Sheer wood when thinking about Tim
Tottenham host Aston Villa this weekend and it's a game that is positively beaming with tasty, crunchy narrative. Before a ball is even kicked, it's enough to leave you feeling satisfyingly bloated. No need for dessert, the main course is more than enough to sink your teeth into. Tim Sherwood, the often maligned temporary coach that found himself on the front-line geared up with a navy gilet, saluting and gesturing exuberantly, tore the Spurs fan-base apart from one week to the next. Some enjoyed his no nonsense back to basics team structure whilst other couldn't accept his lack of tactical nous. No square pegs in round holes.
The uncomfortable truth is that with the magic of hindsight, Sherwood was actually good for us. Only for that small pocket of time. He took the role of the man that walks over to a delusional person in the midst of a panic attack and gently slaps them across the face to shake them back to reality. Yes, he was like a genetically modified bull in a china shop, disintegrating everything with lasers beams from his eyes. But Timmy, with his harsh unorthodox manner, allowed us to see more then we had at the time.
I say unorthodox because he wasn't delivering tactical philosophies in pre-match press conferences. Nor was he dropping fan friendly soundbites. He was presenting us with a graphic commentary on a brutal autopsy. What most of us preferred to focus on was the fact he was doing it so publicly. No subtlety here. Sherwood had arrived and he wanted the world to know it.
Credit to him for throwing Nabil Bentaleb into the deep end. It wasn't the most disciplined introduction but in some ways the baptism of fire has done the boy plenty of good. Even in the games he was left criminally exposed in, he displayed traits of maturity that gave us an indication this kid had potential. It also gave us Sherwood's assessment that the far more expensively bought imported players did not have either the fortitude or desire to hold down a role in the side.
Sherwood upset the balance in the changing room by pushing away players he decided were stuck in that culture of comfort that has so often left us with half-hearted footballers picking up a wage and not doing much more. Okay, perhaps that's overly dramatic but this was the 'shake them back to reality' moment. For both the squad and the supporters. If Tim could get us resembling some ilk of pride again then something deep inside the club was fundamentally flawed.
The rejuvenated Emmanuel Adebayor also helped him and us. I'm not going to dispute that all Tim did was to get us playing again, with no frills and little evidence it could ever improve further. He was completely self-obsessed, the type of man that wants everything he thinks and does to be illuminated in neon lights. If only he held back a little bit, he might have been so much more likeable for those that want to feel a sense of connection with their head coach.
Tim wasn't the answer but he left us asking plenty of questions.