On Tim Sherwood and 'not just wanting to be someone's mate'

Jamie McDonald

Someone doesn't understand how sports have changed.

Tim Sherwood said a lot of things on Saturday that I didn't like. There are times to have a pop at your players to motivate them, but a game in which you have picked really weird tactics and one of your players got a really soft red card probably isn't one of those times.

There was one thing he said, in particular, that bothered me. It was the line about how everyone's too friendly.

"We have a lack of character. Too many are too nice with each other. They need to show more gut and not just want to be someone's mate."

This struck me as particularly weird and the biggest problem out of all of the things he said because it's indicative of him being outrageously out of touch with his players and the world of football in general at the moment. Which is really weird because he's been a coach at a Premier League team for a few years, mostly focusing on youth players.

Players are friends with each other now. They goof around before and after training. They Vine videos of them singing karaoke while wearing funny hats. They tweet positive messages at players on other teams. Chelsea's Brazilian contingent is notorious for this and Manchester City actively embraces this kind of attitude on their YouTube channel. They're by far the two favorites to win the league.

Footballers aren't as serious as they used to be, rivalries aren't as fierce and everyone is friends with each other. Yet, somehow, the quality of football at the highest levels of the game is the best that it's ever been. It's possible to be really good at football without having the attitude of Dave Mackay.

But Tim Sherwood is your dad. He's stuck in 1994 and he doesn't understand all this newfangled nonsense. He's a young manager who managed the youth team, but he seems to be out of touch with how athletes have changed since he played in the Premier League. The likes of Roy Keane and Eric Cantona are no more and the world's best players go out of their way to be as friendly as possible these days.

The problem with Spurs is not that the players are too friendly with each other, and being good friends doesn't mean they lack character. This is bullshit.

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