Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1 comment: Tim Sherwood still rants and raves as Spurs huff and puff in defeat to Gunners
Spurs were unable to come back after the early goal from Tomas Rosicky
Monday 17 March 2014
Arsène Wenger will make the slightly longer journey across London to Stamford Bridge next Saturday for his 1,000th game as manager of Arsenal with his side in contention for his third Double following what was pretty much the perfect weekend for those from his adopted northern corner of the capital. Tim Sherwood will be back in his technical area here with a future that promises nothing so bright after a third defeat in a week.
On Sunday, Sherwood was full of sound and fury as he watched his side produce the best performance of a chastening week and one of the better ones of his tenure, but they came away with nothing. Saturday’s game with Southampton will be his 21st – there is a midweek return with Benfica beforehand – and if he is, many, many years down the line, to make it to 1,000 games then he will be exhausted.
Before north London’s hurly-burly began, Steve McQueen, still giving off a post-Oscars glow, was presented with his own Spurs shirt. With his directing shirt on, he can only have been impressed by the manner in which Sherwood threw himself into the game as if auditioning for 12 Angry Men, and as if he fancied playing all dozen of them himself. Barely 15 minutes had gone before Sherwood was tugging off his gilet and hurling it to the floor in disgust as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was sent clear. When a steward returned the jacket to the manager’s chair, Sherwood swept it on to the ground again and the steward hurried it away to a safe place.
For all his desire and passion it is becoming harder to see Sherwood back here next season. This was a better display by his team and such was their second-half dominance that Arsenal finished the match with the least amount of possession they have had in any league game this season.
Tottenham huffed and they puffed but they couldn’t bring the house down. There were 17 attempts on Arsenal’s goal but only two on target. Nacer Chadli should have scored but could not sort his feet out quickly enough. Sherwood and Steffen Freund, the bad cop and even badder cop of management, kept urging their side on, while in the adjacent dugout Wenger rarely left his seat. He has seen all this and done all this before, and seen off nine previous incumbents from the home dugout here.
“I have learnt more in this past week of being a manager than in the easy period when we were winning games every week,” said Sherwood. “I give the utmost respect for people who have been in this game a long, long time – it’s tough but I’m really up for the challenge of it. I know I’ve got the character for it. I want everyone to come along with me with that strength and character.”
It takes a lot more than that at this level and while Spurs displayed strength and character in abundance – and answered their manager’s call of earlier in the week in sterling fashion – they needed something more. Arsenal had a cutting edge and never appeared panicked by the home side’s onslaught with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny resolute throughout. At the end Sherwood followed Wenger down the tunnel, the Arsenal man inscrutable, Sherwood downcast.
He was asked whether he should try to contain himself more on the side of the pitch, maybe not head and kick every ball, tackle every man, and yell at one and all. “I would be acting then and I hate actors – there are too many actors in this game,” he said. “I just want to wear my heart on my sleeve and I suppose that will get me in trouble sometimes. If we were all the same it would be very boring, wouldn’t it?”
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