Monday Night Lights


No Tim Sherwood on Monday night when Aston Villa visit the Lane. He didn't last long, did he? From one political minefield to another, our Tim does love a baptism of fire. Perhaps a more experienced coach (say a Sherwood from the future with an array of coaching badges and one or two fruitful managerial appointments under his belt) could have produced something several levels above just sheer shouty motivation. Tactical evolution is easier to channel when you have players of considerable talent available to you. Like at Spurs. At Villa, their best players were sold and very little in the way of quality was left behind. To be honest, he hardly channelled sophistication before he left N17. You'll always just about get away with it when applying plenty of 'effort' with a better pool of options.

Sherwood's mouth and his ambition are the two low points that grated on most Tottenham supporters (along with that alleged Gooner tattoo), even if he was proved right occasionally when using his mouth. He called out several players for their attitude that were shifted out of the club at a later date (Sandro and Capoue two that spring to mind). There's no doubting his desire to get the best out of the squad and those he trusted but playing them in their obvious positions and then sending them out with instructions ripped from the Back to Basics Bible by Harry Redknapp will only get you so far.

I never hated him. I never liked him either. In many ways he was never truly given the chance to fail at Spurs and was never offered the chance to succeed at Villa. A lot of what he 'achieved' with us was exaggerated through comparisons of circumstance. It felt like Brazil 70 after the disparaging final weeks (months) of Andre Villas-Boas. Seeing Emmanuel Adebayor return from exile was like having Father Christmas dumping all the neighbourhoods presents down the single chimney. You just can't believe your luck.

Throwing in the likes of Nabil Bentaleb is perceived as a masterstroke by some but in reality it's just another 'don't give a ****' trait of Tim. In comes the youth player to show up all the millionaire under performing first teamers. There was no kid gloves here. Sherwood was fully aware Nabil wasn't scared and actually possessed talent (along with exuberance and the willingness to do as he was told) but he had some fairly rough appearances in midfield because of his inexperience and lack of protection. Is it a really a masterstroke? A calculated learning curve? Feels like another example of classic accidental progression. This particular baptism of fire didn't hurt the player but a more considered approach isn't something Tim is accustomed to.

Whether you believe the rumours about press leaks and Machiavellian moves you'd still find it fairly comfortable to agree that the whole scenario pre and post AVB was the perfect play-thing for a man with a sizeable ego to flaunt (blag) his way to a full time job in the upper echelons. The curve-ball was that after years of listening to third hand info suggesting that Sherwood was Daniel Levy's 'golden boy', the one to rise through the ranks and to prominence, he ended up as nothing more than a stop-gap. Maybe it was intentional, maybe it wasn't.

His legacy at Spurs was as a facilitator, a coordinator of the academy (I just made up that job role, I can't remember his exact title and his responsibilities have always been clouded in mystery like most employed). He looked after the developmental squads, dealt with loans and contracts and scouting. That won't be remembered all that well. His ranting and defiant arrogance in the face of adversity will. His failures remain ambiguous and he should perhaps aim lower as he seeks a fresh start. Calm it down a bit with the vocals. No need for graphic transparency. He's been all b*llocks and no brains. Time to tuck in the grape-fruits Tim.

For now, if you want your Sherwood fix you'll have to search television punditry corners. Shame Villa didn't hold off sacking him until after Monday. Would have loved to have seen Mauricio Pochettino extract revenge for last season. We're always missing out at the very last moment.