I've made it clear that I don't think Tim Sherwood is a particularly good manager and I'd like to see him replaced come May. His press conference after the Chelsea game was basically a 606 call-in and his pre-Benfica presser wasn't a lot better. When the quotes started coming out, Skipjack put together this quick reaction post that I don't think was wholly unreasonable. But after taking a few minutes, I don't have much of a problem with what he had to say.
Let's take this blow-by-blow. Quotes from The Tottenham Journal.
"Have I got his support? I think so, I'm planning for next season. It's come to the stage where we have to start talking about pre-season and I'm the one planning for it now and also looking at different personnel. It's no good me planning for next season if someone else is coming in."
GARBLEWARBLE GO AWAY. Okay, so I want him to get canned, but dude does have a contract. I thought the 18-month contract was an empty gesture meant to stabilize the locker room, but the fact is that Sherwood is under contract for next season. He hasn't been told he won't be retained. Why wouldn't he prepare for next season?
"Franco [Baldini, the technical director] speaks separately to Daniel, he speaks separately to me. We're all singing from the same sheet. I spoke to Daniel about planning pre-season, looking at players - who do I want to keep? A lot of these players who are here now are playing for their futures, and I think they realise that now ... I'm going to have a good look at the whole squad and see who I need to keep and see who I need to bring in. They've got that chance between now and the end of the season to prove they want to play for a great giant of club like Tottenham Hotspur."
This was kind of annoying too. Why did we hire Franco Baldini if the manager is making decisions about players? But a technical director is always going to take input from the manager, and right now, Sherwood is the manager. Maybe Baldini knows that he doesn't actually have to care about Sherwood's opinion, but for now, I can see why Sherwood is having these discussions with Levy.
"I want players who want to play for the club, and they've got between now and the end of the season to show that they're playing for the club and not for themselves. I don't think at any football club a player should be doing a club a favour by playing for them."
So there are obvious exceptions like, say, Raul at Schalke. And if someone of the caliber of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, etc. came to Tottenham, different story. But yeah, in general, that's true.
"You'll see a lot of players all over Europe, all over the world - sometimes they think they've outgrown football clubs and that can't be the case. People pay a lot of money to watch these clubs, it's in their blood, and I think the players owe it to them to perform 100 percent for the shirt."
And here's where I'm actually going to come in with some criticism. I don't think that feeling you've outgrown the club and giving 100 percent for the shirt are mutually exclusive. Gareth Bale knew that he outgrew the club and still gave 100 percent for the club. Same with Luka Modric. I'm sure that Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick felt like that at some point too, but neither of them quit on the team in-season.
I don't think Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen and Sandro are doing that right now. Mario Götze played his ass off for Dortmund even though he knew he was going to their rivals and Robert Lewandowski is doing the same thing right now. Marc Andre ter-Stegen hasn't quit on Borussia Mönchengladbach. Most players who feel like they deserve to go to bigger clubs have a better attitude about playing for their current clubs than Sherwood gives them credit for.
"Anyone can play badly, anyone can out outplayed. We know that, that's the nature of football. But what you cannot do is get outfought and outdesired and I do not want to see that happening again, that capitulation. I want to see the same desire and attitude from minute one to minute 95, and I won't tolerate anything less than that - and the players know that now."
This is a much more sane version of what you said at the weekend. Thank you for clearing that up and making your point without sounding like Edward on the M1 ranting at Robbie Savage. Also, please start picking better teams, thanks.