Tottenham 5 Sunderland 1: Tim Sherwood wields Harry Kane to thrash Sunderland at White Hart Lane

Amid talk he will be sacked, Sherwood shows what he has to offer

White Hart Lane

Tottenham sought to dismiss it as nothing but speculation and Tim Sherwood insisted all was business as usual down the Lane on Monday night. It ended with an emphatic victory for Sherwood’s side, meaning he has still won more games than he has lost, but that marginal advantage is not what Spurs’ hierarchy are looking for and that is why the man appointed manager in December is now expected to leave the role some time next month.

The club may insist on it but there are few who buy the official line that they will sit down with Sherwood come the end of the season to discuss the future and “to review how things have progressed”. If, as most believe, that is a future with someone else in charge – pick one from Louis van Gaal, Mauricio Pochettino and Frank de Boer – rather than Sherwood, then he will depart his first managerial role having squeezed a roller coaster of a tenure into five months.

This was a helter-skelter of a match that ended with the substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson slapping in a fifth goal in injury time to seal Sherwood’s biggest win in his 23rd game.

Read more: Sherwood: It's 'business as usual' despite reports of imminent sack

Sherwood was all smiles at the start and, despite the odd scowl when Sunderland took the lead and Spurs were denied a penalty at 1-1, he spent much of the game smiling and bantering with the crowd behind his dugout. They waved him off with cries of “Well done, Tim”.

How Sunderland would like to have Tottenham’s problems. They remain bottom of the Premier League, seven points adrift of Norwich in 17th. Gus Poyet’s side have games in hand – they still have seven to play – but it looks bleak. Among those games are trips to Chelsea and two to Manchester. Poyet’s hope will still to be in touch come the final two games, at home to West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City.

Fabio Borini of Sunderland shoots as he is challenged by Aaron Lennon of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland Fabio Borini of Sunderland shoots as he is challenged by Aaron Lennon of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland  

Sherwood shuffled his pack, or possibly the deckchairs on his own Titanic, making four changes to the side neatly shredded at Anfield eight days before. Emmanuel Adebayor, whose revitalisation had helped produce such a bright beginning to Sherwood’s time in charge, returned after missing three games with a hamstring injury. Sherwood gave Adebayor company up front as well with the inclusion of Harry Kane on his first league start for Spurs; behind the front two Vlad Chiriches, for the first time since last January, and Paulinho were brought back. Poyet, whose arrival in the dugout area was greeted by warm man-hugs from Les Ferdinand and Steffen Freund on the Uruguayan’s return to White Hart Lane, dropped John O’Shea for Carlos Cuellar and placed him in the middle of three centre-halves in another tinker with Sunderland’s formation.

Its initial effect was to give Tottenham ample early room down the flanks but sloppy crossing too often sailed high and wide of the intended target. It was one such effort that almost brought the home side the opening goal when Christian Eriksen’s overhit cross forced Vito Mannone to scramble the ball over his crossbar.

It was sloppiness at the other end that gifted Sunderland the lead. Chiriches and his goalkeeper Hugo Lloris got themselves in a muddle over a throw-in, whereupon the panicked Romanian rolled the ball straight to Lee Cattermole, who accepted the gift with the delight of a man who has scored one league goal in six years. It was his first for Sunderland.

On a surface becoming ever more slippery as the April showers turned full-time, the game opened up in frenetic, error-strewn but entertaining fashion; in other words, pretty much standard Premier League fare. Kyle Naughton shot inches wide before the omnipresent Cattermole set up Fabio Borini for an effort Lloris turned round the post.

The equaliser owed something to the conditions, Eriksen’s low cross skipping across the surface and defeating Wes Brown’s attempt to clear. Instead the ball bounced off Adebayor’s thigh and past Mannone. It was his 12th of the season. He should have made it 13 after another Eriksen cross but made contact only with thin air.

Poyet departed early for half-time, retreating down the tunnel yelling obscenely over his shoulder at the fourth official and perhaps the football world in general. Sherwood grinned after him. The roles were reversed early in the second half with Sherwood bouncing up the tunnel turning the air blue when Cuellar caught Kane inside the box, only for the referee Lee Mason to give a corner instead of the penalty it appeared to be.

The Spurs manager was a deal happier minutes later and again much of it was down to Eriksen. The 22-year-old whipped in another low centre, which Brown failed to deal with, and Kane steered the ball home. After an anxious start Kane had grown into the game and he recovered from a nasty clash of heads soon after his goal to link up with Adebayor with increasing confidence as the match became stretched.

Sunderland threatened little in the second half, with only the home side’s nervousness at the back offering any hope. Eriksen settled it as a contest 13 minutes from the end, producing a skidding shot which slipped past Mannone with the aid of a slight deflection. It was the least the Dane deserved.

Adebayor’s energetic performance was also rewarded when he scored from an offside position after Mannone had allowed Kane’s shot to slip from his grasp.

Match details

Spurs: Lloris, Naughton, Kaboul, Chiriches, Rose, Lennon, Chadli, Paulinho, Eriksen, Adebayor, Kane

Sunderland: Mannone, Vergini, Cuellar, Brown, Alonso, Ki, Bridcutt, Cattermole, Bardsley, Borini, Johnson

Goals. Tottenham Hotspur Adebayor 28, 86, Kane 59, Eriksen 78, Sigurdsson 90

Sunderland. Cattermole 17

Subs: Tottenham Sigurdsson (Chadli 82), Townsend (Lennon 84) Veljkovic (Paulinho 88).

Sunderland Gardner (Cuellar 72), Scocco (Cattermole 72)

Booked: Sunderland Alonso, Cattermole.

Man of the match Eriksen Match rating 7/10.

Possession: Tottenham 61% Sunderland 39%

Atts on target: Tottenham 11 Sunderland 6.

Referee L Mason (Manchester).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
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

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum