Spurs: How Bad Does It Have To Get Before Classless Tim Goes?
How has it come to this? Spurs started the season with a hundred million pounds worth of new talent in the charge of a manager who’d just achieved their highest ever Premier League points total. By the end of September the team was nicely poised in third place in the league and scoring freely in the Europa and Carling Cups.
Last night Spurs were completely outclassed at home by Benfica a side that had to sell 70 million euros worth of players in January due to financial difficulties and actually rested several of its regular starters. This after a 4-0 humbling at Chelsea and a string of awful performances that leave the fans in fear of the ultimate humiliation ahead of Arsenal’s visit on Sunday.
Chief culprit, of course, is beleaguered Tim Sherwood who combines tactical cluelessness with a willingness to shatter team spirit in his efforts to blame anyone but himself. He spent the aftermath of the Chelsea debacle shouting loudly that it was all the players’ fault, not his. Last night, perhaps realising that rubbishing the team can start to rebound on a manager when the performances just get worse, he turned on Jorge Jesus, the Benfica manager whose exuberant celebrations he took exception to. The irony of Sherwood accusing his Portuguese counterpart afterwards of 'lacking class' won't have been lost on many.
But what’s the point of continuing to bash Sherwood? He got the job by accident and he’s not remotely good enough, these are the simple facts. His charmless, out-for-himself approach merely exacerbates a bad situation.
The horrific possibility now is that a highly motivated Arsenal side will arrive on Sunday with the scent of blood in their nostrils. It’s very hard to see how Spurs can raise themselves sufficiently to avoid being swept away. Would there be any point in firing the manager before the season’s end? Probably not. On the other hand, how bad would it have to get before the sheer scale of the humiliation forced him out?
Despite Sherwood having the brass neck to complain that there was a gulf in quality last night this Spurs squad remains of a high standard. A good manager - even a half way decent one - could get it competing again at a high level. At least that prospect is something for the fans to cling to.