My personal opinion is that Tim Sherwood as Tottenham manager is the wrong decision. I’d like to be proven wrong in hindsight, but I just can’t see it working out.
Spurs spent a lot of money to compete not just for top four but to try and win the league. So to jump from someone like Andre Villas-Boas - who at least had experience in winning major titles but was just found wanting when it came to communicating with his players and his bosses - to a fresh face in the managing game like Tim kind of contradicts Spurs’ own ambitions.
While the win at Southampton appears to have been enough to get Sherwood a deal, he listened to the press when it came to those tactical changes which eventually paid off.
West Ham was a game they should have won, and though Tim had half a point when he drew attention to the squad’s lack of cardio after the match, he ended up making changes elsewhere too which replied directly to the feedback the cup exit received.
Southampton was more good fortune than a brilliant performance. The hosts have fallen out of form lately, and looked very suspect at the back which was the perfect time to roll out a two-man strike force again, when you think about it.
Emmanuel Adebayor of course put them to the sword, but although his recent performances helped Sherwood get an 18-month deal, the irony is that he could end up being the man who decides the fate of the new gaffer’s reign as full-time coach.
We all know the situation with Adebayor. Ever since his Arsenal days, he hasn’t been the player he promised to be. While we see his best form from time to time, it’s usually only when he has a point to prove to a manager (in this case, he was neglected by AVB) or if he needs to audition for a better contract or a sweet move elsewhere.
If we are to assume Sherwood will keep faith in Adebayor from here on out – and why wouldn’t he, after three great goals in two games – he has to hope that Emmanuel does not decide he has done enough to either waltz onto the team sheet each week through sheer Sherwood gratitude, or engineer a January move that keeps his large salary intact.
Unfortunately for Sherwood, history dictates there is a good chance of that happening. And if Adebayor misplaces another manager’s faith in him, not only will it prove that AVB was right about him all along but it will also damage Sherwood’s career, and Tottenham’s season which is far from dead in the water just yet.
Personally, I feel such faith should be used on Roberto Soldado, Adebayor’s strike partner on Sunday. While he hasn’t hit the ground completely running in his first six months at White Hart Lane, his work-rate and style of forward play makes it clear he is the sort of striker Spurs’ very talented midfield can feed off.
We all know that midfield hasn’t repaid its collective summer transfer fee yet, but such mass changes take time whether anyone likes it or not. And with Sherwood seemingly willing to take some risks and experiment with the midfield line-up, the opportunities will be there for one or two (or more) to really try to step up.
Sherwood will need them to, really. He doesn’t have the experience to turn these top players into a top team alone. He needs the superior understanding he appears to have with the lads, compared to AVB, to work in his favour.
Nonetheless, Daniel Levy usually always has a plan. But is this a plan, or has he been caught short? Because this appointment feels very knee-jerk to me.