Tim Sherwood dug his own grave on Sunday afternoon.
Not due to the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool, nor even the manner of the humiliating loss. Sherwood gave up his seat as boss of Tottenham Hotspur after admitting he didn’t think he would be able to affect the game by standing on the sidelines.
An absurd admission from a manager and quite clearly Sherwood is playing a longer game.
Fans of the Premier League have seen the Spurs boss ranting and raving, confronting opposition managers and throwing gilets all in the space of his six month reign at the helm, and so, there is an argument to suggest that Sherwood’s time may be better spent away from the sidelines – something Tim, himself, has voiced.
However, as a boss of a football team, having a presence is key to the role.
All players are individuals and need to be treated differently and against Liverpool, there were some players who needed to be told (in no uncertain terms) that their lack of effort was simply not good enough. As a former player and captain of a Premier League winning team, Sherwood should understand the significance of responsibility. Managers do affect games – that’s basic – so it is particularly worrying for him to suggest he couldn’t.
Sherwood’s a passionate manager and clearly is doing his utmost to succeed at White Hart Lane. He’s taken over in an awkward and difficult time and in a season where many fans expected bigger and better things from the Lilywhites. He wouldn’t like to admit it, but in the post-match interview after the mauling by Liverpool, Sherwood looked like man on the edge of sanity. His face drawn and withered from the late nights, his eyes red from frustration. He would never admit it but perhaps the jump up to taking control of first team may have been one bridge too far.
Stories circulated after the game against the Reds that Sherwood had come to blows with £27 million flop Roberto Soldado but reports have since been dismissed by senior Tottenham officials; further bad press which is unlikely to please the eagle-eyed Daniel Levy.
At the start of March, Sherwood made a(nother) bizarre comment in which he stated:
“There is a place for a technical director, someone who sees the club from bottom to top of the training field. There’s a definite place for that, otherwise you get no continuity and end up buying seven or 10 players every window and your turnover of players is too great.”
The statement itself is logical, and I agree in parts. However, the fact that he was the one who uttered it suggests he knows he’s a dead man walking. Levy expects highly from his managers and whilst he has reportedly been impressed with Sherwood’s ability to bring Adebayor back into form from youth team exile under AVB, he will have been less so with his comments regarding players and most importantly, Spurs’ own league form.
Sherwood understands this and to save his long term future he has already openly suggested that he would be willing to stay on at the club if and when he is let go at the end of the season.
If the fans can sense this, then the players certainly can too. A worrying end to another season where Spurs have failed to show their true potential.