Spurs: Glorious Defeat Proves Team Desperately Needs A Better Manager
At last, a performance. Spurs lost to Arsenal yesterday but they dominated the game throughout. Yes, the line up was strange, yes there were loads of individual mistakes, yes Arsene Wenger won’t give a monkey’s whether his team was the ‘better side’, but Spurs fans walked away with their heads held high after seeing their team turn up for the first time in weeks.
Tim Sherwood was quick to claim as much credit as possible from a third defeat in four games and was characteristically charmless in his post match interview: “I think the result for Arsenal is going to paper over a lot of cracks, they were outplayed today and they've got to admit that”.
Clearly still harbouring hopes of remaining in the job beyond the summer he exhorted the club - in effect Chairman Levy - to stick with him. "...I think I've got the character for it and I want everyone to come along with me.... I've got to show my emotions. If I didn't, then I'd be acting and there's too many actors in this game... I just want to wear my heart on my sleeve... I'm always on trial, from all angles..."
Me me me.
Given the aspersions that he has cast on his players recently you couldn't help thinking that this gutsy performance was in spite of his presence in the dressing room, not because of it. The team showed that even in the absence of a decent strategist and motivator they could respond to the demands of the big occasion and the passion of the crowd. Yesterday players and fans fed off each other to create an atmosphere that the Goons only just withstood.
The usual questions about Sherwood’s tactical acumen were plentiful, Yesterday’s plan was: “get in their faces, get it in the box, push up, fight, fight, fight and... er... that’s it!”. He again chose to exile the club’s outstanding number ten, Christian Eriksen, on the left preferring to give the playmaker role to the blunt instrument that is Nacer Chadli. The results were predictable and while Eriksen did his best to influence proceedings - the decision to take him off in the second half was booed by the appreciative crowd - he must be wondering what he’s done to deserve being dicked around like this.
Of course when everyone sobers up from the intoxication of glorious defeat they’ll realise that the race for a Champions League place is lost and barring a miracle on Thursday in Lisbon the last chance of a trophy has gone too.
But while the season may effectively be over, yesterday at least suggested that this Tottenham squad is a set of high quality players that just needs some high quality leadership. Surely Levy sees this as clearly as anyone...
Follow Theo Delaney on Twitter, @theodelaney