It's Not His Fault He Got Spurs Job, But Tim's Just Not Up To Standard
Tim Sherwood’s response to this fresh degradation was to heap all the blame onto his players and take precisely none of the responsibility himself. Never mind that his job is to organise and motivate his expensive squad to perform to the best of its ability - as far as he was concerned it was all their fault. Every time another archaic cliche came out of his mouth - ‘character’ ‘gut’ ‘digging each other out’ - it became more blindingly obvious that this is a man way out of his depth.
Not that we didn’t know this already and it was amply confirmed before kick off when the team sheet was issued. The Spurs selection looked like the product of a troubled and irrational mind. Chief among the bizarre decisions was to ask Kyle Walker, an international defender who has played his entire career at right back, to have a go in midfield. Joining him in the team’s engine room were the ring rusty would-be playmaker Sigurdsson, and the willing but callow Bentaleb. All of them were selected in preference to Brazil’s Paulinho and England’s Townsend who must have been as bemused as winger Aaron Lennon was when he was asked to play the number ten role behind Adebayor.
It was a ridiculous line up and the only reason it didn’t get blown away in the first forty five minutes, apart from the sheer graft of Tottenham’s perplexed players, was that Mourinho’s Chelsea, even in the face of such ill-conceived opposition tactics, stuck to its usual plan of smothering the game slowly and squeezing the points out towards the end just when the crowd have lost the will to live. Had Liverpool, Man City or - God forbid - Arsenal been the opposition, the humiliation that eventually came would have been in full swing way before half time.
Some reacted favourably to Sherwood’s moaning, claiming that he was only saying what a lot of the fans were thinking. Well a lot of the fans are also thinking that the manager is an embarrassment who doesn’t know what he’s doing but you don’t imagine any of the players would have been congratulated if they’d said that in their post match interview.
Of course many players of the blame game look beyond ‘how did we lose this one?’ to ‘how the hell did we end up with this clown in charge?’. It’s not actually Sherwood’s fault he got the job whatever Machiavellian maneuvers he may have employed to get it. It was Daniel Levy that gave it to him and he only did so because he couldn’t identify a more suitable candidate in the short term and while supporters of Glen Hoddle may now be justifiably muttering ‘I told you so’, few would deny that Levy acted in good faith.
In a way yesterday’s game was like a microcosm of a Spurs season. Things were looking surprisingly good before a combination of bad luck, injustice and barmy mistakes led to crushing disappointment. Between now and the end of the month we face a raft of difficult games with a threadbare defence and a team that can only barely be on speaking terms with its lame duck boss. Right now it feels like the best we can hope for is that the humiliation remains on the scale.
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