Sky Sports is reporting that Tottenham Hotspur will replace Tim Sherwood as manager this summer. The club has yet to release any statement on the matter.
Sherwood refused to speak on the matter ahead of today’s match against Sunderland:
“I can’t say much right now. What I can say is tonight is business as usual. I’m setting this team up to win a football match for the benefit of the club and the 35,000 Spurs fans who will come and watch. I’ll speak at a later stage.”
Sherwood was appointed from club technical coordinator to interim manager by Spurs on December 23, 2013, following the sacking of previous manager, Andre Villas-Boas.
Upon naming him new club manager, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy spoke of his hopes for Sherwood, saying “[w]e have a great squad and we owe them a Head Coach who will bring out the best in them and allow them to flourish and enjoy a strong, exciting finish to the season.”
For Sherwood, the hiring represented not only an opportunity to dabble in coaching but to solidify his position as a Premier League manager. After losing his first match in charge to West Ham United in the Capital One Cup quarter-final, Sherwood guided Spurs to a 3-2 victory over Southampton and was thereafter handed an 18-month contact through the 2014/15 season.
Sherwood’s heart-on-his-sleeve style was a breath of fresh air following the departure of the over analytical Villas-Boas. Sherwood put the players at ease, provided them with freedom and motivation and even rejuvenated the long-forgotten Emmanuel Adebayor. The style change earned results in the Premier League as Spurs went on to lose only once in Sherwood’s first 12 matches, the 5-1 drubbing to Manchester City on January 29th.
A difficult March, however, has left the club reeling. A 4-0 league drubbing by Chelsea was followed by 1-3 home loss to Benfica in the Europa League, a 0-1 home league loss to Arsenal and a 2-2 draw with Benfica. The freedom that Sherwood had used to boost the squad had seemingly unwound them into a tactic-less side and now, if Sky’s sources are correct, the end of the road is near for the former Blackburn player.
Sherwood’s 18-month deal always felt at odds with Levy’s well-known desire to bring in a world-renowned successor to Villas-Boas. Prior to handing Sherwood the contract, Levy met with Netherlands manager, Louis van Gaal, who will relinquish the country’s managerial reigns to Guus Hiddink following the 2014 World Cup.
Since that meeting, van Gaal publicly noted his desire to manage in the Premier League and the 62-year-old is widely expected to be given the Spurs job this summer. Other candidates include Ajax’s Frank De Boer and Southampton’s Mauricio Pochettino, although both coaches are beloved at their respective clubs and would cost a high price to bring into White Hart Lane.
Sherwood’s record over 16 matches is nine wins, two draws and five loses as Tottenham currently sit 7th in the table. As more details emerge we will be sure to include them but for now Sherwood will be focused on finishing the season strong. That starts this afternoon (3:00pm ET on NBCSN and Live Extra) when Spurs welcome the Black Cats to White Hart Lane.