It would appear Tottenham’s annual implosion has started a little earlier than usual this season. Spurs were battered 4-0 by cross London rivals Chelsea at the weekend to effectively end their hopes of a Premier League top four finish and plunge the club into further chaos. But given the season Spurs have had, are we really all that surprised?
There is a targeted campaign against Tim Sherwood, and I’d admit to sharing some of the concerns about his viability as manager. However, to lay the majority of the blame on the fledgling boss is totally unfair, at Spurs the problems run a whole lot deeper. The overriding feeling this weekend was one of admiration for Sherwood who was bold in his assessment of the situation at the club he clearly loves:
“We lack something don’t we?” said Sherwood when asked about his on-field leaders.
“Capitulations are happening too often. In adversity, when things go against us, that’s when we go missing. You either have that in you or you haven’t. We need to stand up and be counted sooner rather than later.”
On his own future he had the following to say:
“The silence is deafening, isn’t it? It’s up to Daniel. I didn’t know if he was at the game or not. Maybe he was travelling.”
“One thing I guarantee is that no one cares more than me. I want the team to do very well and it hurts me when they don’t. I’m afraid I need people in that dressing room to be hurting like I am.”
Lesser men would have fallen on their sword by now because the situation at Spurs is clearly untenable for Sherwood. The 18 months contract blinded a few, but in reality the Englishman was never more than an interim boss. His targets were borderline unachievable and his boardroom backing non-existent. The lack of fight from the players is hardly Sherwood’s fault; many of the new signings were sold on a project under AVB only to be left without direction within a few months. How can you put your faith in a manager who clearly is undermined at boardroom level on a day-to-day basis? I’d imagine Sherwood is probably already sick of hearing about Louis van Gaal having heard about his imminent arrival on an almost daily basis now.
Has Sherwood been hard done by at Spurs? Of course he has.
Sherwood was only given the job because none of the main targets were available until the summer, he was nothing more than a cheap and easy stop-gap conned into thinking he was something more.
But we shouldn’t really be all that surprised about the lack of respect employed here by Daniel Levy. The man has form having dispensed with a number of managers in the most distasteful of ways down the years; I’d imagine most have memories of Martin Jol’s sacking effectively being revealed midway through a game that he was managing in. It gets to the point though when you start questioning the Chairman and not the manager; you cant for one minute start thinking that every single manager Spurs have had in the last decade or so has genuinely been a dud.
Levy may well know how to run a business, but he does have some pretty significant footballing shortcomings. Spurs are run well financially; but if that was what actually mattered we would be erecting stands in central London to cheer on the biggest and best businesses this country has to offer.
With Levy there is no moral code; he does what he wants. Fans will know it, players know it and so does the long line of managers. Of course Sherwood deserves more respect, but only a fool would think that he was ever going to get it.
The sad thing for Spurs though is this isn’t a situation easily remedied. Levy owns a significant stake in ENIC and just so happens to be a relative of the owner Joe Lewis.
Profit margins may be good at Spurs, but under the current owners the sense of what is right has long gone.
Spurs are a cold-hearted financial machine, and Sherwood sadly isn’t the first and wont be the last victim of the regime.