• Manager says players need to 'stand up and be counted'
• 'I need people in the dressing room to be hurting like I am'
For Tim Sherwood, it was the day when it all seemed to become too much. Never mind the second-half capitulation from his Tottenham Hotspur players, when they effectively supplied all four assists in the victory that sent Chelsea seven points clear at the top of the Premier League. It is the broader situation at the club that is making his temples pound.
The manager knows that the chairman, Daniel Levy, intends to replace him with Louis van Gaal, currently Holland's coach, after the World Cup finals and, were that not insulting enough, there has been no attempt at boardroom level to stop the whispering campaign. "The silence is deafening," Sherwood said.
A further round of musical chairs looms at White Hart Lane, with the technical director, Franco Baldini, also expected to leave. Baldini, who joined only last June, has come to be blamed for the poor performance of the seven summer signings.
They arrived at a cost of £110.5m and nobody oversees that level of spend without intense scrutiny. None of them started at Stamford Bridge, although it should be noted that Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Vlad Chiriches and Étienne Capoue were injured. Paulinho was introduced after Younès Kaboul's red card, which came for the contact on Samuel Eto'o and which was also punished by Eden Hazard's penalty, and Roberto Soldado and Nacer Chadli were unused substitutes.
The Tottenham restructuring is underway, with Levy having re-signed the club's former chief scout, Ian Broomfield, from Queens Park Rangers. Broomfield, who had been pursued by Arsenal, originally left Tottenham to follow the former manager Harry Redknapp to Loftus Road. It is understood that Sherwood had no knowledge of Broomfield's appointment. The club say that Broomfield will work as a scout under Baldini.
Sherwood has said that he would not be prepared to return to his old job as the technical co-ordinator, in which he was responsible for the club's young players and he was asked whether he might consider staying on as the assistant manager. There is the desire at the club to retain him in the capacity.
"No, I never want to be a No2," Sherwood said. "I feel like I can do the No1 job. I'd be no good as a No2. I'm too opinionated.
"There is a place for a technical director … someone who sees the club from the bottom to the top on the training field. A lot of clubs need to have people like that, otherwise you get no continuity and you end up buying seven to 10 players every window, and your turnover of players is too great."
Levy's appointment of Baldini was meant to aid the continuity from one manager to the next and stop spending sprees, although Sherwood seemed to suggest that the role had to go deeper, to include youth levels. He has long championed promotion from the ranks and joined-up thinking which, he argues, would also save money on the market. Sherwood could be attracted by a wider technical remit at the club.
Sherwood was emotional on Saturday and he is not the type to bottle things up. Wisely or otherwise, his targets included the players, who caved in after Kaboul's sending-off and who Sherwood had to tellto go and acknowledge the travelling fans.
"Capitulations are happening too often to say that we are rock solid and blessed with so many characters," Sherwood said. "When things go against us, that's when we are going missing. More and more we need to stand up and be counted."
Sherwood became involved in an exchange of views with the Chelsea assistant first-team coach, Steve Holland, who he felt had been guilty of making "patronising" comments to him. "But, to be honest, I was in that kind of mood to blow up with anyone so no hard feelings," Sherwood added.
It was put to him that he might welcome the public backing of Levy, who did not attend this game. "It's up to Daniel," Sherwood said. "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 need people in that dressing room to be hurting like I am."
Chelsea march on and the victory was testament to their patience and ruthless edge. All it took was one slip and panicky back-pass from Jan Vertonghen to see Eto'o score and the home team press hard on the jugular. Tottenham complained about the penalty/red card one-two punch but José Mourinho bristled at the notion that Eto'o had bought the decision.
"You know the kings of the penalties … you know where they are and they're not here," Mourinho said. The Chelsea manager noted how Hazard had stayed on his feet in the fourth minute, having gone round Hugo Lloris, only to shoot wide when off balance. "Other players with other shirts would go for a penalty and a red card for the keeper," Mourinho said. "Hazard did it in a nice way. That's the way he is."
Mourinho is rather more cynical and his post-match message took in the assertion that Liverpool had to be spoken of as title contenders, particularly as they have been unencumbered by the demands of European football. "This is a big, big, big advantage," Mourinho said.
Sherwood saw only negatives.
Man of the match Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea)