Arsenal 2 Tottenham 0: Tim Sherwood defends FA Cup tactics after claiming 'I didn't see us playing 4-4-2' in defeat at the Emirates

Sherwood started with Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor in attack but insists there were 11 players on the field rather than a recognised 4-4-2 line-up

After taking the Tottenham job, Tim Sherwood said he was not one to complicate the game and he certainly proved that in the explanation of his tactics following the north London derby defeat to Arsenal.

Sherwood tasted defeat for the first time since he was appointed Tottenham manager thanks to unanswered goals from Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky.

Spurs were overrun in midfield, their front two never looked capable of penetrating the Arsenal defence and Tottenham's own back line was worrying exposed to the hosts' counter-attacks.

Tottenham's 4-4-2 system allowed the Gunners, who lined up 4-2-3-1, to dominate the midfield and they controlled most of the possession as a result.

That is what it looked like to the naked eye. Sherwood disagreed, though when he was asked why he favoured 4-4-2.

"I didn't see us playing 4-4-2," the Spurs boss said.

"We just had 11 numbers on the field and tried to rotate and fill up every area of the field. I don't know what you are saying about 4-4-2.

"We played with two recognised strikers, but (Emmanuel) Adebayor dropped deep into that area and picked up the ball.

"Our wide players funnelled in. I don't think we were ever two players in midfield. When the ball was on the right, Christian Eriksen tucked across into the middle."

Even though he claims his team did not line up 4-4-2, Sherwood appears to be a fan of the system.

"Manchester United have been playing your 4-4-2 and won everything for the last 10 years," Sherwood responded to another question about tactics.

Sherwood now knows what it is like to taste defeat in a north London derby as a player and a manager.

The 44-year-old, who lost three times in five matches against Arsenal as a player, will hope this will be just a minor bump in his managerial career, though.

Sherwood said he was "not too despondent" about the result and it is easy to understand why.

Although derby defeats hurt, the most important thing for Sherwood is that Tottenham's league form has been good since he took his place in the Spurs dugout.

Sherwood has dropped two points from four matches during a hectic festive period which has seen the club lose 10 first-team players through injury.

After playing six games in 17 days, he will now for the first time get a full week to prepare his players for a game - Saturday's clash with Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane.

"Until the Europa League starts again at the end of February, it is week-to-week which is better because you can get out there on the training pitch," he said.

"I have had a lot to say to the boys but you can only get so much across.

"Football is not won or lost on a TV screen or a board - it is about getting on the grass and showing them what you actually mean.

"Putting them into the areas you want them to be."

PA

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits