Tottenham Hotspur were humiliated today. There’s just little other way to describe another big loss to another top team for Spurs, who were supposed to rise above “pretender” status this year but now sit four points behind Everton for fifth in the table after a 4-0 thumping at the hands of Liverpool.
It’s not that Liverpool hasn’t done its share of thumping this year. No, Brendan Rodgers side is clearly a monster right now. Rather, Spurs let go Andre Villas-Boas in mid-December — after a 5-0 loss to Liverpool, nonetheless — only to watch the players do about the same under Tim Sherwood.
Premier League record, 2013/14 season:
AVB Spurs, 2013: 8W-3D-5L
Sherwood Spurs, 2013/14: 9W-2D-5L
Same amount of games, two more points. Hooray. This isn’t defending Sherwood, or AVB, but again pointing out that the players make the difference (and yes, I’m directly calling Manchester United supporters into the discussion here). Let’s take a look at Spurs “competitors” for the Top Four:
Sep 1 – Lost at Arsenal 1-0
Sep 28 – Drew vs Chelsea 1-1
Nov 3 – Drew at Everton 0-0
Nov 24 – Lost at Man City 6-0
Dec 1 – Drew vs Manchester United 2-2
Dec 15 – Lost vs Liverpool 5-0
Jan 1 – Won at Manchester United 2-1
Jan 29 – Lost vs. Man City 5-1
Feb 9 – Won vs Everton 1-0
Mar 8 – Lost at Chelsea 4-0
Mar 16 – Lost vs Arsenal 1-0
Mar 30 – Lost at Liverpool 4-0
So, throw in the relative successes of AVB in Europa League versus Sherwood’s relative failures and it’s truly hard to pin it on a manager (even with rumors abounding this Sunday of tumult in the dressing room). And here’s what Sherwood had to say post-loss to Liverpool, after supporters rang out chants of “Where is our manager?” with Sherwood observing from above:
“They are entitled to have an opinion,” Sherwood said of the away supporters’ chants.
“I have sat up there for the last few games and got a better view but it is a learning curve for me.
“I am not shirking any responsibility. At 2-0 and the game going away at 3-0 I am going to learn more from my players from sitting up there rather than getting in trouble on the touchline.”
“You have seen enough of me ranting and raving but I have to analyse it. Our performances against the top four have not been good enough.”
Whether Sherwood becomes the second Spurs manager sacked this season or not remains to be seen, but the board has loads of questions to ask itself regardless of who its manager is when the season closes up shop. The most important one? Why has our club so massively underachieved?