Five things Tim Sherwood can do to land the Tottenham job

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Following Andre Villas-Boas’ being sacked as Tottenham Hotspur boss on Monday, many are throwing potential replacements into the hat as Spurs search for a new boss.

But what about the guy they’ve put in charge on an interim basis, Tim Sherwood?

For those we haven’t heard of him, no, he’s not got anything to do with Robin Hood or that famous forest… But he was a bloody good midfielder who led Blackburn Rovers to the Premier League title in the 1994-95 season and his traits of gritty determination, leadership and appreciation for organization has spilled over to his coaching career.

Now Sherwood has been handed the chance to show what he can do for Spurs, as he takes charge of Tottenham for their League Cup quarterfinal against West Ham on Wednesday. It is thought chairman Daniel Levy has faith in Sherwood and likes the fact that he’s not only played for Spurs but captained them and worked with the youth and reserve sides as a coach.

(MORE: Spurs in hunt for new boss after sacking Andre Villas-Boas)

Remember at Barcelona when Pep Guardiola took over? He was a young coach who had previously played for Barca as a holding midfielder. Could Sherwood become Spurs’ Guardiola? It’s far too early to start that talk but everyone has to start somewhere.

If he wants the job on a permanent basis, here’s five things he can do to help himself out:

1. Get the players laughing

Spurs have had two catastrophic defeats in recent weeks, so getting his squad to have a giggle and lighten the mood will be key. It’s a tense situation as the players and Sherwood himself are in limbo. This is a chance for him to prove himself but also to gain the respect of the players. Sometimes that comes from being able to connect with them on a human basis, something AVB was criticized for not doing enough. Sherwood has been around this side for a long time as a coach, now it’s his time to lead them for how ever many games. Put on a show and smile.

2. Instill his philosophy

Having got my UEFA B coaching badge, one of the things you’re always told to remember as a coach is that your own philosophy is paramount. If you don’t know how you want your team to play, then how the hell are they going to know? Sherwood has to set out his stall accordingly and set Spurs up the way he wants. I’d hazard a guess that he’ll play two up front and play attacking soccer that he used to be the lynchpin of as a holding midfielder during Blackburn Rovers’ heyday. Spurs fans will like that.

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Can Sherwood use his many years of experience as Blackburn and Spurs captain to lead Tottenham to glory?

3. Provide a clean slate

Perhaps the easiest thing Sherwood can do is push the door open for those players who’ve been on the fringes or cast aside by AVB. One such player is Emmanuel Adebayor who fell out with the previous manager but has shown everyone that he’s capable of scoring goals in the Premier League in the past. That’s something Spurs need, so Sherwood handing Adebayor an olive branch already is a smart move.

4. Be brave

As we mentioned about his philosophy, Sherwood must stick to what he knows best and be ruthless in what he wants from his side. As an interim boss he will have plenty of other coaches and even directors whispering ideas in his ear, but he has been handed the reigns so he should stay strong and trust his instincts. The interim bosses who generally do well are those that are relaxed but let the players known, ‘this is how we’re going to play.’

5. Win…

The most simple formula for being handed the job permanently, but obviously the most difficult of the five steps. Sherwood has the chance to take Spurs to a League Cup semifinal if they beat West Ham in a London derby, that’s a challenge he will relish and just the type of game he used to thrive in as a player. His players will be hurting after the heavy defeat to Liverpool, so expect a response. If Sherwood lasts until the Southampton game on Sunday, that’s another big game for Spurs to show what they’re made of as they make the tricky yet winnable trip down to St. Mary’s. Good luck Tim, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain…

Bayern Munich activates clause to make Coman permanent

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Bayern Munich has announced its decision to make Kingsley Coman’s loan from Juventus a permanent move.

Coman, 20, operates as a right wing and striker, and can also play on the left. He’s made 40 Bundesliga appearances with six goals and six assists over two seasons for Bayern.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

It’s a $24 million option, and will bind Coman to Bayern through the 2019-20 season.

From FCBayern.com:

“Kingsley Coman is a crucial player for the future of our team, so we’ve decided to exercise the option,” commented Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: “Kingsley is a promising player with great potential. We’re convinced he’ll help us in the coming years.”

Coman, Renato Sanches, and Joshua Kimmich are all under the age of 22.

