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

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 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."

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?