Tottenham bid farewell to Tim Sherwood as other managers wait for news of their futures and Alan’s summer diary looks at transfer news around the Premier League.
Alan’s 2014 Summer Diary – No. 1
Tuesday 13 May
Well that didn’t take long. Tim Sherwood sacked by Tottenham two days after the last game of the season. I only said to the wife amongst the feel-good atmosphere of Ledley’s testimonial night,
This reminds me of when that politician said that a major news event (9/11) was a good time to slip out bad news. They’ll probably announce Tim’s sacking in the next 12 hours.
….and they did.
We were right all along. That 18 months in his contract meant nothing. A couple of lines from a hit by the great Paul Weller come to mind as I think about the situation,
“…lights going out and a kick in the balls… That’s entertainment. That’s entertainment.”
It is common knowledge that Tim Sherwood has the best win percentage of any Tottenham Premiership manager/coach. A less well known fact until now, just publicised by Sky Sports News, is that at 37% he had by far the worst loss percentage too.
Today, one of the papers suggested Tim’s “barrow boy” image and honest direct public statements did not help his case. I remember being embarrassed on his behalf when in response to questions at a press conference, he kept repeating, “you’ll have to ask my employees” when he clearly meant his employers. A slip of the tongue in the glare of the lights and the pressure of the moment would have been understandable but he repeated in more than one interview. After today’s sacking it struck me that there is a good way to remember the difference between the two. Employees are the ones that get you the sack, employers are the ones that give it to you.
The official statement said there was always an end of season break option and that the club decided to exercise it. I have already written at length what I thought about his appointment and then the club’s subsequent treatment of him.
Now is the time to thank Tim for his service, his commitment and for developing the younger players. He joins a long list of Spurs men cast aside down the years. Venables, Hoddle, Hughton, Clemence, Poyet. I can’t help but wonder how the club would have done if we had developed a Tottenham “boot room” coaching team and succession planning like Liverpool in the ’70s. It looks like we can expect another foreign coach. Let’s hope it is at least someone who will speak English to the players and Press. Let’s hope and pray Mr. Levy makes a good choice and then gets who he really wants. Sky are already referring to the job as a poisoned chalice.
Pure speculation on my part but I would not be totally shocked if we end up with Louis van Gaal after all. I get the feeling that he is using us as leverage to ensure he gets exactly the set-up he wants at Manchester United. I think they will cave in and he will. However if they dig their heels in over retaining Ryan Giggs and some of the old boys, he may walk into Daniel Levy’s arms. Spain may also come calling if Real Madrid do not win the Champion’s League or Barcelona don’t beat Atletico at the weekend.
Chelsea announce the first significant transfer of the new window. Well, that they have at least agreed a fee with Atletico Madrid for Diego Costa. Personal terms etc. to be resolved in the next month. This time next year will show whether the transfer costa lot or was a bargain. Chelsea fans must hope that their style of play doesn’t turn yet another world class strike into a has-been. They have been like a striker’s graveyard. Shevchenko, Torres, Ba spring to mind.
Talking of failed strikers, Roberto Soldado has been left out of Spain’s World Cup squad. Ricky van Wolfswinkel did not even make Norwich’s squad for their last game of the season. If these two strikers had scored regularly and justified their fees, Norwich would still be in the Premiership, Chris Hughton would still have a job and Spurs would be in the Champions League.
Chelsea announce the second significant signing of the window. A new one-year contract for John Terry. Rumours were that if he did sign, it would involve a significant pay cut. Love him or hate him, it shows again how he is Chelsea through and through. The move is in stark contrast to the departure of Manchester United’s central defensive partnership, with Rio Ferdinand announcing the same day that he is quitting the club along with Vidic, having failed to secure an extension to a contract that still had a year to run.
Allardyce attends a two-hour meeting with Sullivan, Gold and Brady about his and West Ham’s future. We all know his style of play has been an issue. The announcement released afterwards is that the subject is too important for the 3 of them to decide in isolation and it will be referred to a full board meeting to take place in the next 7 or 10 days.
For me that sounds like a calculated insult to a manager of Allardyce’s experience. I am sure that if all 3 were fully behind him, they would not have felt the need to refer it to the full board. Instead he is expected to sit out the next 10 days with an axe dangling over his head. It is like goading him into resigning. I don’t think he would be foolish enough to do so. He has developed a skin as thick as a rhino but that is no reason for West Ham to test just how thick it really is. He reminds me of a brave bull in the ring being poked with one more sword after another.
Manager(s) of the Year
Great to see Tony Pulis get the LMA’s Premiership manager of the year award for the minor miracle he worked at Crystal Palace. I don’t quite understand the organisation’s logic though. Brendan Rodgers got the overall manager of the year award. He manages in the Premier League too so how can they say that Tony Pullis is the best in the same league?
Financial Fair Play
UEFA are apparently still discussing the punishment that the teams falling foul of the financial fair play rules will receive. I thought that had been sorted with Man City’s fine. UEFA’s statement says that things take time when lawyers are involved. I bet they do. Imagine if they had the power to deduct points and took 3 off Manchester City and gave Liverpool the Premiership by default!