It has been well said that Tottenham took a huge gamble when appointing Tim Sherwood as manager after the sacking of Andre Villas Boas. A man who is a self-proclaimed Arsenal fan, had only ever managed two games on a caretaker basis, one resulting in a home loss to West Ham and doesn’t have his full managerial badges. But how has this man changed us?
Under Sherwood one noticeable difference is the return of Togolese striker, Emmanuel Adebayor to our starting line-up, as we look to provide Robbie Soldado with a partner to aid his struggling form. As far, this partnership has been fruitful, with Adebayor scoring three goals in the last three games, all of which he has started, whilst Soldado’s movement and confidence has also obviously increased. The Togolese frontman’s movement around the box has been phenomenal; dropping deeper to add numbers to the midfield, as well as pushing up to add numbers to the box. AVB will undoubtedly be disappointed that his stubbornness stopped him from bringing in Adebayor when our frontline was failing under him.
Under AVB we predominantly played in a 4-2-3-1 formation, often leading to the single man upfront becoming useless and isolated, with the ball remaining in the middle of the pitch where we seemingly preferred to play in front of teams, rather than working the ball behind them. Sherwood has placed his faith in the good ol’ 4-4-2, causing us to have plenty of options going forward, with every time we go forward, should we put the ball wide, the wide men will find our two strikers, as well as at least one runner from midfield pushing up. It’s no coincidence that in Sherwood’s three games in charge so far, we’ve scored three goals in a game twice, whilst we hadn’t scored more than twice in 21 games previously. Let that sink in.
Sherwood has put his faith in our younger players, such as Nabil Bentaleb and Zeki Fryers, the former of which he decided to play instead of the more experienced Lewis Holtby or Etienne Capoue. He has even said himself that he decided to bring on Nabil because he knew him better. This philosophy introduces a different way of looking at our squad. The newer players have to impress Sherwood, rather than getting in the squad just because they cost more. This mentality will undoubtedly increase the competition for places and cause the players to work harder as they attempt to be ‘noticed’.
Whatever happens this season, Sherwood has the reigns and yes, we all hoped for De Boer, or Hoddle, or Capello or Van Gaal, but Sherwood is our man. He needs our support and 7 points from his first 3 games isn’t a bad outlay. January will be interesting as Tim must decide upon those of who will leave, and whether he brings anyone in, whether that is a signing or players returning from loan deals, whatever happens, support the badge over those who wear it.