That Tottenham Hotspur are set to sack manager Tim Sherwood is hardly surprising and should come as welcome relief to the club’s beleaguered supporters, who have watched the North London outfit lurch from one embarrassment to another over the course of the season.
Since replacing Andre Villas-Boas in December, Sherwood has overseen just eight Premier League victories at Spurs—only two of which have come since the middle of February. His side have been on the wrong end of lopsided scorelines against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City (matches they lost by a combined 13-1), and last month they crashed out of the Europa League’s round of 16.
All the while Sherwood’s team selection has resembled something picked out of a hat, and his roll-up-your-sleeves-and-have-at-them approach has seen his squad routinely overwhelmed by inferior opposition, its performances as inept as the tactics and strategies imposed by a manager well out of his depth.
On Monday, ahead of Tottenham’s evening showdown with Sunderland, Sky Sports revealed Sherwood was likely to be relieved of his duties in May, with Louis van Gaal and Mauricio Pochettino favoured to replace him, according to Goal.com.
“I can’t say much right now,” remarked Sherwood when asked about his job security on Sky Sports 1. “What I can say is tonight is business as usual.”
Sky pundit and former Spurs midfielder Jamie Redknapp has since commented that club chairman Daniel Levy and director of football Franco Baldini should “take some responsibility” for a disappointing campaign that currently has Spurs sitting seventh in the table, and should Sherwood be shown the door it’s likely that Baldini will follow him out as well.
It was the Italian, after all, who spearheaded the club’s record spending spree last summer, and with so few of his signings having lived up to expectations it’s only natural that he should pay the price.
Of course, Sherwood might have done better in making something cohesive out of a freshly assembled group of players, and to that end van Gaal would seem a sensible choice to replace him ahead of next season.
The Dutchman took over a similarly unsettled situation at Bayern Munich in 2009 when he followed up the disastrous tenure of Jurgen Klinsmann, and by the time he left the Bavarian giants two years later he had laid the groundwork for the side now dominating European football.
Van Gaal has a reputation for repairing the irreparable, and to that end there are few clubs that require his services as desperately as Spurs.
Last month former Netherlands international Ruud Gullit divulged that Levy and van Gaal had already met to discuss the Tottenham job and that the appointment was a “done deal,” as per the BBC.
If so, there are likely better times ahead at White Hart Lane, although the removal of Sherwood must come first.
It’s a sacking they can’t afford not to make.