Always one to wear his heart on his sleeve, Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood has made clear the odioum he feels for Benfica boss Jorge Jesus ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League tie.
“I know exactly where he was coming from and I know what I saw. I have got no respect for the man,” Sherwood said when asked about Jesus following the Portuguese manager’s antics during Benfica’s 3-1 victory over Spurs last Thursday at White Hart Lane.
After Luisao hammered home Benfica’s third of the night the Benfica manager, standing within arms length of Sherwood, held up three fingers in the direction of his away supporters. The gesture irked the Spurs boss, who clashed with Jesus and later refused to shake his hand after the final whistle. Following the match, Sherwood accused his counterpart of having “no class.”
At his press conference on Wednesday, Jesus refused to apologize claiming the incident was ‘water under the bridge’: “We won’t run away from the question, it happened,” Jesus admitted. “It is normal as the benches were close together. A lot of coaches in England have similar problems and I did not disrespect the coach.”
Sherwood, of course, didn’t see it that way but pledged to take the high road following tonight’s contest:
I’ve got respect for the football club and I’ve got respect for his players. The club is a huge club and we’ve had a lot of emails from Benfica fans apologising for their manager’s behaviour. At the end of the day, I will shake his hand, because they are a giant of a club.
It’s been a tough go of it lately for Sherwood. First, he accuses his players of lacking character after the 4-0 loss to Chelsea. Then five days later he blows up at Jesus for holding three fingers in the air. Then three days after that Sherwood throws his coat in anger during the 0-1 loss to Arsenal. And now, he reiterates his disrespect for Jesus.
One can only guess what’s next for the Spurs boss. But it’s a string of conduct that Sherwood can be assured will factor heavily into Daniel Levy’s summertime decision of whether to hire a new manager.
Louis van Gaal, anyone?