Tim Sherwood: Your Rudimental Four-Four-Two Isn’t The Way Forward

Tim Sherwood Tottenham Hotspur

At a cost of around £4.5m and a man with no first-team managerial experience, we always news Tim Sherwood was a backwards appointment. A filler for the obvious lack of forward plan and an arguable panic instalment from the powers that be, we’ve been thrown deeper into the abyss and know little of what to expect when each new game is thrown upon us.

But what we’d hoped to see was more fluency, an emphasis on attacking sides instead of the patient and tedious game that was moulded under AVB this season. We were presented with more energy against Southampton.

We widened the holes in midfield and substituted stability for an over-committed attack, allowing few players to look over their shoulder when possession was lost in the opponents third. It was unexpected, we expected it to be a short-term stop-gap as the hunt for AVB’s successor carried with it our apprehension.

The Tim Sherwood appointment failed to meet many expectations in quality but was realistically the only candidate in the short-term, although he’d only accept if the contract was a longer-term one. This raised the question of whether this system (or lack of) employed at Southampton was to be adopted long-term.

It evoked understandable feelings of concern. The West Brom game did little but echo these initial feelings. There was simply no method to how we approached the game. It was almost a mockery of how AVB approached each fixture.

The players played as though there was no strategy or system, the team were incredibly disorganised and the personnel did not suit the 4-4-2 that was laid out. West Brom found it easy to play between the flat lines of four, exploit the gaps in front and behind midfield and a lot of our defending was last ditch.

The defence were given little, if any, protection and it was credit to Lloris for ensuring West Brom scored just once. I’m delighted for the recent eyesore to be extinguished and the delights of pass and move to be recreated once again, but there’s no reason why we should be sacrificing stability to make this happen.

Employing the strongest system that suits our strongest players and utilises the best of the squad for results has to be the proactive approach taken. Employing a 4-4-2 when arguably neither of the 3-4 centre midfielders operating there suit it is naive. We’ve struggled to enjoy any real balance this season and we find ourselves playing our most attacking players in deeper positions leaving them ineffective.

We’ll continue incurring the same continual problems right up until the end of the season unless if a formation and system is employed that utilises the best of what we have. Giving the ball to the full-backs and encouraging them to float crosses into Adebayor fails to get the best out of his ability on the ground and bring a wealth of attacking talent into the game. Stoke will have a field day playing against continual floated crossed.

I’m behind Sherwood for the remainder of time he is in charge of the club, although I do hope he addresses the basics that we’re evidently lacking. It’s an eyesore seeing us struggle to string three short passes together. The lack of movement means we’re doing little in possession and my hope is that we realise where we need to improve and install a system that exploits our better players for the good of the side. Hope being the operative word here.

If we can all see our areas of failure, why can’t our manager?

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Name – Ben Alfrey 

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11 thoughts on “Tim Sherwood: Your Rudimental Four-Four-Two Isn’t The Way Forward

  1. “If we can all see our areas of failure, why can’t our manager?”

    This question might replace “To Dare is To Do” as the club slogan. Seems like Spurs fans have continually asked it under Redknapp, AVB and Sherwood.

    Still, Sherwood deserves time. A week with almost no training makes it extremely unfair to judge Sherwood too harshly. I was a proponent of giving AVB time to sort it out and thus I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t say the same of Sherwood.

    The Woolwich and United games will tell much more of the story than we currently know. People need to step off the ledge a little. Realistically we have no idea what we have in Sherwood. Anyone who says otherwise is engaging in massive amounts of conjecture. Wait and see approach for me. Hope he can sort it out.

    Good article Ben. Cheers.

  2. you are a pri-k- a few games in charge and you telling the man what to do, perhaps you should be in charge with a group of players we can all see that have been missed used up till now and perhaps some of which are not the players we should have gone for in the first place, but that is the situation and we have got to make the best of it, give the man a chance to see what he can do, judge him a way down the line as you did with AVB

  3. We need a 4-3-3 with a front 3 of soldado in the centre, adebayor on the left and lamela on the right, eriksen in the hole and sandro and paulinho/ dembele playing behind him. No more siggy please. Width coming from the 2 full backs.

  4. I’m all for giving Sherwood a go and giving him my support. We have a horrendous injury list and that certainly does not help. However, I can’t help but think his niavity is already showing. All the most successful teams have power in their midfield and that means an aggressive ball winner or someone who can break up play. That means play Sandro or Capoue or both and let the talented guys do the business. West Brom found it far too easy to play through us time and time again and if justice was to have been served should have gone away with 3 points. Any good coach must be flexible and adaptable and not simply say ‘4-4-2 or nothing’. Hopefully, the penny will drop and slowly Sherwood will start to show that at least he capable of stepping up to the mark. My gut instinct is he is merely keeping the seat warm for our real target who probably cannot join us before the summer. COYS

  5. Bless you Nicky kruse, essentially you’ve opted for the formation an starting line up AVB started the season with, that didnt work… He then tinkered with it, went back to 4-5-1 with out an out wingers, which actually worked, then he went back to 4-3-3… Which again, didnt work. Glad you learnt the same things he did, you should be his assistant lol

  6. It’s difficult to analyze Sherwood too much since we haven’t had Jan and Sandro in there to form a thicker backbone, and without Lennon, whose play crystallizes our attack.

  7. Brad, the big difference with my line up is we still have adebayor and soldado up front with a powerful midfield to help out our atrocious centre backs. Avb started the season with Chadli on the left …nuff said.

  8. Sherwood is doing exactly the same as previous managers. I really don’t get playing personnel out of position. Gylfi on left wing and wingers on opposite wing?? Gross incompetence and mismanagement. Still – keep it up and history tell you he isn’t gonna last.

    For every Bale, Berbatov, Carrick we buy – we also buy a Hutton, Bentley, Lamela(he is a dud), etc. I really would like to see Vlad and Jan at centre back and agree that daws isn’t good enough.

    What really concerns me though is Sandro, Kaboul, Townsend and Dembele seem to be injured on a regular basis. Plus any combination of midfield as a collective will not get anywhere Bale’s goal tally. Look at Chelski, Goons and Man C – their midfield combination will score at least 30-40 goals.

    Really can’t see us finishing any higher than we are now. We have a lot of dead wood and if the stories are true that AVB did not want to buy some of our recent recruits – his position was always untenable a while back.

  9. it is early days but the early signs aren’t good. I never wanted or liked AVB and was glad to see the back of him, never dreaming Levy would make this knee jerk decision. If no really suitable candidates were available surely we should have turned to Hoddle who at least has experience behind him and a sound tactical brain to back it up. In the end, as usual, Levy has taken action which ensures he, through Baldini, will retain control of the transfer dealings which is where he makes his money. There seems little thought about the prospects of the team under Sherwood, but what’s new.

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