When Tim Sherwood was appointed as Andre Villas-Boas' successor, I don't think anyone, except Daniel Levy and Sherwood himself, expected it to be a permanent appointment.
The issuing of an 18-month contract surprised many, and understandably so; Sherwood has no managerial experience and has been handed one of the plum jobs in English football. Not only that, but Tottenham, a huge club trying to qualify for Europe's elite competition, were in peril. They were losing matches and not scoring any goals.
In the first few weeks of his reign, those two things changed. The team, with the recalled Emanuel Adebayor starting again, were starting to look more of a threat going forward and the team picked up some important results.
Of course, the hype surrounding the so-called 'turnaround' was ridiculous. There was much focus on Sherwood's use of a 4-4-2 formation. If you listened to the pundits' ranting, you would think he was the only manager to have ever used the system.
In recent games, no matter the system used, Tottenham have performed poorly. They have been beaten not only by Chelsea, but Norwich too in the last few games, and their form and confidence is evaporating before the despairing Spurs fan's eyes.
As far as Adebayor goes, his career history shows he cannot maintain form, regardless of the manager. The pattern of his career shows that, when he has a change of scenery, in this case going from the bench to the starting XI, he is unplayable for a few games, but then his form dies off spectacularly. This could be seen at both Arsenal and Man City. The Togolese international has failed to score in Tottenham's last three league games, two of which they've lost, and the signs are that his form batteries have run out again.
Tim Sherwood's team have shown a lot of endeavour under him, but they lack the class and cutting edge that the teams that currently occupy the top four possess in abundance. They are a long way behind Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool in my opinion, and you would think that the board would want a manager with relevant experience to take them to where they want to go.
It would be a great show of faith in Sherwood if he were to begin next season as manager, and it would also keep an Englishman in a managerial position, but I fear that the undoubtedly hard-working, honest Sherwood won't see out next season as Spurs manager.
The 3-1 defeat to Benfica showed how far Spurs are away from the Champions League. They couldn't cope with one of the best sides in the Europa League, so how would they cope with teams twice as good again?
I hope it is not the case, but Tim Sherwood's team appear to be running out of steam in their hunt for fourth, and their positive form early in his tenure is starting to look like nothing more than 'new manager syndrome'.