improve.

"We think he is doing a great job, the results since he took over have been good and he knows like every player on the pitch that success is based on performance. He will be in a great place if we do well and if we don't he won't, the same for every player in every football club in the world."

Win and you will have kept your job, don't win and you won't is in plain terms the message.

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"The Premier League is one of the most competitive sports leagues in the world with vast amount of money spent on the teams and the players and you can't afford to make too many mistakes.

"In most sports it is the teams or the athletes that make the fewest mistakes that wins.

"Last weekend we made too many mistakes.

"When you bring a lot of new players as we did in the summer, several players from all over the world it takes them a long time - and longer than we would probably like - to settle in together and in the Premier League. Many had not played in the Premier League before and it is a very different experience."

It does not take a whole season, this excuse, because that is all it is, wore thin in December let alone March with only a relatively few games to go before the end of the season.

"I'd like to think the vast majority of the players we brought in will develop and stay and produce the value we believe they had when we bought them.

"This year is probably for us a transition year with a large number of new players and the manager's job is to make the best of it."

That last remark 'the manager's job to make the best of it' is exactly what Sherwood is trying to do now but his frustration is evident.

He is in a job he doesn't know, he can not understand not giving 100%. I understand this, I can't give anything less that 100% and I expected everyone else to feel and do the same. You are not here to have fun or play for fun, you are here to win, winning is fun, you will enjoy it is you are winning. That is the problem Sherwood has.

What do you do with someone who doesn't have a winning mentality every game? With injuries he has had to pick some of them and see them make mistakes. He would like to tear his hair out. Having a go at them is an outlet, he is not going to change their attitude so what can he do?

One way is to pick the likes of Nabil Bentaleb and Harry Kane, players he knows will give him 100% even if they are not as good as others.

The situation he is in is not going to go away, he doesn't want to see Spurs get hammered any more than we do but in all honesty, there is very little he can do to stop it. If people are going through the motions they are not going to suddenly start playing. They will amble through until a new man is appointed and then start trying.

In that respect picking players who are going to give him 100% is all he can do and hope. These remaining games are going to feel like a long time to him. He has to say OK, this is the way we are gong to play and just pick the players who are going to try within that system. If that is 4-4-2 with a danger of getting overrun in the middle of the park so be it.

To an extent he is doing that, Kane's selection shows that but so does playing Eriksen on the left with a winger on the bench, the guy is a central midfielder but I suspect the players that want to give it their all are virtually all down the spine of the side, Adebayor, Eriksen, Dembele, Sandro, Bentaleb, Dawson, Kaboul, Lennon and believe it or not possible Soldado as well.

In a way I feel sorry for him, he is in a position he can do nothing about and has to take blow after blow after blow. He thought the job was easier than it is, he didn't take into account player reaction, he couldn't, for him not giving 100% doesn't exist.

Sacking him is not the answer either, the players are not going to try now for anyone else for the rest of the season. He was an appointment that was a massive gamble and it has backfired. It's muddle through until the end of the season now.

His pride must be hurting and his anger is starting to boil over. He will say and do whatever he can to get a reaction and try to get the lazy to work, but they won't. If it is in your character to ignore an interim boss then nothing he says is going to change that.

Tim Sherwood is not a man to have an argument with right now.


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