Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood: 'How on earth did people think we would finish fourth without Gareth Bale?'
Spurs manager is expected to be relieved of his duties this summer
Monday 12 May 2014
Tim Sherwood believes Tottenham's chances of securing a top-four finish this season were wiped out the moment the club sold Gareth Bale last summer.
Despite their 3-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday, Spurs finished sixth in the Premier League and missed out on Champions League football for a fourth consecutive campaign.
Tottenham's disappointing season hinged on the club's seven new signings last summer, who came with big reputations but failed to make the desired impact.
The new arrivals were brought in after the club sold Bale to Real Madrid and Sherwood believes the Welshman's departure ended the team's top-four bid before it even began.
"We're taking out one of the best players in the world and replacing him with seven players who have never played in this competition before," Sherwood said.
"How on earth did people think we would be title challengers or even make the top four?
"If you don't know the game you could possibly think that they would all hit the floor running but it doesn't happen, they need time.
"This club will be better with those seven players next season - they'll have experience of the competition and they will improve from that."
Tottenham finished the season with 69 points, three less than last season's club-record total of 72 - but 10 behind fourth-placed Arsenal.
Gareth Bale has impressed at Real Madrid this season Spurs have come fourth only twice in the last 10 Premier League campaigns and Sherwood believes expectations last summer were far too high.
"It was hyped - the hype was ridiculous," Sherwood said.
"We've qualified for the Champions League once - why have we got a divine right to qualify for the Champions League?
"Where we've finished in sixth is where we should be, it's where we are as a club.
"We all want to aspire to the top four and the title but we aren't getting there with what we've got.
"To remove a match winner like Gareth Bale out of that squad - we shouldn't have expected it after that."
Spurs scored all three goals against Aston Villa before half-time as Paulinho finished from close range, Nathan Baker turned the ball into his own net and Emmanuel Adebayor converted a penalty after Gabriel Agbonlahor had blocked Sandro's shot with his hand.
Paulinho's 14th-minute strike was the only goal Spurs have scored in the first 15 minutes of a league match this season and Sherwood was pleased with his side's fast start.
"We've taken a lot of criticism this season about how we start games but it could have been over before we actually scored the first one," Sherwood said.
"Once Paulinho tucks that away we were comfortable.
"We all want to go on after half-time and score six or seven goals but it's not always going to be the case.
"You can't flog a dead horse - these guys have played a long season."
One of Tottenham's new signings who has settled in at White Hart Lane is Christian Eriksen, who was named the club's player of the season after the victory.
Eriksen, who arrived from Ajax in August, scored six goals in his last 12 appearances for Spurs and 12 overall in an impressive campaign.
The 22-year-old wrote on Twitter: "I'm really honoured to have won £playeroftheyear! Thank you so much for all your votes."
He added: "Glad to finish the season with a win! And so happy with another trophy to the room£playeroftheyear£honoured£again."
Latest in Sport
Neil Warnock sacked: Crystal Palace confirm manager Warnock has been axed following the Boxing Day defeat to Southampton
Manchester United vs Newcastle match report: Brilliant Wayne Rooney scores twice to fire up United's unlikely title challenge
Manchester United injury news: Angel Di Maria unlikely to face Spurs as Marouane Fellaini's 'mystery illness' turns out to be rib injury
Arsenal vs QPR player ratings: Could anyone outshine new Gunners hero Alexis Sanchez and who was worse than villain Olivier Giroud?
Manchester United 3 Newcastle 1: 'I'm playing like Paul Scholes,' says Wayne Rooney
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever