Monthly Archives: May 2014

It Wasn´t Great

As most of you will know I do not have – or have ever – had a great deal of faith in Tim Sherwood. He had a good start to his Premier League career as Spurs manager but his Cup exploits – CapOneCup, FACup and Europa – were simply awful.

Under AVB we had won every cup game we had played so far in the season. Under Sherwood we lost four out of six and scraped a draw in one other.

When questioned after defeats to Citeh, Chelski and the Pool he criticised the entire team for a lack of desire, for a lack of belief, for a lack of commitment. Not the ideal manner of man management.

When I was taking my management courses way back in the 1970s and 1980s it was ingrained that you praised members of your team – be it on the pitch or in the office – in public to let everyone else know who was doing things right, but kept criticism, no matter how harsh or how much it was in the public domain, to a private conversation.

Tim´s team selection has been inconsistent.

He picks a young up and coming talent (Bentaleb) and just as he is being talked of as the future of THFC he is consigned to the sub´s bench.

He convinces players like Chadli and Sigourdsen that they have a future at the club and plays them at the expense of a player like Sandro – a shoe-in for previous managers – someone who shows the correct character, even in the face of insurmountable odds, but then openly questions his commitment, his fitness and his training.

But on this occasion I do have to agree with his comments when asked about the game yesterday and his simple one line assessment – “It wasn´t good!” – was a perfect understatement.

That he was only talking about the appalling defending which resulted in WetSpam getting their second goal is irrelevant. He could have been talking about the whole game – even the entire season.

Tim Sherwood may actually have the best record of any THFC Manager in terms of win percentage in the Premier League, but he still conspired to lead us into heavy defeats at Anfield, at Stamford Bridge and at the Boleyn Ground, as well as at home to Citeh. Defeats which – coupled with earlier heavy defeats under AVB – mean that we have a goal difference advantage of just one solitary goal going into the last game.

The performance and the manner of the defeat yesterday simply was not what should be expected of a Spurs team. Far too frequently this season – under both managers – we have simply been brushed aside, with no one seemingly capable of putting up any sort of resistance.

That comment does, of course, exclude a certain Hugo Lloris from any real criticism on this occasion. He has been found wanting occasionally this season, but by and large he has been the outstanding player this year. Time after time he has kept us in a game, none more so than yesterday when he was let down by defensive lapses yet again.

I can think of no more fitting player to award my Player of the Season to.

It is just a shame that the rest of the squad did not live up to expectations and the likelihood is that someone somewhere with a much bigger pay cheque will be able to prise him away and we will be without his services for the 2014/15 season and unless we can get someone in pretty quick we will be struggling from the start.

The likelihood is also that Sherwood will depart as will a number of players, but who will replace them.

With Van Gaal looking likely to accept the poison chalice that is the Old Trafford Throne who else will be willing to take on a job that entails so many pitfalls?

Before new players can be brought in, so many need to be removed. We can only have a 25 man squad – and that squad is currently almost full to capacity. Add to that Eriksen and Lamela, who were under age atb the beginning of the season, plus players out on loan – players like Holtby, Livermore, Carroll, BAE – and suddenly we have way too many in our ranks.

In order to do what we did last year – bring in seven new players (and that is fraught with exactly the same dangers as we faced 12 months ago) – we need to trim 12/13 players off the wage bill – that´s half the squad !

And then those players need time to gel – something they weren´t allowed last year as around half of them were bought when the season was already three week´s old.

Unless we are prepared to go through all this time and time again, have great expectations of a good season and have it thrown back in our faces, we need to approve the signing of a new manager now, get him to assess the team, who has to leave and who has to come in, and all before we get wrapped up in the spectacle that is the World Cup, because nothing will happen in the transfer window during that month and by the time it is all over there will be barely four weeks til the start of the next campaign.

Decisions need to be made and they need to be made now.

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