Mourinho has chance to make major statement in Manchester Derby

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The betting market says Man City is more than even money to beat Manchester United, and wagering on the latter to win Thursday’s derby match is a longer shot than the Red Devils finishing in the Top Four (an achievement to be sure).

The worth of those metrics is debatable, but allows a sincere thought: Given their thin depth and the road challenge, a win for Jose Mourinho would be as impressive as almost anything Manchester United has accomplished this season.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

Maybe that’s obvious to many of us, but a twirl through the spheres of United supporter social media shows something different. Many Red Devils are confident of their teams’ fortunes in Thursday’s Manchester Derby, with one even predicting a 3-1 win in a comment on the NBC Sports Soccer Facebook page.

That could be an outlier, sure, but shows the demands Manchester United supporters place on their big spending club. United won’t have Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, two of the best players in the world, and it’s not as if the club has had time to adjust to their absences. No one has played more minutes for United than Pogba and Ibrahimovic this season.

United is also without Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, and Phil Jones at the heart of their defense as it attempts to shut down Sergio Aguero and/or Gabriel JesusDavid Silva is a doubt for City, who also may not have John Stones, but Guardiola has options.

How Mourinho attacks — or doesn’t attack — City, and how Guardiola sets up his XI, will be interesting leading into the match, because parking the bus lacks its usual luster given the center back carnage. Will Mourinho trot out Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera in a bid to clog the midfield? Will he run Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford as a strike pair?

The answers to these questions and the unlikely event of a United road win may end up shining all over Thursday. And while that win would wind up being overshadowed by United’s finish on the Premier League table and UEFA Europa League, there’s little doubt it would stake a serious claim for Mourinho’s time at United being on the rise.

Henry, Aguero discuss playing up top under Pep

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One great striker got another one to open up on an up-and-down year at Manchester City.

Thierry Henry — one of the greatest of all-time, it must be said — sat down with Sergio Aguero ahead of Thursday’s Manchester Derby at the Etihad Stadium, and asked the Argentine about Pep Guardiola, Gabriel Jesus, and more.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

At times, it’s a fascinating discussion on playing lone striker. Even apart from the obligatory questions regarding Jesus’ arrival at City, Henry and Aguero speak their craft in a manner you don’t see too often.

That’s helped by the fact that Henry played for Guardiola at Barcelona, and can relate to the positional demands of Man City’s boss. Consider this exchange, from Sky Sports:

HENRY: When I was at Arsenal, I played up front and if I wanted to drift out to the left, I could. But when I got to Barca, I had to stay out wide and press. Sometimes doing that can be hard.

AGUERO: The thing I’ve found the hardest has been getting into my head the fact that I have to press the centre-back and the goalkeeper in matches. That’s what Pep asks me to do. It may not be a big deal, but in terms of processing it, the two of us speak a lot. He knows what I’m like.

I’ve been gradually learning and adapting to that style of pressing over the last few months. The first thing he taught me was how to press and how to do it well. Obviously there are times when I might drift out of position or I might press in an area where I’m not supposed to be, which might make it hard for the wingers or midfielders.

In the game itself, I may not realise because I’m so immersed and you can’t stop yourself. I’ve learnt a lot from him in terms of zones. He asks me to play as a No 9 and to stay in that position. I often drift out wide during matches and he looks at me and says, “If there’s a player out wide who wants to cross it in, who’s in there? Nobody.”

HENRY: I know all about that, believe you me.

I love this, because it shows how difficult it is for an elite striker to adapt his mentality. Both Henry and Aguero found world-celebrated success by playing in a certain fashion, and Guardiola understood that and still demanded a change. Earlier this season, the manager somewhat famously spoke of improving Aguero.

Aguero has been linked with Real Madrid given the tumult at City.

PHOTO: Liverpool unveils 125th anniversary kit for next season

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Liverpool rolled out its 125th anniversary kit, featuring a special crest to celebrate the occasion.

The Liver bird has 1892 on one side and 2017 on the other, with “125 YEARS” spelled out underneath the club’s emblem.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

The red shirt with a gold crest has a white V-neck and white at the ends of the sleeves. The goalkeeper kit is green.

The jersey will be available on May 19, and was announced last month.

liverpoolfc.com