Early on Tuesday, news broke that the five month tenure of Tim Sherwood at Spurs was over. With Spurs now looking for their 12th manager in just 14 years, the question is: who is next?
When Sherwood took over on the December 16th last year, few knew how crazy the following months would be. He surprised everybody with his team selection in his first game, away at Southampton, where he started Emmanuel Adebayor, a player who was frozen out of the first team by Andre Villas-Boas. AVB often went for the Spanish international Roberto Soldado upfront, who was signed for over £26 million from Valencia the previous summer but had since flopped completely in North London. Adebayor starred in a 3-2 win at St. Marys, scoring twice.
Sherwood was made permanent coach on an 18-month contract, but Spurs then laboured to an uninspiring 1-1 draw at home to struggling West Brom. Following this game, Spurs romped to four straight victories, beating the likes of Swansea away from home and then Manchester United at Old Trafford for only the second time in 24 years.
Spurs continued to beat the lesser sides but often got battered by bigger teams, including a 5-1 defeat at the hands of eventual champions Manchester City. As well as this, Chelsea crushed a poor Spurs side 4-0, which led Sherwood to label his side ‘not good enough’ and lacking ‘guts and pride’. Throughout his tenure Sherwood was bold in press conferences, not scared to speak his mind, and didn’t pick his players if he felt they didn’t deserve it.
Sherwood was told by Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, that after the season, he would be relieved of his duties. In his final game at home to Aston Villa, a fan sat behind the dugout who had criticised the boss over his tenure, was summoned by Sherwood to sit in the Spurs hotseat, even getting the chance to wear Sherwood’s infamous gilet, which had become synonymous with the former Spurs and Blackburn man.
Sherwood was sacked three days later, and possible names to fill the vacant role have been floating about since. Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax man Frank de Boer seem to be the early favourites, despite many other names being mentioned, such as Glenn Hoddle, David Moyes and even the guy who was summoned by Sherwood from the stand on the final day.
When Pochettino was chosen as the man to replace Nigel Adkins at Southampton in January 2013, many struggled to see the logic in replacing a proven manager with a foreign manager who had done little in the crazy world of management. Since though, Pochettino has proven that he is adept as a manager, and led his young Southampton team to an eighth place finish in the Premier League this season.
Meanwhile, after retiring as a player in 2006, Frank de Boer took over the reins of Ajax in 2010. He won the Eredivise title in his first season, and Ajax have won this title every year since. But the question is, would de Boer leave a team he loves for a side who continue to be known for pulling the trigger quickly if anything goes wrong?
Spurs desperately need Daniel Levy to let a manager get on with his job, and they also need a manager who can settle the team down and get the players that they spent big money on to play well. Personally, I believe that Spurs would be better served with a manager like Pochettino or de Boer. Both are known for their ‘projects’, which is exactly what Tottenham need, and possibly at least one or even both would be available. Either way, Spurs need to finally get back on track and maybe this time next year we will be praising Levy and the new gaffer on getting into the Champions League, or possibly even better.
This piece was written by Kyle Goldsmith, so feedback would be very much appreciated as he also wishes to go into sports journalism as a career. It’s a fantastic piece in my opinion, and any comments would be most welcome!