Tottenham beat Manchester United 2-1 this Wednesday at Old Trafford. Spurs are now sixth, just two points behind fourth place Liverpool and are unbeaten after four games under new manager Tim Sherwood. Despite his inexperience in management, the former Blackburn player is proving game after game that he was the right man for the job.
Named Tottenham interim manager on Dec. 16 following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, Sherwood was handed an 18 month contract on the 23rd, the day after his first win in the Premier League against Southampton. Since then, the former Blackburn player has extended his unbeaten run with wins against Stoke City and Manchester United and a draw against West Bromwich Albion. In four games under Sherwood, Spurs have won three times and have one draw.
One of the reasons Sherwood was chosen by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is his positive approach. His predecessor was sacked not only because of the results, but also because of his negative approach. With AVB, Spurs were a team that tried to counter the other team first before playing their football. With Sherwood, they are a lot more proactive and take control of the games from the beginning.
Under Villas Boas, Spurs struggled to score goals and averaged less than a one per game with only 15 goals in 16 games. Since Sherwood’s arrival, they have scored nine times in only four games, averaging more than two goals a game. After spending over 100 million pounds in last summer’s transfer window, Levy expected AVB to make his team play a more attacking brand of football.
One of Sherwood’s first decisions was to abandon Villas Boas’ 4-2-3-1 formation and move to a 4-4-2 and bring Emmanuel Adebayor back into the side. Inexplicably ignored by AVB, the Togo international, who played only 45 minutes in 16 games before Sherwood’s arrival, has scored three goals in four games since being reinstated into the starting XI. His partnership with Roberto Soldado is still in its early stages, but the two men have been linking-up very well and creating a lot of chances.
Tim Sherwood was probably chosen because there was no top manager available to replace Villas Boas, but he’s proving that he is more than an interim manager. Under his guidance, Spurs are scoring goals and players seem to be enjoying football again. Even though his predecessor was a very good tactician, Sherwood is proving that sometimes football is not just about tactics. In the Premier League, it is also about drive, energy and passion.