Tottenham Hotspur’s farcical season continued on Sunday afternoon as they were outclassed by a rampant Liverpool side at Anfield.
A final score of 4-0 flattered the away side, whose defending was nothing short of shambolic.
This latest embarrassing display from the Lilywhites effectively removes any hopes they had of finishing in this season’s top four, with the inexperienced Tim Sherwood bizarrely choosing to watch the entirety of his ninth defeat as manager from the stands.
The sooner Sherwood is replaced in the White Hart Lane dugout (or stands), the sooner the mess Spurs find themselves in can be fixed.
With Liverpool playing midweek and Spurs having the week off, it would be understandable if the home side had started the game the slower of the two teams.
This couldn’t be further from the reality. Spurs were slow, sloppy and spineless throughout, an almost comical own-goal from Younes Kaboul commencing the rout after just two minutes of this one-sided affair.
The disorganised mess that represents the Spurs defence makes Sherwood’s decision to watch from the stands all the more bizarre. The best managers are those who command from the touchline, instructing their players and ensuring tactical discipline from experience.
Why Sherwood thinks otherwise after less than half a season of first team management is completely beyond me.
In truth, the scoreline of the game – and indeed the state of Spurs’ season – could have been much worse were it not for the heroics of ‘keeper Hugo Lloris, who deserves so much better than the fiasco of a defence he has had to contend with for the majority of this diabolical season.
Hapless full-backs combined with injury prone centre-backs and the manager’s obsession with defensively naïve 19-year-old Nabil Bentaletb have left Lloris horrifically exposed since the turn of the year and Sherwood’s arrival at the club.
Against Liverpool, midfield enforcer Sandro watched on as an unused substitute, while Sherwood deployed Glyfi Siggurdsson – an attacking midfielder – in a defensive position.
Christian Eriksen – Spurs’ best player at times this season – was again ineffective having been played out wide; the latest in a string of perplexing decisions from a manager who appears heavily out of his depth.
One must wonder what Spurs chairman Daniel Levy makes of Spurs’ progress under their absent manager. In eight meetings with the top four in the Premier League this season, Spurs have now collected just one solitary point, conceding 27 goals in the process; not exactly enticing reading for potential new summer recruits (Louis van Gaal included).
Furthermore, Sherwood’s seemingly abrasive and arrogant nature has lead many to question the depth of his tactical knowledge; accusing his players of lacking ‘guts’ and ‘passion’ in an attempt to hide his own shortcomings.
After all, he was supposedly offered the chance to sign players in January, but refused in some vain attempt to prove that the decision to sack Andre Villas-Boas was entirely justified.
However, it is important not to forget that it was Levy’s decision to dispense of Villas-Boas in December, a decision which looks increasingly dubious by the day.
It was also Levy who sanctioned the sale of talismanic winger Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in the summer, replacing him with a collection of overpaid misfits in what must surely go down as one of the biggest wastes of money in footballing history.
Perhaps the problem lies deeper than purely the manager. However, in the short term, sacking a manager who doesn’t even have the class to stand in the dugout following another atrocious performance would surely be a step in the right direction