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?
Name - Ben Alfrey
Twitter - @InsideN17
Back Catalogue - http://spursstatman.com/category/ben-alfrey/