Pathetic Spurs Collapse As Sherwood Looks On

There were many things wrong with Spurs’ desultory performance against Liverpool yesterday but the worst thing was, it was entirely predictable. Tottenham collapsed to type, a feeble effort on the part of players and management alike without even a whimper of resistance.

Spurs were completely outclassed. Liverpool weren’t so much on another planet, they came from another universe. They were totally committed to their cause, approaching the afternoon as if they were on a last-man standing survival exercise, whereas Spurs were out for a pleasant Sunday stroll.

We began with the same formation as last week, one that Sherwood has plumped for after weeks of unsettling experimentation, but with Sandro replaced by Sigurdsson in the centre of midfield. Bentaleb was asked to stay deeper with the whole line hanging back until we had the ball. Eriksen began on the left with licence to cut inside and Chadli further forward to support the lonely Soldado.

Managers face a genuine dilemma against the rampant free movement of this thrilling Liverpool team. Defend too much and you play into their hands, too open and they will tear you apart. Tempted by their defence, which is less than rock solid, Sherwood went for a balance. A throwaway comment at the end of his pre-match interview may have given a clue to his intentions. He said something about perhaps getting at them later on when they tired.

In theory this team was set up to do that. The full-backs stayed at home, the midfield were energetic enough to press while in Lennon and Chadli we had players to hit on the break. Only problem – we didn’t do any of that. We never looked like a team and frankly many looked as if they just wanted to get it over with.

It was reported that Sherwood claimed not to have watched Liverpool in preparation for this match. I can’t believe that to be true, although these days at Spurs I can believe anything however absurd. What I do know is that Rodgers most certainly had watched us. If Eriksen drifts in from the left, it gives us an extra man in the middle and he’s more difficult to pick up, as well as that being his best position. It also leaves a gap on our left. Rodgers played three up front with Sterling placed to exploit that weakness. From the kick-off he and Johnson piled into that gap. Eriksen got back but too slowly.

Our centrebacks dealt with the first cross like novice skaters on the ice for the first time. Vertonghen’s marginal deflection was enough to unbalance Kaboul who could only touch the ball into his own net after 1:41. I’ve seen more deflating beginnings to a match but just now I’m struggling to recall them.

Spurs managed to repel the series of attacks that followed. To his credit, the outnumbered Bentaleb was alert to the problem and slid across to cover as best he could. However, he got precious little support from his team-mates. Siggy was energetic but we provided no cover for the back-four who were exposed to the dazzling interplay and individual alchemy of Suarez, Sterling, Sturridge and Coutinho.

I suspect Sherwood reminded the team about this collective failure in what I assume was an extended post-match inquest behind the locked doors of the dressing room. If so, he would be right. The lack of application was a pitiful, aimless response to going a goal down so early, to the point where we never looked like getting back in the game. Jumping ahead in the story for a moment, my memory of this debacle, assuming that I can’t forcibly erase every minute recollection from the deep recesses of the fibres of my brain, came with the replay of Liverpool’s third from behind the goal. Coutinho broke through the wide open fields of Anfield to shoot unchallenged from range. Behind him, our entire midfield bar the dutiful Bentaleb are strolling back, apparently without a care in the world.

However, there is a another element to this truth. In hindsight Sherwood may wish to consider his choice and tactics, especially leaving only Bentaleb as a defensive midfielder and Sandro on the bench. Throughout, Liverpool could take our entire midfield out of the game with a single incisive pass.

Right, let’s get this over with. Two more goals before the Acme Memory Eraser takes full effect. If not, old age will do the trick, usually does these days. Ironically, for all Liverpool’s outstanding dazzle and swagger (they are so good I almost forgot myself and managed to stop applauding at times), all their goals came from the now familiar self-inflicted wounds.

After escaping several near misses, Spurs played like a unit for five or ten minutes, the only time when we had anything approaching an equal share of this match. We couldn’t cope so to redress the balance, Dawson, on as sub for the injured Vertonghen, with his first touch passed inside without looking. Suarez pounced and scored across Lloris from a tricky angle. The pain of his error was evident in every desperate, hopeless stride of his despairing recovery run. It was as close as any player got to the feeling of the supporters.

Coutinho’s next in the second half, then a free kick with everyone back but somehow Daws ended up one on three at the near post. One of the red shirts got the final touch.

Little to say about individuals. Lennon has put considerable effort into his sculpted facial hair but the Azzatollah made not a single run of any significance with the ball at his feet. This bearing in mind that even Liverpool can’t cover every area of the field. No really, they can’t and they leave space out wide, preferring to fall back and defend in depth centrally. It never occurred to us to exploit that.

Soldado was totally isolated throughout. Chadli had a couple of half-chances without making any impact. Siggy bounced around, Kaboul kept going but that’s about all that can be said. Bentaleb tried to play the role he had been given, at least trying to stem the tide. Only Eriksen showed glimpes of form and purpose but they were rare. Wasted on the left. Lloris couldn’t be faulted.

Sherwood spent the whole game in the director’s box, adopting a stern expression, contorting his body and compressing his head towards his knees, half-turned away from the action. He refused to budge throughout. He faced to his right, when the ball was in the left-hand goal he twizzled his neck at a crazy angle rather than move.

He’s traded his gilet for a club blazer but he’s now trying on different roles for size. Furious touchline agitation has been replaced by a distant, considered stare from above punctuated by the occasional furtive whisper into a mobile, like a bookie’ runner passing on a tip. I guess he thought he looked hard but if he had folded in on himself any further he would have become positively foetal.

Whatever his failings, Sherwood is clearly passionate about the game and about the club. I’m no lover of fist-pumping technical area hysterics but as his team struggled, he appeared aloof and uninvolved. I simply do not understand why Sherwood feels he has to put on a performance, whether he chucks his coat into the dugout or his toys out of the pram. It’s not about him, it’s about the team. My team. It smacks of uncertainty and insecurity. Whatever he’s doing, it’s not getting through to the players and that’s his job.

What a pleasure it is to see Liverpool play football. It’s been a while since I felt the anticipation of a televised match but when they are on, I look forward to seeing the only team in the Premier League that opponents truly fear. You just want to see them play. Just a shame we had to be their latest victim. They discovered that they could score goals but they were giving them away too. Any other Prem side would have counselled caution and strengthened at the back but it was as if they took a deep breath and said, what the hell.

Hard to believe that not so long ago, their youngish manager was the one getting the ridicule for his management-speak platitudes and adherence to a passing game that worked only sporadically. But they stuck with Rodgers whereas we got rid of ours as soon as the going got tough. He turned us down by all accounts because he felt he couldn’t work with the chairman. Sound choice. Good luck to their fans as they relish in this unexpected, unbelievable success, gained through attacking improvisation that’s impossible to resist, coupled with hard work and a team approach that I envy so much.

 

55 comments

  1. villardi

    From day one of this season there has been no continuity to team selection so apart from Lloris, Walker and more recently Adebeyor no one could consider them self a first choice player so it’s no wonder we have no confidence and look such a shambles whenever we play a good team. Remember how we started our away game at Man City, three back passes from kick off a miskick by Hugo and balls in our net inside a minute. Tragic but comical.

  2. Iain

    Virtually no-one at the club gives a shit. Sherwood knows he’s out whatever happens, the players are demoralised by the chaos and probably want out too, if they are any good.

    The new signings are wondering how they managed to make such a colossal mistake.

      • ashleycollie

        Great post. Alan, despite his grifter/chancer ways, those days under ‘Arry seem like the golden years, when neutrals were looking to us for playing the beautiful football that Pool are presently playing. The continued silence (not to mention the non-sensical firings/hirings) from up top is deafening, no explanations for anything. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it in sports. ;)

        • Alan

          Thanks Ashley. Interesting re the silence. Presumeably unheard of in the US where they interact more freely with the media. Tim is doing his level best to make up for it, though, pronouncing on anything and everything. And sounding weaker with every utterance.

          Oh well

  3. Russell Child

    A shambollic and embarrassing performance.

