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
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Field of broken dreams: Andy Bell visits Passchendaele
news5 News's Andy Bell visited the killing fields of the Great War, and his ancestor - known only from his compelling war diary - came to life
Travel
travel
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

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel