And so the cycle begins again. English manager, foreign manager, English manager, foreign manager. Glenn Hoddle, Martin Jol. Harry Redknapp, Andre Villas-Boas. Tim Sherwood and now Mauricio Pochettino. While one is tempted to give the Argentine a chance and finds oneself getting a touch excited about the way he seems willing to give youth its head, haven’t we at White Hart Lane been here countless times before? Jol – what a job he was doing; Ramos – now here’s a man with a European pedigree; AVB – surely he will be the one to help Tottenham make that final step up? Will this appointment be any different?
It is hard to continually rouse oneself every 18 months to get excited about yet another new managerial appointment in N17, when it often looks probable that he will be gone at the first sign of bad form. With Arsenal, again, finishing above us for a 534th season in succession, the gallows humour is often all that gets Spurs supporters through these barren times.
Pochettino’s appointment at Southampton 16 months ago had reporters scouring reference books and flocking to Wikipedia, but the former defender quickly earned the plaudits for his refreshing style of play down on the South Coast. Tottenham were without representation in an England World Cup squad for the first time in 60 years, while the departures lounge at Southampton seemed to be fit to bursting following their fine campaign, an indication of how impressive Pochettino’s work was at St Mary’s, sat against another season of transition at the Lane.
Rumours of Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Morgan Schneiderlin, Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw et all possibly following ‘Poch’ up the M3 have already filled the tabloids and, while some would no doubt add something to the squad, what to make of last year’s arrivals at Spurs?
Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli and the rest still have a lot to prove – how many of them will get the chance as chariman Daniel Levy dusts down that new broom once again? At least Lamela should benefit from having his countryman at the helm.
Tim Sherwood's most entertaining moments
Tim Sherwood's most entertaining moments
1/6 Sherwood finds a replacement
In what was his final game in charge of Tottenham, in one of the funniest moments of the season, Sherwood invited a fan to take his place in the White Hart Lane dugout towards the end of the 3-0 victory over Aston Villa. Sherwood then directed the supporter to his own seat and gave the fan his famous gilet to wear. Sherwood explained afterwards: 'That guy sits up there every week I'm here, and he's telling me: 'Get him off he's rubbish, he's an embarrassment, he's this, he's that', so I invited him down to show what he can do. He half-bottled it at first but in the end he took it up.'
2/6 Saluting Adebayor
Cringe! When Sherwood replaced AVB the first thing he did was recall Emmanuel Adebayor. It worked out great with the striker banging in the goals on his return. Sherwood couldn't hide his pleasure when the Togo forward scored against Sunderland, giving his player a salute which was returned.
3/6 Fighting with Jesus
Sherwood accused his Benfica counterpart Jorge Jesus of 'lacking class' following their meeting in the Europa League. For some bizarre reason Jesus waved three fingers in Sherwood's direction after his side scored a late goal to make the score 3-1 at White Hart Lane. It stemmed from Jesus shooing Sherwood out of the Benfica technical area earlier in the match. The pair didn't shake hands at full-time.
4/6 Gilet throwing
The gilet received almost as much attention as Sherwood during his brief reign. It was the fashion choice that divided the football world. Whether Sherwood decided he'd had enough of it or was angry at seeing his side concede an early goal to local rivals Arsenal, either way he threw it in down the tunnel.
5/6 Criticising his players
The former Blackburn captain had no qualms about openly criticising his players and at one stage told them all that they were playing for their futures. He explained: 'I'm a manager, not a babysitter'.
More than anything else, Sherwood will be remembered for speaking his mind while in charge of Tottenham. Just last weekend, with speculation over his future increasing, he was happy to explain how he saw the situation: 'I am doing this job with a lot of uncertainty around my future,' he said. 'If you have a supply teacher who comes into your school, sometimes they are not treated with the respect that a headmaster is.'
Charlie Forgham-Bailey/The Independent
Yes, Pochettino’s Southampton side were twice beaten by Sherwood’s Tottenham last season, but only after impressing with their attacking fluency and forward thinking, and having led both matches. It is to be hoped that he has more of a gameplan than Sherwood – and at least, given his perceived difficulties with the English language – which was never as bad as his continued use of a translator would suggest - he won’t talk his way into Levy’s bad books as quickly as Tactics Timmy. One promising thing is that we have got it all done and dusted before the World Cup, so the likes of Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen, our three most important players, know the situation as they weigh up whether or not to leave for pastures new ahead of our latest Europa glory trail.
Please let this be the one that works, this writer pleads having last week shelled out for another season-ticket with no more than blind faith as the reason. Especially now that that dastardly lot down the road have finally rediscovered what that tub of silver polish is for.
James Mariner is a Tottenham season-ticket holder of 11 years.
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