    I couldn’t bare seeing the players lounging around in the tunnel before the game. They seemed to not give a toss. They had already decided they were going to get hammered and what’s to play for anyway.

    The manager had to take responsibility for that. He isn’t able to motivate them. Maybe they don’t rate him. Maybe they know that they and/or he won’t be there next year.

    Just as well for Levy we will be.

    Most worrying for Spurs? That Rodgers, who is probably the brightest prospect in management at the moment, gave us a body swerve because we are a sacking club.

    He had a dodgy first season. They stuck with him.

    Suarez wanted out? They fought to keep him.

    That is why Liverpool are shooting up the table playing gorgeous and exciting football while we become, once again, a laughing stock.

    Some people think we are going to at least win the rest of our games. Forget it. Stoke away? Sunderland at home? Villa? Can easily see us drawing or losing those.

    • Alan

      True. Sad but true. To me of the many serious failings you have listed, the worst is the caretaker regime, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago so for the moment I’m not going over old ground. The whole club is permeated with the dingy air of a storage unit, an entire organisation mothballs and dustsheets waiting for the summer and a new manager that everyone, including Sherwood, knows is coming. I feel Tim the Temp is doing a lousy job but to be fair to him, it’s hard to overcome that atmosphere of slow decay.

      I am pessemisitc about all our games, like you, but we’ve beaten Saints, Palace, Everton – no idea how but we got away with it.

      Regards,

      Alan

  4. Mclovin

    Avb made mistakes but he was a class act and spurs amd him could have debeloped into something special but the media and the oiks made it impossible. Sherwood the otherhand is a charmless nerk with no talent but because he is a full english the oiks amd the media have neen trying to convince us that he is the man. Well they can all fuck rigjt off as far as im concerned!!

  5. Amit

    That is a brilliantly worded blog. I am a Liverpool fan and although I am approaching my forties, I have never witnessed Liverpool winning the league so this is a first for me (if it goes as hoped).
    Apart from Man U fans, it is such a joy to see other fans applauding what Rodgers has done and it is amazing to be a Liverpool fan these days. I believed in the beginning of the season that Spurs would be title challengers but things didn’t work out that way. Levy has done some wonders for the club but this managerial madness is quite crazy. Watching Sherwood shake his head on his seat was quite comical. At least he could be on the touchline supporting his players but rather sat there and sulked. Not a good thing at all. Levy does need to take a look at what FSG did and choose carefully whom the next manager will be (if not Van Gaal) and stick with him.
    Good luck fellas. Let’s hope the season ends well for both our teams.

    • Russell Child

      Amit

      Darren Alexander was co-chair of the THFC supporters trust. He worked tirelessly for the fans.

      Sadly he died recently. We miss him and need him more than ever.

      Yesterday a group of Liverpool fans arranged a tribute to Darren. That was very classy. For that reason alone I hope Liverpool win the league this year.

      Your team is playing beautiful football. We could have had Rodgers at Spurs but he turned us down because we don’t stick by our managers. He was right and we were wrong.

      Also we could have signed Suarez but Sherwood turned him down. But if we had signed him we’d have sold him to Real Madrid by now.

      Good luck!

      Russell

    • Alan

      Amit – thanks for your kind words and the perspective on our travails. Hope you win it, right behind you. And as Russell says, your fans are so classy.

      Regards, Alan

  6. TMWNN

    The club is rotten top to bottom. A shambolic laughing stock. All down to Levy whose position is now untenable.

    • Alan

      Hard to disagree so I won’t. Except that sadly Levy will hang on to power like a drowning man to a liferaft.

      Regards, Alan

  7. MacSPURS

    Rodgers understands that Levy is an egotistical twat…no guts to back any of the countless managers he has appointed when things don’t go to plan. In most businesses the man at the top is fired if he consistently fails to deliver…you can only blame those below you so many times before you get caught out.
    The latest shambolic decision to fire AVB only weeks after sanctioning a major rebuild of our first team shows exactly how little Levy understands about building a team and putting a structure and style of play in place that everyone can follow. It takes time & a confidence in the decisions made for both the coach and squad to develop as a real team with common objectives and belief in themselves.
    Levy continues to leave his latest victim Sherwood vulnerable, with no open show of confidence (I happen to think he was a poor choice anyway) …”let’s give a guy with NIL management experience a bloody big headache to weld a brand new squad into a team 3 months into a season.. and then just watch as it all continues to fall apart…No worries we’ll appoint yet another guy next season and sack him if we aren’t top 4 material a few weeks into the new season!! “.
    Meanwhile other ambitious and potentially good coaches steer clear of the THFC poison chalice.
    I remember laughing at the antics of Doug Ellis as Aston Villa see sawed up and down every season, his chairmanship turning a big club into a bit of a joke and nil future at the top table…. Levy is the new Ellis!!
    I’m not laughing anymore because my beloved club is being made a laughing stock …a perennial joke for the media …”Spurs will buy/sell any and everyone…change their managers every 12-15 months and never ever win anything …Big club once upon a time…remember that double side… No? well it was a very very long time ago!!
    What’s so sad is that having rescued Spurs from financial ruin & promising so much in terms of putting Spurs back as a club with real quality(new training ground and plans for new stadium etc), the current Board, Chairman and major shareholders seem incapable of selecting and backing any one to run the footballing side (the basis for everything). So move over Levy you clearly are incapable of picking the right man for the job!

    • koko61

      MacSPURS, are you from Macclesfield ?
      I have friends and family member who live there and are part of Northern Spurs.
      Tel’s fish bar is my cousin .

    • Alan

      Beautifully put MacSpurs. The last para is something worth saying – Levy has done so much for the club yet is hopeless with the one thng that truly matters.

      Regards, Alan

    • Alan

      Think you have solved the puzzle of why Tim stayed in the director’s box – you get the best view of Liverpool’s football from there.

  8. Tim Wood

    A gutless and shameful performance. It was the could not care less attitude I found so hard to take. It began in the tunnel as they lined up to go out and got worse on the pitch. A horror show for all Spurs fans. The players should all watch Palace all pulling together and turning over Chelsea and then have a liong hard think about what took place on Sunday. Easy to say in hindsight but we should have stuck with Harry At least he got the team to play for him and show some passion for the game.

    • Alan

      I didn’t see them in the tunnel but one of the commentators said how relaxed they looked. Little did he know…

      Good point re Palace – players who can take on and beat Chelsea because they work hard to a formation and plan. The manager tells them what to do and how to set up. Basic but totally beyond Spurs.

      Cheers, Alan

  9. Dr B

    There is so much that I could write after that shambolic performance yesterday. Vertonghen’s disgusting attitude, poor team selection, Sherwood’s strange decision to remain aloof from it all, Soldado completely isolated etc. And then I could start on Levy and how he keeps making the same mistakes of hiring and firing too quickly etc . However, it’s all very dull now isn’t it. For the first time in 40 years I can say I’ve really had enough now. Wake me up when it’s all over please. Or perhaps with the next false dawn…

    • Gerry

      Agreed mate but worst thing that happened to me was my old dad taking me to WHLin 1959 to see a proper team and now I have witness this garbage from over paid wannabe film stars. . Can’t say the words I want to say.

    • Alan

      So many long-term fans disillusioned this season, saying they’ve had enough. Hard to blame them – feel like I’m the crzy one for carrying on. Still, plenty more false dawns to look forward to if recent history is anything to go by.

      Cheers, Alan

  10. Paul

    Hahahah we are the joke that keeps on giving. I cant remember a time when we lacked passion. Naughton, Rose, Dawson, Kaboul, Lennon, Townsend, Dembele, Chadli – all must go!! These are just very average players who (apart from dawson) dont care. Levy is a mad man who sacks and hires on sight. Sherwood seems to have the passion but no knowledge. What is going on???????

    • Alan

      Wish I knew. One big April fool. Don’t agree with all your choices there but one thing is certain – other managers could get from this squad than TS, much more.

      Best, Alan

  11. Jimmy Greaves is God

    After a season of some pretty shameful performances I feel that we are close to actually reaching rock bottom. Following that abysmal lack of effort yesterday I fail to see how it can possibly get much worse. If “Nice but Dim” wants to see the game from a different angle as opposed to where he should be i.e. at the side of the pitch, then maybe he should come and sit near us Alan where we can certainly put him right on one or two things.

    No plan, No shape, No idea, No effort, No goals and a Clueless Manager equals No Champions League Football

    I would sooner watch us play in the Championship with 11 players who cared for the club and supporters, rather than this arrogant and overpaid bunch whose only interest is how big their wage packet is

    • Alan

      Next time we have a spare, we’ll see if Tim likes the view from the Shelf. But he wouldn’t do it – the cameras are on our side so he wouldn’t be seen on TV….

      Worst thing – I’m not sure this IS rock bottom….

      Regards, Alan

  12. Chris B Waters

    i agree with you about Liverpool, Alan.
    To think we were hanging onto their coat tails throughout much of this season, thinking they’d implode.
    From 3 or 4 seasons of being nowhere they’ve suddenly rediscovered what makes a great club great ..while we’ve been flirting expectantly with the top four for 5 years, but have now reached a nadir this season.
    A bit like Australia’s sudden and unexpected resurgence as they slaughtered England in the Ashes and, out of nowhere, went from way behind, to ahead of us again in terms of quality and ranking.
    Hats off to Liverpool’s manager, the class and blend in the team, and the commitment of the players. I hope, for the sake of football, they win the PL.
    Make no mistake, however, that their determination to keep Gerrard (some years back) and Suarez more recently, has reaped great rewards for their club/team as a whole.
    In OUR ‘progression’ we merely SOLD what great players came our way, or which emerged in recent years, almost as soon as they raised their hands.
    If we had had a top club mentality like Liverpool, United and Chelsea over the past couple of years, then we would have forced the likes of Modric and Bale to commit to our future, and thoughtfully brought in the best players out there to compliment them. It’s what contracts and commitment are for. Any top club needs a couple of great players to bring out the best in everyone around them. Even if they are not natural leaders, as Gerrard is, they inspire by performance alone (as Bale did for us last year).
    To spend over £100m (Eriksen apart) on a bunch of good, but hardly inspiring, journeymen, adding to a squad that has no great players or genuine leaders (the waning Daws apart) is a tragedy.
    Last summer was supposed to prove the final key to unlock not just the top four, but the PL itself. But it has backfired spectacularly.
    Like our play on the pitch, where this season we’ve treated the ball like a hot potato, passing it as easily/quickly as possible sideways/back in order to just get rid of the actual responsibility, we did similar with the Bale money.
    Burning a hole in our pockets, Baldini and Levy never considered what we actually NEEDED, and what they could get for that £100m+ ..they just went ahead and bought without scrutinising how each player could blend in, adapt and add dramatically to the squad, and to the core of our team (because we did have a core ..although no longer). It’s why we ended up with two extra holding midfielders (Paulinho and Capoue) on top of Sandro and Dembele (well, one, because God knows what position Paulinho plays); another centre back, Chiriches, who’s probably less of a player than Caulker; the opposite of Bale in Chadli; a new born Bambi in Lamela (yes, he may well be great in a few years time, but I doubt it); and a box striker in Soldado who would have actually been a perfect fit a few years ago (with Modric’s creativity/industry and Bale/Lennon marauding down the flanks).
    We’ve suffered because all the players are much of a muchness, know nothing of the Spurs’ tradition, and aren’t capable of lifting themselves (Ade excused in certain games recently) as well as others around them. Lennon suffers terribly because he’s our only pacy winger in a still unbalanced side (free up the left flank again with someone possibly approaching Bale’s skills, and Lennon, or Townsend, will benefit again on the right where there’s currently too much pressure and predictability). We’ve tried Sig, Chadli and Eriksen on the left …but WHY? It never works. Even if he’s disappointing, play Townsend there, until we find a top left winger. Townsend prefers the right, but even on the left he can offer so much more than the other three.
    I can’t remember seeing such a horror show unfold, and so many pastings, over one season. Even most of the games we’ve won have left me bereft of exquisite joy. Tim can’t seem to grasp what’s happening, as AVB couldn’t. Yesterday he should have played Dembele alongside Eriksen (I like D, but he needs to play with a playmaker alongside him), put Townsend on the left, and played Sandro instead of Bentaleb in the holding role. We may well have still been thrashed, but this persistence with Sig, Bentaleb and Chadli, and continually playing players out of their best positions, is misguided at least ..even though, with little to play for, we need to experiment ..until the inevitable shipping out and shipping in.
    Last point. The week gone, was the 50th anniversary of my first trip to WHL. A little boy in awe, in the stands with his dad (a Newcastle fan). We lost to a Liverpool team 3-1, and it was the very start (for them) of a long period of English, and later European, dominance. We were the big boys who got thrashed that day, the changing of the guard even, although the memories since have been wonderful as well as agonising. But I can’t remember, even with inferior players over the years, and even when we went down to the 2nd Div in 1977, us being so boring and inept to watch. Even when we create the odd chance, I don’t expect us to score. It’s horrible, and made more so because this season was built, more than the prior and better recent seasons, on complete optimism and expectancy, plus a huge and able squad that was the envy of nearly all clubs (not now).
    What the hell have we done??!!

