David Moyes and Manchester United have apparently confirmed they are ready to make Southampton left back Luke Shaw the most expensive teenager in the English game. Shaw has made a huge name for himself playing up and down the left flank for the Saints which deservedly honoured him his first England cap in a recent 1-0 victory over Denmark at Wembley.
The search for a gifted left back is a difficult position to fill, with Manchester United looking for a long term replacement for the aging Patrice Evra. Chelsea are also said to be on the hunt to replace Ashley Cole, whose game time has been limited this season.
Further interest has seen Tottenham Hotspur making enquiries but it seems the tussle for the south-west London born teen may be too hot for the Lilywhites to handle.
The possible arrival of Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal at White Hart Lane seems to be throwing up plenty of excitement for the North Londeners.
Despite Tim Sherwood's relatively consistent start to his Tottenham managerial career with seven wins in his first ten league games, criticism over the tactics left some fans are on the fence, suggesting that Sherwood's inexperience is beginning to peep through. There are questions over his timing of substitutes which see it left too late for Spurs to salvage anything from a losing position.
Preview: Spurs hoping to end 24 year winless streak at Stamford Bridge
Last time Spurs emerged victorious in an away encounter against Chelsea was back in 1990 when a late goal from Gary Lineker earned the North London side all three points against the Blues.
Tottenham have since then failed to get the better of their London counterparts and Tim Sherwood will become the latest manager to try to bring an end to this disruptive streak. However Jose Mourinho’s home record has been impeccable and it will only take a sublime performance from Sherwood’s men to get anything out of the match.
Preview: Spurs looking to build on European triumph
The North London side put forth an astonishing display of character as they raced to a 3-1 win over Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the second leg of the Europa League last 32 tie.
After winning the first leg 1-0 the Ukrainian side increased their lead on aggregate to 2-0 after Roman Zozulya put the visitors 2-0 up on aggregate but three goals within 13 minutes allowed Tottenham to take the lead and a seal a place in the last 16 of the competition.
Preview: Can Tottenham turn the tie around?
Dnipro does not have domestic competition to worry about due to the current break and will thus come into this tie with a full set of players to choose from. Yevheniy Konoplyanka’s late penalty has left Tottenham with a deficit to overcome at home. A 1-0 loss to Norwich will not have helped their confidence. They sit six points behind Liverpool at this point in the Premier League table in fifth.
The goal of the season is to finish in the top four; the loss to Norwich will not have helped.
Sherwood can perhaps get the support of the crowd once again by helping his side turn the tie around at White Hart Lane. Erik Lamela, Kyle Walker, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Younes Kaboul, Vlad Chiriches and Etienne Capoue are all out for Spurs.
Preview: Tottenham looking for third straight league win
Spurs have pulled off some impressive showings in the league recently and aim to displace Liverpool from the top four with only three points separating the two sides. After being subjected to a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Man City at the White Hart Lane, Tottenham have responded well and are undefeated in league games in the last three matches.
In their last Premier League outing the Lilywhites produced a splendid performance defeating Newcastle by a 4-0 score line and will be hoping to make a repeat of that.
Preview: Can Tim Sherwood’s side pick up an away win against Spurs' former boss, Juando Ramos’ side?
Dnipro has not played a match since losing to ACF Fiorentina in December as their domestic league is on its break. This means they do not have any injuries to worry about. This also means that they lack match practice. Tottenham is on the other end of the spectrum having had several matches in the past two months as the Premier League entered the busiest part of its schedule. Tim Sherwood’s players should not have to worry too much though – they are an expensively assimilated team as Juande Ramos pointed out according to UEFA’s official website:
Preview: Can Tim Sherwood guide Spurs to a top four spot?
At one point under Andre Villas Boas, it had seemed Spurs had ventured too far and made too many mistakes to battle for the Premier League title. In terms of managerial experience as head coach, Tim Sherwood is a relative novice compared to Villas Boas. Thus watching Spurs beat Everton might have been surreal for some; it left Spurs three points behind Liverpool and just ten behind the league leaders.
Newcastle is coming into this one in poor form, having collected a solitary point in the past three matches. They have lost two matches back to back, at home to Sunderland and away to Chelsea. Tottenham had drawn 1-1 against Hull and had been battered 1-5 in front of their own fans by Manchester City before claiming all three points against Roberto Martinez’s men at the weekend.
Preview: Can Everton manage to edge closer to Europe?
By manipulating the system of loans and playing a very attractive style, Everton has flourished under Roberto Martinez. Martinez has turned Everton from David Moyes’ low budget project into a genuine contender for the crown itself, let alone a European spot. The line between contender and pretender is quite thin in this campaign filled with surprises nonetheless and Everton must prove their mettle against Tim Sherwood’s Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham of course was not playing the part of a contender at all until Sherwood took to gliding up and down the touchline every match day. Spurs have played freely and positively and reaped the rewards, none more so than Emmanuel Adebayor who is beginning to resemble the deadly striker Arsenal once knew. A rift between him and former boss Andre Villas Boas had left him rotting away; he reflected this week on that relationship according to BBC:
Preview: Spurs and the Tigers both want to get back on track
Was Andre Villas-Boas the main problem at White Hart Lane? Even if Tim Sherwood’s appointment was warmly welcomed by many Spurs fans, the 100M Euros new-look team’s inconsistent results seem to explain that much more needs to be done to rectify things.
The post-AVB era began with instant success as Tottenham bounced back from a 5-0 humiliation in the hands of Liverpool with a 3-2 win over Southampton. They picked a point in the following game at home to West Bromwich Albion and got full points against Stoke City, Manchester United, Crystal Palace and Swansea City.
Preview: Spurs looking for revenge after humiliation at Etihad
The Lilywhites were thoroughly outclassed last time the two sides met earlier in the season. Man City who have been breathtakingly good at home displayed a near to perfect performance as they recorded a 6-0 victory over the North London side.
Even though Tottenham recorded 13 shots during the game compared to City’s 15, Pellegrini's side was much more clinical and recorded a win in exemplary fashion.
Preview: Can Tottenham edge closer to the top four?
Michael Laudrup’s side earned plenty of plaudits for the way they set out last season. However, Laudrup and his side have come under criticism for not changing the way things are done. For all the nice passes on the pitch, the results have been horrible. Swansea sits in fourteenth spot in the Premier League having lost four of their previous five Premier League matches.
Jose Canas and Garry Monk are out for Swansea. Two incredibly important players who Laudrup is desperately in need of are out as well in Michu and Pablo Hernandez. Dwight Tiendalli, Nathan Bakar and Michel Vorm could return to the squad for this one but the chances are low. Jonathan De Guzman and Roland Lamah are doubtful. Swansea’s Wayne Routledge spoke about their current plights recently as Sky Sports noted:
Since the quick turnaround of replacing Andre Villas-Boas in December, Sherwood's strong start as manager has quickly clouded over the criticism of the club's lavish spending in the summer. The excitement of the seven arrivals has been overshadowed as these players have taken their time to gel as AVB original failed to scope together his best eleven. Les Ferdinand has declared both he and Sherwood have distinguished who is their first choice players which has seen a winnable blend in recent weeks.
Although there has been plenty of circulation of potential targets, no formal contact has been made with any player in the early stages of the market. From Ferdinand's point of view, speaking to the media of late, it appeared that Spurs are in no rush to bring in the numbers as they look continue with their recent consistency.
Preview: Can Tottenham secure an expected victory?
Tottenham Hotspur fails when they are not expected to fail, especially in the Premier League. Granted that they have beaten David Moyes’ Manchester United this season, they have also lost to smaller sides such as West Ham United. With just over half the season gone, Tottenham is already under new management. Andre Villas Boas was shown the door a few days after Spurs fell apart against City and Tim Sherwood was given the job.
Sherwood has so far shown nothing but positivity. On the touchline, he cuts a relaxed figure. His team’s shackles seem to have been taken off in recent weeks. They play free-flowing, devil-may-care football. However, the team has been rather vulnerable in defense. They lost to a very good Arsenal outfit in their previous match in the FA Cup. However, they did not look completely hapless.
Preview: Both teams have injuries, but both sides will want the victory
When Tottenham last traveled to the Emirates earlier this season, they headed home with a 1-0 defeat. Giroud latched onto a cross and side footed it past Hugo Lloris, giving the Gunners three important points.
These two London rivals will now meet again, this time for the FA Cup. Arsenal's Emirates Stadium will be the venue once again, but their will be some changes to both squads from their first match.
Preview: Who wins the last three-point package on New Year’s Day?
The Red Devils and Spurs are neck and neck. Both teams have won ten, drawn four and lost five but the Manchester side have a better goalscoring record and slightly better defence than their upcoming opponents.
Last weekend, patience paid off as Spurs fans enjoyed the team’s first win at White Hart Lane since October. They displayed a solid performance, winning 3-0 against Stoke City. ESPN FC quoted Andre Villas-Boas' successor, Tim Sherwood, as saying:
“It's all about winning. We played with that freedom against West Brom, didn't get the result and the crowd went home unhappy.
Amidst the sacking of AVB, the Portuguese’s departure was accompanied with talk of risk following his short lived stint at Stamford Bridge. Now his successor who became odds on favourite to convince the Chairman to print off an eighteen month contract rather than placing him on an interim scale until the summer, has begun positively in his first handful of games.
Appointing former Premier League winner Tim Sherwood is a really big call by Daniel Levy. Sherwood has no managerial experience and will be expected to deliver a respectable finish in the top quarter of the league.
Preview: Sherwood and Hughes contemplating victory at all cost
Tottenham Hotspur missed the opportunity to finish Matchday 18 above the Red Devils of Manchester United. Both teams have 31 points but Spurs’ dreadful defensive record (the worst in the top-half of the Premier League table with 24 goals conceded) puts them in eighth, one spot behind.
Mental power and aggressiveness inspired Spurs to a vital 3-2 win away to Southampton last weekend. But there was not much to cheer about on Boxing Day as the team failed to click in their 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion.
Preview: Can Tottenham succeed under Tim Sherwood?
Tottenham, strangely enough, face a club in the same situation they themselves were in less than a week ago. Steve Clarke was fired after a poor run of results. The club, currently under the management of interim coach Keith Downing is in 16th place. They are looking for a turn in fortunes. Spurs on the other hand sit seventh. Following an exit in the Capital One Club at the hands of none other than West Ham United, they managed to beat Southampton 2-3.
Sherwood of course made alterations for this game. He switched to a two-striker system with Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor up front. Adebayor scored two of those goals. Tottenham already have six away wins to their name. However, their home record is rather poor. Only three wins at White Hart Lane have left the fans rather distraught.