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Tottenham Hotspur debate: Sherwood's appointment - risky or genius?

December 31, 2014 By Richard Wilkins
Levy takes another chance but will put his faith this time in the former Spurs midfielder?

Sherwood has begun life at Tottenham is positive form with two wins in four gamesAmidst 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.   

 

From AVB to his original coaching staff...

Persuasion has seemingly played its part here, Sherwood knows the players and has a good relationship with the owner.  Arguably this is Levy's biggest gamble since he walked through the door and with talk of AVB confessing he didn't want to sign at least three of the club's seven summer signings, the former FC Porto boss was inevitably going to enter the drama that surrounds management dismissal of late.

As a coach at Spurs, Levy has had the opportunity to assess Sherwood's credentials.  Sherwood is a motivator and will have to find a considerable blend with a range of egos and behavioral swirls following a disastrous four months since transfer deadline day. Nabil Bentaleb is proof that there is strong talent in the youth squad to do a job at senior level.

Players on big money will undoubtedly question any demotion to the bench whilst youngsters, including recent debutant Nabil Bentaleb will be expecting to make an impact on the manager rather than petering around the first team from time to time. 

As seen under Harry Redknapp, Spurs have the ability to be a happy team and a very talented one.  With Sherwood expected to deliver quickly and keep installed the confidence seen since the win over Southampton. He will look to spring new life into a full house at White Hart Lane following the shackles created under the latter stages of the Villas-Boas era. 

Following a terrific 3-0 victory over Stoke City on Sunday and 68% of possession over the ninety minutes, Sherwood will want to put a run of games together and may choose to use his current crop to sustain stability in the starting line-up, which is something that his former colleague failed to induce this term. 

What changes has Sherwood made?

Adebayor has hit the ground running since his return to the Spurs side, scoring three in four games.He has already made some bold moves, introducing Emmanuel Adebayor back into the frame which has entertained the forward line, but Spurs will need to begin converting regularly to maintain a challenge . This may become reality as it is evident there are more bodies in the box under Sherwood when the side notch up the gears towards the opposition goal.

This is a manager who will get his players wanting to play for him and to honor the crest.  Measly mistakes will be addressed and Tottenham will begin to find space if they choose to be a little more adventurous as the manager has already made this vocal.  A crucial decision by Sherwood, which we saw glimpses of in the Boxing day home fixture to West Bromwich Albion was to free up Christian Eriksen.  The Dane clearly has the silver spoon and Spurs need to allow him the space to feed intricately to his new frontline, which in turn can give him more options should his boss stick with a two-man attack.  

The manager has rifled in the crosses which has proven to work to Tottenham's height advantage in the box but these assist players will need to perfect their aim with recent efforts running astray.  Glimpses of this took place against Stoke with Spurs winger Aaron Lennon receiving huge applause for his efforts, deviating full back's intelligence with clever runs after finding his lightening quick boots once again. 

Another signifier of improvement has seen forward Roberto Soldado pick up his form in recent weeks.  He has covered the ground well of late and has admitted he has found it difficult to adapt to the English game.  At least the Spaniard has the determination to arrange an appeal for change to build his confidence.

Time to move on with plenty of work to do...

Many criticisms have been launched at Sherwood's appointment, but most notably not at him due to his passion. He has to learn on the job and pick-point lackluster errors with precision. Relying on Gareth Bale was evident and it has become clear that Mr. Levy's back pocket couldn't relieve the club of the Welshman's inevitable exodus and provided many fans with false hope of finishing in the top three.

Now the tables have turned, Tim Sherwood looks to be figuring out how to turn White Hart Lane into a fortress again where opposition players are left flat on their backs by the fierce wind of Tottenham's counter attacking game play.  There is an abundance of grafting ahead and some continuity is needed which is a characteristic the North Londoners have struggled with time and time again. 

It is noticeable the new boss has had an impact over the past few weeks, taking seven points from nine and lifting his side to within three points of a top four spot.  Maybe this time Levy has spotted his own errors and realised that the one man to take Spurs forward was sitting in the backroom staff all along.  There are bigger tasks ahead which will test Sherwood's wits and talent, only time will tell if this decision was the right one.

 

 


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