    • Alan

      What an anniversary gift. Stark contrast, beings home how we are wasting the season, this squad, £100m, the goodwill of supporters, wasting energy watching them…

      Impossible to conceive how Levy and the board could have concocted this mess. The problems and pitfalls so clear to us yet they’ve not so much fallen in as dived in headfirst. Hard to fathom how awfully bad they are.

      Oh well – cheers, Al

  13. Dave in Sydney

    This was probably the worst game I’ve ever watched, and the first one I’ve ever switched off before the end. I could see the lack-lustre, could not care less attitude for myself, but listening to the commentators, they just confirmed it. I wondered if we took a bribe to throw the game? I had the same feeling watching The Ashes, seeing the way England did not seem to give a toss, and it’s had the same effect. I don’t care about The Ashes any more, and I don’t care what happens for the rest of the season.

    • Alan

      Don’t think the players care either. feel your pain, even from 12,000 miles away. If it is any consolation, it felt the same on my sofa.

      Regards, Alan

  14. Anonymous

    We were shambolic embassing.a joke of a football team spending one hundred million on rubbish players. The only good thing to come out of this season is no uefa league next season

  15. koko61

    Good read as usual Alan.
    Got to admit my sentiments exactly regarding Tim in the directors box, and what gets me is why Levy allows him to be up there and not on the touch line urging the team on.
    Regarding a new manager.. Forget it as Levy will not give him time or allow him his own players, even maybe Levy picking the team as we seem to play the same system under Tim.
    I hope Liverpool go on and win the title and they stick 2 fingers up-to the money bags City and Chelsea, because they will have won it on a good and honest budget.

    • Alan

      Well, Liverpool have still spent a bob or two – but good luck as you say, football played the way it should be, with a flourish, not waiting for…oh hang on, that’s supposed to be us…..

      Best, Alan

  16. David Read

    This was a wretched and feeble showing, and credit to Alan to everyone else for articulating just how damnably supine this team has become. We’ve come full circle. AV-B got the elbow after we got ripped apart by Liverpool at home at the end of last year. One step forward, three steps sideways and two steps back – and that was just Kaboul setting up his own goal. How AV-B must be chuckling into his borscht right now.There was absolutely nothing to cheer about in this performance and several reputations were badly damaged by the collective surrender – starting, or ending, with the manager who we may as well label a “lame duck” for the rest of the season. At least we can dismiss the notion that the busy schedule since Christmas was to blame. Our first full week without a match for a while only resulted in the most sluggish and disconnected performance seen for a long time. I wish we would do away with the nonsense of a group hug at the start of the match – it clearly has bugger all effect on the resolve of the team. In part, I fear that we will stumble into Europe in sixth place. I’d much rather give it a miss next season and have an experienced manager working on the team rather than farting around Upper Silesia or wherever. Three goals were gifted to Liverpool by decent players apparently auditioning for the subs bench at Wanstead Flats. I’ve had it with Lennon, who has been a good player for a while. But his body language and lack of desire was typical of several others who seemed to be going through the motions. It’s down to the manager to get amongst them and fix it: unfortunately he’s nowhere to be seen, being stuck up in the stands. Tim – perceptions count for a lot and while Rodgers was cajoling his team to become even better, our players were looking to an empty seat in the dugout. That says it all. If he’s not giving his everything, why should they?

    • Alan

      Mmm, fancy a plate of borscht as it goes, tasty…

      Regretfully agree re lennon, although without making excuses I suspect his runs off the ball inside may be part of instructions, another example of tactics that good on the whiteboard with those little discs (leaves agp on outside for full-back to fill) but fail miserably in reality. Which sums Terrible Tim up.

      Regards,

      Alan

    • Billy Fiore

      I fear Mr. Sherwood HAS been giving his everything and now has the demeanour of Wile E. Coyote stopping and realising he’s just run 20 yards off a cliff.

  17. swedishlovespurs

    Hi Alan.
    Presuming that TS is removed as manager for next season, I wonder which top manager would wish to take control of this shambles of a team.
    Quality players that want away, ordinary players totally lacking in motivation, and a thug of a chairman for good measure.
    Goal number 3 was toe curlingly embarassing, the “effort” to block the shot hilarious.
    The piano music from Pot Black would provide the perfect accompaniment for our defending.
    Kudos to our supporters, they’re the only reason I’m not ashamed.

    • JC53

      Swedishlovespurs

      There is another way of looking at the question of who would want the manager’s job. As Mr Moyes is finding out, taking on a successful team isn’t necessarily the best way to enhance your reputation. Look what happened to Harry’s profile when he came to us. A successful manager comes in, gets us moving in the right direction and gets out – or doesn’t and we all say ‘what can you expect with Levy, ENIC, that squad’ or whoever else we choose to blame at the time. It’s an attractive job for a big name.

  18. villardi

    If we don’t make the top four and we won’t, I’m happy to avoid the dreaded Europa League next season and chuckle watching Man Utd suffer in it.. Gives us a chance to rebuild properly like Liverpool did, provided we have the right coach and the right players to do it. Brendan Rogers first season was nothing special but they kept faith with him. Sherwood is no Brendan Rogers though. Every time I see Hoddle on TV he talks a lot of sense and clearly still has passion for Spurs. Give him a second chance I say, can’t do worse that Sherwood surely.

  19. Greg Murphy

    From Greg Murphy, Evertonian, in Liverpool.

    On a tangent to all things Spurs and Liverpool related, I just wanted to flag this up here, given that: the Hillsborough Inquest has now opened; and in anticipation of the 25th anniversary commemorations of the disaster in a couple of weeks; and Spurs’ inextricable inclusion in the broader story of Hillsborough as a “disaster waiting to happen”.

    Just feel it’s appropriate to leave a memorial to Colin Andrew Sefton, who died at Hillsborough in 1989 but, ironically, was actually a Spurs fan (see link below). I say “ironically” because, as most Spurs fans will, or should, know, THFC fans quite literally dodged a Hillsborough disaster in 1981 on the same Leppings Lane terrace (see also link below). That a Spurs fan would eventually become a victim of Hillsborough in 1989 is therefore a deeply bitter irony. Like I, and I’m sure thousands of footy fans have done on several occasions at various grounds around the country, it seems Colin was just a fellow football fan out for the day with his Liverpool supporting mates, basically. Utterly tragic, then, and especially poignant given the events of 1981. Gary Mabbutt attended Colin’s funeral.

    So it would be doubly fitting if Spurs, bearing in mind the events of 1981, could also especially remember Colin, as one of their own, at the forthcoming 25th anniversary commemorations. I’ll leave it to you and all those at WHL to decide the best course on this one.

    May Colin rest in peace.

    Links:

    ColinAndrewSefton

    Spurs-Hillsborough-1981-Account

    Spurs-Hillsborough-1981-Video

    • on

      Alan,
      great commentary as usual.
      A few observations, as a huge support of what you would american football, it is become essentially a copycat league, in that once there is enough “tape” available on certain teams, formations etc a formula will arise on how to approach a certain opponent. Obviously world football is a much different game, with dynamic flow and active involvement of all players, ie offensive linemen are not handling the ball , nor should they. Yet it would seem that what we lack any plan when we approach these games, while these players have talent it is not enough to roll out the balls and say have at it. All of games are analyzed, taped and reviewed, what the hell happens from there, is nothing formulated with the information garnered? The season is nearly eclipsed and I still could not hazard to guess who our best 11 are, and a do not believe the leadership of the team or even the players know. I watched Liverpool v Sunderland earlier in the week and Sunderland had a plan, they essentially played ten men behind the ball and had often two outlet passes available for their defenders, to defuse the pressure, is it necessarily exciting no, but they had Liverpool on the ropes and look to be competitive throughout the game. It is sad to say that nearly every big game, against the tops teams we have not even looked competitive, basically hanging on until the bottom drops out. What are we, park the bus, counterattack, or high pressure, I do not know. I am so sick of this failed high line defense, it has made us so frail in the back, there is not forward pressing or pressure on the ball , which has left the back four in shambles, a shooting gallery comes to mind.
      In my mind the mark of great management is the ability to convey a solid plan and to make players BETTER, to perform above your ability, Ferguson could do it, look at his aging squads performances for the last 5 years, compared to this year. The players we have, do not seem to be improving or solidfying their performances from year to year, aka Vert, Lennon, Siggy , Walker etc. Those that do improve get sold off. It makes one wonder what the hell we actually do , accomplish in training. I believe that the results on the weekend are directly related to the week on training and it seems we have no direction, there is nothing I hate more than one of our players in possession with palms up looking for a pass, looking for a runner looking for a clue frankly.
      I never thought that I would be looking forward to this season running out , but I am.
      I consider myself an adoptive Spurs fan, I was not born with this “curse” but I have chosen it and have embraced the heritage, lore and history as if it were my own. The majority of our players can not say the same unfortunately.
      Ed

      • Alan

        Great post, thanks.

        Agree completely with your definition of a good manager. I’ve always said the same – making the whole greater than the sum of the parts. I have been very critical of Sherwood in this respect. No blend, no concerted movement off the ball both when we have possession and when we lose it. The things you mention are basics yet he does not seem able to coach these into the players, it’s as if he’s skipped those basics and moved straight on to the more technical aspects, which of course fail if they can’t complete the simple stuff.

        Regards, Alan

  20. JimmyG2

    Been moving house so only just caught up with you Alan.
    Generous to a fault and brutally accurate and honest.
    Pity that.
    We can’t start all over again next season surely
    But as Mrs.T used to say ‘There is no alternative’.
    I noticed Rogers casting a sly amused glance
    at whatever Chris Ramsey was saying at one point.
    Probably ‘Alone alone all alone’

    • villardi

      According to Sky Sports Sherwood has been told he’s being dumped at end of season. Perfect timing for tonight’s match and possibly 3 points handed to Sunderland while we still have a mathematical chance of finishing top four. My club never fail to amaze me!

    • Alan

      Hope you are settled and snug chez Jim, Jim. Sounds like you prioritised the Sky feed – good man.

      Kind words from you re the blog, I could though have been harder on the players and still given them no grounds for complaint. Outclassed in every single department from dressing room to the post-match handshakes. Hopeless, and no prospects of any change.

      All the best, Alan

  21. TH

    18 September 2011 Spurs 4 Liverpool 0
    Friedel Bale Kaboul King Walker Ekotto Parker Modric Kranjcar Adebayor Defoe

    15 December 2013 Spurs 0 Liverpool 5
    Lloris Walker Naughton Dembélé Capoue Dawson Lennon Sandro Soldado Paulinho Chadli

    You can talk about managers all you want but the most important thing is the change in players.

    Only one player Kyle Walker played in both of the above games !!!

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