This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Tim Sherwood has blamed Tottenham Hotspur’s players for their recent struggles, not Mauricio Pochettino, per talkSPORT.
Pochettino was sacked by Spurs on Tuesday evening.
Spurs are currently 14th in the Premier League, 11 points off the top four, ahead of this weekend’s clash with West Ham United.
And Sherwood believes that the players need to take some responsibility for the funk they find themselves in.
Prior to Pochettino’s sacking, he said: “I don’t blame the manager, I blame the players.
“They have to look at themselves and have that bravery when things are not going well to get on the ball in dangerous areas and really take the game to the opposition.
“Because, at the moment, a few of them look like they’re hiding.
“When you have a bad run of form you always look for excuses why, and everyone is pointing to the obvious one, which is the uncertainty amongst the squad.
“Three or four players are out of contract and others are coming quite close to running their contracts down next year. That’s not what Pochettino wants, he wants players who are going to be there for the long-term.
“But you still need to get the best out of what you’ve got.”
It is rare for Sherwood to get these sorts of things right but he has experience here.
He managed the club in the 2013/14 season, taking over in December, and took them to a sixth-placed finish, though he oversaw some dismal results.
He famously called out the players for their lack of “guts” after a 4-0 thumping at the hands of Chelsea in March that season, and he also saw his side beaten 4-0 by Liverpool.
It is fair to say that he was let down by some of his players, just as Pochettino has been.
He took the club to last season’s Champions League final with the majority of the squad he was working with prior to his dismissal.
Questions, then, have to be asked over their performances and the reasons behind them.
Sherwood is right to suggest they are currently inhibited and it remains to be seen how Spurs will recover from this slump.
But his old words still ring true: They need to show some more “guts”.