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Darren Lewis -Tottenham vs. Aston Villa – Saturday 11 April 2015

09 Apr | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Darren Lewis -Tottenham vs. Aston Villa – Saturday 11 April 2015

Tim Sherwood deserves respect on Saturday for his time at Spurs - he did more for the club than some fans care to admit

HE ARRIVES back at Spurs on Saturday in charge at his own club.

And Tim Sherwood will savour a result more against his old boss, chairman Daniel Levy, than any other this season.

Levy was the man, remember, who put him in charge in December 2013 after Andre Villas had flopped, Frank de Boer said no and Louis van Gaal preferred to wait for a better offer.

Sherwood saved Tottenham’s season. It was Sherwood who kept things ticking over and helped the club into the Europa League – only to find himself turfed out in favour of Mauricio Pochettino after five months of hoping he would get the job full-time.

To say that he was sore was an understatement. But he was not short of offers, turning down the Crystal Palace and West Brom jobs before walking away when QPR wanted to play hardball over his demands.

So now he is at Villa – and Sherwood has had a good start. Three impressive wins and a draw from his first six matches in charge is not too shabby at all.

In fact, two of those victories saw him outwit the defensively savvy Tony Pulis at West Brom. The other was a hugely impressive 4-0 win at Sunderland.

Tuesday night’s pulsating draw at home to QPR highlighted Sherwood’s success at inspiring the return to form of Christian Benteke, a man who could give Spurs nightmares on Saturday afternoon.

After nine games without a goal – and just one in 13 – Benteke has thrived under his new boss, just as Emmanuel Adebayor did at Spurs. The likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Fabian Delph are also playing with far more confidence than they did during the last days of Paul Lambert.

Tottenham’s former caretaker will rock up at White Hart Lane this weekend looking very much to pinching a result.

Should he do so, Sherwood will punch a huge hole into Spurs’ top-four ambitions and give Aston Villa a huge leg up in their bid to remain in the Premier League.

It will also increase the animosity among North Londoners towards a man they are simply just not having.

Yet every Spurs fan should at the very least appreciate the job that Sherwood did while he was at White Hart Lane.

Yes, he may not be shy about telling people about his determination to get Harry Kane into the first team and to keep him there. But it is true.

Were it not for Sherwood Kane WOULD have been sold. Tottenham would be labouring right now in mid-table with two strikers who have been unable this season to get into double figures in the League between them.

Tottenham are patting themselves on the back right now over Kane’s success and, for sure, they deserve congratulations. 

Mauricio Pochettino has taken him on to another level and the player could yet hit 40 goals in all competitions this season. But it would be grossly unfair to airbrush out or even play down Sherwood’s contribution.

A pathway has opened up between the Tottenham academy and the First Team. Ryan Mason has made it through this season and there are others set to get their feet under the First Team table next season. 

Sherwood started that off by refusing to indulge the flops from that ill-fated £100million spending spree two years ago.

The former midfielder has been proved utterly correct about Roberto Soldado, now the most expensive flop in Tottenham’s history. 

At least Erik Lamela, at 23, still has the potential to improve. Spurs cannot wait to get shot of Soldado and will most likely take a big hit this summer in order to do so.

Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli have done the business but Sherwood has been proven right about pushing Etienne Capoue, Paulinho and Vlad Chiriches to the fringes.

Jan Vertonghen moaned about his regime and is said to have considered angling for a way out had Sherwood stayed. 

But are there really that many Spurs fans fussed about whether the Belgian – who aspires to play for a bigger club – remains beyond this summer or not?

As Sherwood correctly identified, Vertonghen is elegant on the ball and easy on the eye but when the chips are down he is as much use as a chocolate fireguard.

Had Sherwood not brought Adebayor back in from the cold after his disgraceful treatment at the hands of Andre Villas Boas, Spurs would not have been anywhere near the European places.

The extent to which football supporters these days slavishly trawl websites, follow so-called In The Knows on Twitter and latch on to anyone they think is a useful source of information is fascinating.

Yet when they got it from the horse’s mouth – and Sherwood did often give it to you straight – they didn’t want it. Sherwood was honest and very open about what was going on. Many outside – and inside – the club accused him of talking too much.

What would you do, however, if you were asked to fill in with the possibility of a job full-time only to find your employer was looking elsewhere and that you had basically been keeping the seat warm for someone else all that time?

Sherwood made mistakes, of course he did.

His abrasive style rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way. He wore his heart on his sleeve far too often and, in ten years’ time, he will probably regret the gilet-throwing antics on the touchline that he is still indulging in at Villa Park.

These days the Tottenham HQ in Enfield is a far more sedate place. Far less tense. The players are no longer straight into their cars and off home once training is over.

The manager’s door is always open, players pop their heads around the door for a chat and are often spotted around the place deep into the afternoon.

There have been, for some time, up to ten players for whom the club would listen to offers. Anyone who follows Spurs knows who they are and will have done for ages. Those players, however, don’t want to go.

The place is a happy ship. Levy’s indulgence of Pochettino and his trust in the Argentine is evidence that he trusts him and is happy to give him anything he wants to turn the club into a force again.

So Paul Mitchell has come in from Southampton to work with Pochettino on transfers. David Webb, Head of Recruitment at Championship promotion-chasers Bournemouth, is also set to arrive at White Hart Lane shortly.

(As an aside, there are not too many tears being shed over Webb’s departure from Dean Court. The word is that he was out of contract in the summer and was unlikely to have his deal renewed.)

It is all evidence, however, that Levy is far happier with Pochettino’s work with the first team than he ever was with Sherwood.

Sherwood, however, deserves respect for his contribution to Tottenham’s resurgence. It would be a shame if Spurs fans refused to give it to him this weekend.