Spurs: Bad Selections & Tactics Making For Bewildered, Unhappy Players
There was absolutely nothing surprising about yesterday’s more-of-the-same mauling at Anfield.
First we had another of Tim Sherwood’s perverse team sheets. Bentaleb and Sigurdsson were at the back of midfield while Sandro and Dembele looked on from the bench; Ericksen was once again forced to play wide while his natural, central position was occupied by wide-man Chadli.
We then had the usual sluggish start from an uninspired team comprising a series of slapdash errors, the culmination of which was Kaboul’s own goal on 90 seconds.
After that, it was an exercise in keeping the score down. Conceding just the four, given what’s happened in similar circumstances this season, wasn’t as bad as it might have been.
In terms of the ability and the experience of its players, this Tottenham squad is certainly comparable with Liverpool’s. But it is way adrift of the top four now thanks in no small part to its record against those leading sides. Played eight, won none, drawn one, lost seven. Goals for two, goals against 27 (yes, twenty-seven).
Bad selections, a lack of discernible tactics, bewildered, unhappy players - these things are the responsibility of the manager. But there’s little point in continuing to bash Tim Sherwood. Circumstances have meant that he has been asked to perform a task way beyond his capabilities and another season has essentially been written off in the process.
At least after this latest humiliation, he more or less admitted to being at a loss rather than publicly lashing out at the players. Rumours of him punching Michael Dawson in the dressing room were soon scotched on twitter by Aaron Lennon and Roberto Soldado.
The main question now is who steps in in the summer? Every managerial appointment is a gamble and Spurs are surely due a bit of luck. Odds on favourite Louis Van Gaal, an experienced tactician with legendary motivational powers, looks like the perfect antidote to the current malaise. The sooner he is signed up - some say he already is - the better. But should he slip through Levy’s grasp, any of the other fancied runners - Southampton’s Pochettino, Ajax’s de Boer, Italy’s Prandelli - would, in the circumstances, be greeted with open arms.