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Is He Learning His Lesson At Tottenham?
Footytubeblog (Blog) 2 years ago
Sunday’s clash between Everton and Tottenham was dubbed a genuine six pointer, with both clubs going head to head for that much coveted final Champions League place.

This certainly wasn’t a classic, with both sides looking like Premier League minnows rather than the heavyweights they supposedly aspire to be. Spurs manage to claw out a narrow victory thanks to a composed finish from Emmanuel Adebayor mid-way through the second half; a result fans will no doubt cherish but one that they perhaps shouldn’t be too carried away about.

This was honestly one of the worst Spurs performances against a non-title challenging side that I can remember. Sloppy on the ball and massively outgunned in the middle of the park, if Everton had the clinical Lukaku at their disposal this could have been a totally different game. The reality though was that they didn’t, and Everton were just as blunt in the final third as a totally off colour Spurs side. Leon Osman had the chances to put the toffees 3 or 4 up inside 10 minutes, and with the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal on the horizon there is a definite cause for concern at Spurs.

People often say to be successful you have to win when you aren’t playing to the best of your abilities and Spurs did that this weekend. But this isn’t a one-off, Spurs have been below par for the last few weeks and the performances if anything seem to be getting worse, is Sherwood actually as clueless as everyone is trying to make out?

You would struggle to argue that Sherwood won any sort of tactical battle at the weekend, the 1-0 victory as much to do with luck than any sort of judgement. His decision to play 3 in midfield was perhaps a prudent one given Everton’s midfield strength, but the lack of defensive midfielder was a total oversight on Sherwood’s part. Spurs’ midfield may have the flair and ball playing ability to rival any, but they were powerless to compete with the pressing game of Martinez’ Everton. Too often beating one man only to be hassled and harried by the next arriving, it was a game of midfield turnovers and one that was crying out for someone like Capoue much earlier than he arrived.

Sherwood’s lack of tactical flexibility has been criticised regularly, and again he seemed to follow the same school of thought that dictates that substitutions are only for the last half hour of a game and never before. In fact as soon as Capoue did enter the fray for the ineffectual Paulinho Spurs looked a much more compact and wholly more resilient midfield outfit.

It would be difficult to argue that Everton weren’t in fact the better team, and as Martinez rightly said the side that looked to be playing at home. This wasn’t a tactical masterpiece by Sherwood in any sense, Spurs got very lucky thanks to a piece of incredible vision from Kyle Walker and a composed bit of hold up play and finishing from Adebayor.
This was a performance worse than the majority under AVB, dour and without an attacking intent but made worse by an inability to complete even the simplest of passes. AVB’s sides were solid if not expansionist, but for Sherwood there does seem to be a distinct lack of identity. Possession at home of less than 46% and a pass completion rate under 80%, these statistics don’t make happy reading for fans still clinging to their Champions League hopes.

Sherwood continues to lack the ability to form a balanced midfield, and it beginning to tarnish his reputation at Spurs. If he wants to rid the tag of Mk II Redknapp then he needs to start being proactive in his tactical designs.
Spurs fans should be celebrating, they have won a crucial battle in the race for fourth and put themselves within touching distance of Liverpool.

Yet I cannot see the jubilation, in fact Spurs fans more than ever are coming out against Sherwood, and I think this speaks volumes.
To criticise a manager after a defeat is often out of some raw knee jerking of emotion, but when it comes straight after a victory, then as a manager it is really time to start trying to learn your lesson.

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