Tottenham Hotspur have appointed Tim Sherwood as their new manager with a contract until the end of next season, a strong show of faith in the coach who has overseen their last two games since the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas.
Sherwood, 44, had previously made it clear to chairman Daniel Levy that he had no interest in taking the job on an interim basis and, if that was the only position on offer, would rather return to his role as technical co-ordinator and coach of the club’s Under-21s side. Levy had spoken on Sunday with the Netherlands national team coach, Louis van Gaal, about taking over at the end of the season.
Levy and Sherwood met on Monday morning and came to an agreement by the early evening. Sherwood, who has the official title of head coach, has stipulated that he wants a full say in the signing of players, a job which was overseen by technical director Franco Baldini during the summer. There is still some work to be done in developing the relationship between those two figures at the club
In a statement last night, Levy said: “We were extremely reluctant to make a change mid-season, but felt we had to do so in the club’s best interests. We have a great squad and we owe them a head coach who will bring out the best in them and allow them to flourish and enjoy a strong, exciting finish to the season.
“We are in the fortunate position of having within our club a talented coach in Tim Sherwood. We believe Tim has both the knowledge and the drive to take the squad forward.”
Initially, Sherwood had made it clear that he could walk away and was not reliant upon his salary as technical director. So too Les Ferdinand, who now follows him from the development side to be his assistant in the first-team coaching set-up, along with Chris Ramsey. Steffen Freund, who also worked under Villas-Boas, stays on.
The Spurs left-back Danny Rose has been in both sides selected by Sherwood so far, including Sunday’s 3-2 win away at Southampton, and was one of those developed by the new head coach through a series of four loans at Watford, Peterborough, Bristol City and Sunderland.
Rose said: “People may think that Tim is not a big name or doesn’t have a big CV, but you know he will take no nonsense from anybody. His first training session, a couple of lads rolled out on to the training pitch late and he got us in a circle and said it was unacceptable.
“Fortunately, it wasn’t me who was late. Tim set out some new rules and you know not to mess with him, and that’s good. Punctuality, when we go down to eat, team meetings. Stuff on the training pitch as well. When he speaks, you’ve got to listen. It’s great.”
Sherwood takes charge of Spurs without actually possessing his Uefa Pro Licence coaching badge. He will be taking the next available course in March and has special dispensation to be head coach in the meantime.