Tim Sherwood facing a baptism of fire

West Ham first up for Spurs interim manager

Tim Sherwood was  assistant manager  of Tottenham Hotspur when Harry Redknapp was in charge.

Tim Sherwood was assistant manager of Tottenham Hotspur when Harry Redknapp was in charge.


Tim Sherwood

Cup quarter-final against West Ham United at White Hart Lane tonight.

Tottenham are resolved to avenge the 3-0 home defeat they suffered to West Ham in the Premier League on October 6th, a result that saw the visiting manager, Sam Allardyce, delight in having his tummy tickled over his tactical acumen and Andre Villas-Boas begin to feel the unravelling of his White Hart Lane tenure. The end came on Monday morning, after the previous day’s 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool.

Revenge, though, is merely a part of the plot. Sherwood has been confirmed as Villas-Boas’s successor but only while the chairman Daniel Levy and the sporting director Franco Baldini cast the net for a bigger name to take on the job.

There are two readings to Sherwood’s promotion. The first is underpinned by joined-up-thinking and no little romance. Having been brought into the first-team coaching set-up on a part-time basis by the former manager Harry Redknapp in October 2008, he has worked to establish himself and to obtain his coaching badges – he completed his Uefa A and B licenses with the Football Association of Wales.

Here is a former Tottenham captain who has returned to graft his way through the ranks. He is extremely well regarded by the hierarchy. When Blackburn Rovers wanted to appoint him as their manager in October 2012, Levy blocked the approach. Sherwood was even under consideration to become Tottenham’s sporting director before Levy turned to Baldini last summer.

Searching questions
The alternative reading to the drafting in of Sherwood as the club’s manager takes in words like “gamble” and asks searching questions. Given his lack of a track record, how many leading players would want to sign for him during the January transfer window? Given his elevation from the youth set-up, how many of the first-team squad can truly look at him and see their boss? Many of the younger ones will not remember his playing days, when he lifted the Premier League trophy with Blackburn in 1995 and won three England caps.

Sherwood took training yesterday and has attempted to “get a few messages across in a short space of time”.

He will miss the injured Jan Vertonghen, Sandro and Kaboul against West Ham, plus the suspended Michael Dawson and Paulinho. Welcome to the mad house.
Guardian Service