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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…

Pep Guardiola: “Maybe I’m not good enough”

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Pep Guardiola has admitted he “may not be good enough” for his players at Manchester City.

Ahead of City’s clash against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) Guardiola has been defended his squad after severe criticism from the media.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

City were hammered 4-0 at Everton last weekend, their worst league defeat since 2008 and Guardiola’s worst-ever league defeat as a manager.

With plenty pointing the finger of blame at goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and City’s defense, their manager put himself in the firing line.

“They are good players. I have respect for the guys, so why would I say the guys are not good? So I don’t understand the lack of respect for the professionals when they have been amazing players, and [people saying] they are not good enough for me. Maybe I am not good enough for them,” Guardiola said. “They are Manchester City players, top players. They have a lot of quality. They have shown that many times in the past and this season.”

Mind games.

Guardiola, 46, is no doubt facing the biggest challenge of his season as City look to at least seal a top four spot in this his debut season in England. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has already “said goodbye to the title” and if they lose against red-hot Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium then more questions will be asked of his tactics and if they can work in the Premier League.

So far the possession-based slow build up style has been hot and cold for City, with plenty of counter-attacking teams in the PL (Chelsea, Spurs, Everton, Leicester etc.) having a field day against a shaky defense.

Despite being 10 points off the pace, Guardiola is sticking by his philosophy. One thing really sticks out to me from his first few press conferences in England: “We will see if my style of play can work in the Premier League.”

So far, it’s not.

Watch Live: Liverpool vs. Swansea City (Lineups, Stream)

SWANSEA, WALES - MARCH 16:  Kyle Naughton of Swansea City is closed down by Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Liverpool at Liberty Stadium on March 16, 2015 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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Liverpool host Swansea City to Anfield on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with the Reds aiming to stretch their unbeaten run at home in the Premier League to 18 games.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

Jurgen Klopp is a little concerned with the number of games his team have had to play over the past few weeks, but a victory against the struggling Swans would momentarily move his side just four points behind leaders Chelsea who play on Sunday.

As for Swansea, new manager Paul Clement knows a win would take his team out of the relegation zone and with new signings arriving that would be a massive boost. It would also be a massive ask for the Welsh side to get anything at Anfield but this may be a good time to play Liveprool after their midweek trip to Plymouth in the FA Cup and the EFL Cup semifinal second leg against Southampton coming up on Wednesday.

In team news Liverpool start with Philippe Coutinho once again, while Joel Matip is on the bench after the Reds finally settled the dispute with Cameroon. Swansea hand debuts to new signings Martin Olsson and Tom Carroll.

LINEUPS

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner; Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino. Subs: Karius, Sturridge, Moreno, Lucas, Origi, Matip, Woodburn

Swansea City: Fabianski; Olsson, Mawson, Fernandez, Naughton; Cork, Carroll, Fer; Sigurdsson, Llorente, Routledge. Subs: Nordfeldt, Rangel, Amat, Fulton, Dyer, Borja, McBurnie

Viktoria Plzen set to sign midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz

Obafemi Martins, Oniel Fisher, Andreas Ivanschitz
Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
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PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.

Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.

Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.

[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]

No financial details were given.

The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.

Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.

FIFA allows Matip to represent Liverpool during AFCON

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Joel Matip of Liverpool heads to score his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park on October 29, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images
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Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.

The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.

[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]

Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.

He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.