Look Back at 2013: Farewell To AVB As Tottenham Welcome Tim Sherwood


Smiling Tim Sherwood after Eriksen’s goal [Photo: Alan Hill]Alan’s 2013 Blog Year Summary – Final Part

Excerpts from the year’s articles

I’ve been looking back over my articles for HotspurHQ and found it interesting to review what I said as events unfolded. I hope you will enjoy doing the same. Up to date comments are in italics in square brackets.

Reaction to the Match of Shame

In the aftermath of the Manchester City thrashing Andre Villas-Boas came out fighting in his press conferences. He accused various pundits and Alan Sugar amongst others of showing him and his achievements a lack of respect and of having an agenda. Spurs then got a draw against an under par Man United and a couple of victories against relegation candidates and against the worst premier league team in Eastern Europe at White Hart Lane on Thursday. During this period various Tottenham players spoke up for the manager and quoted the great team spirit there is at White Hart Lane and how all the players are right behind the manager.

Then the ‘MATCH OF SHAME’ took place at White Hart Lane against Liverpool on Sunday. In the post-match press conference AVB said,

"I won’t resign and I am not a quitter."

AVB under pressure [Photo: Alan Hill]He said it was his worst home defeat as a manager. Andre, it was mine too and I have been going to White Hart Lane 40 years longer then you. We have now been humiliated – and no, that’s not too strong a word, three times in less than half a season. First it was at White Hart Lane by a West Ham team with no strikers that looks like relegation candidates when they play anywhere else. Then there was the 6 goal thrashing by Manchester City and now yesterday.

I still can’t (quite) bring myself to call for his sacking. It’s pretty obvious he’ll go anyway, probably even before you get to read this (just for reference; I am typing this sentence at 10.30 am on Monday 16 December 2013).

So Andre, you may not be a quitter but if you ever read this you must understand that for you to preside over those 3 performances is unacceptable. Unacceptable means it must not happen again.

Respect is rightly so important to you. What you achieved at Porto deserves it. After Chelsea, this was your chance to earn it again. You will only win back my respect, if as well as ensuring this never happens again, you offer to refund your salary to Daniel Levy/Joe Lewis in respect of those 3 games.

So a total charitable donation of £1.5 million which would hardly make a dent in your pockets would be a start, along with a public apology. It would demonstrate real collective team responsibility and prove that the bullish quotes in the press over the last few weeks were not actually just bullsh*t.

It is now 11.05am and Sky News has just announced his departure “by mutual consent”.  Players, hang your heads in shame.

Glenn Hoddle [Photo: Logan Holmes]Tuesday 18 December

Glenn Hoddle has thrown his hat in the ring for the Tottenham managerial vacancy. I hope he gets it. If they want to continue with the coach plus football director idea, I would risk another youngster; Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who has had an impressive start to his managerial career in Norway. I think he may well go on to become a top manager. I think our only problem with him would be when he accepts the offer of the Man United job when David Moyes goes, whether that is in 6 months or 6 years.

[2 Jan 2014. We missed out there. Our loss is Cardiff’s gain. Good luck with Tan Ole]

Wednesday 19 December   I

f there is one thing I feel sure of, it is that there is no point in Tottenham beating West Ham tonight other than revenge for the 3 – 0 drubbing at home in the league. The current Spurs club clearly don’t have the team spirit, or strength of character that it takes to win a cup, so we might as well go out now and save our efforts for the leagues, domestic and European.

We do lose to West Ham again on a wet and windy night. Capoue and Chiriches couldn’t handle quality crosses and Spurs throw away a 1 – 0 lead. In his first game in charge Tim Sherwood played Adebayor and Defoe upfront. They combined to score first but West Ham clearly wanted it more and were quite comfortable winners in the end. This shower need a kick up the a*se from a manager big enough and experienced enough to have their instant respect.

I don’t envy the new manager trying to instil some genuine spirit in this lot. We need someone to do against Arsenal what Harry did in his first game. Can’t see it happening though, can you? The FA Cup 3rd round tie could be another real embarrassment.

Friday 20 December

Sky Sports says that Vincent Tan has sent Malky Mackay an e-mail telling him to resign or be sacked. They send out the deputy manager to do the press conference with instructions to only discuss the Liverpool game. Journalists give him a roasting.

The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust requests a statement from Daniel Levy explaining AVB’s sacking and clearly stating his plans moving forward. They say that fans are frustrated and angry. In the afternoon Sky report that Tim Sherwood says he does not want the Spurs job and will not stay as deputy if (when) he does not get it. Meanwhile, Mackay has refused to quit Cardiff and travelled with the players on the coach to Liverpool. Everyone is full of the Christmas spirit, I don’t think.

Saturday 21 December

Paulinho [Photo: Alan Hill]Andros Townsend joins Zabaletta on the Christmas injury list along with, Aguerro, Robin Van Persie. Gerrard and Sturridge already out for Liverpool. It is so unfortunate that so many players get injured at this time of year, giving them up to a month’s winter break. Then there are the others who commit out of character fouls and indiscretions (Paulinho and Wilshere) that result in them getting Christmas off too. Wes Brown had his last red card rescinded but he made a good job of today’s one.

Along with millions of others, I have just been thrilled by watching another world class performance by Luis Suarez on TV to supplement the privilege I had of seeing him do the same to Spurs in the flesh last Sunday. It follows him signing a new contract with Liverpool for £10 million doubling his wages. He is now making all the right noises about winning trophies with Liverpool which is the opposite of what he was saying a few short months ago.

Brendan Rogers, bless him appears to have fallen for it hook, line and sinker and sounds like AVB when Bale did the same thing. Those of us who have been knocking around a while know that all this really does is guarantee Liverpool a massive, probably world record fee when he decides to leave after all. It would be interesting to see what happens Arsenal offer them £110 million plus £1.00 in January.

I have just read that Tim Sherwood has never completed his coaching badges, so is not officially qualified to manage Spurs. I was initially comfortable with the idea of him being given the chance to take us through to the end of season, particularly since we didn’t seem to have a succession plan in place, despite me saying when everything was rosy back in September that one was essential.

Terry Venables has just said as much in his  Saturday Sun article. However, failing to take his qualifications proves Sherwood’s judgement is not up to the mark. He expects Spurs’ owners to back him as a special case to continue to manage whilst he takes the qualifications. The club should not be put in that position. He should have done it in advance. The rules on this issue were settled long ago when players like Gareth Southgate were in a similar position.

Tim ceased playing years ago and has been watching managers come and go every 18 months. One of the qualities essential to having ambitions to managing a top club is to have the judgement to realise you need to pass the relevant qualifications in advance. Not doing so poses a big question mark over your ability to prioritise. Also although he has only been in the job a few days he has appeared at press conferences saying he can’t sleep for more than two hours at a time. Unshaven, his dark sunken eyes like p*ssholes in the winter snow, he looks like it is making him ill. He has displayed a sense of humour in his interviews but for me has blown his chance already.

[2 Jan: 3 league wins and a draw, beating Man U at Old Trafford, he is certainly doing his best to prove me wrong. Good luck to him.]

Emmanuel Adebayor [Photo: Alan Hill]Sunday 22 December

Tottenham score three goals away from open play to win a 5 goal thriller. That’s my sort of headline. When was the last time you saw that? Tim Sherwood gets the result he craved. We didn’t look the calm, level headed team in total control of the game that we did until the last half dozen games under AVB but at least it wasn’t a problem staying awake watching it. The team still shows little sign of bonding and blending together because there was another 7 changes from the last game. Still those two goals from Adebayor may mean we can get a decent price for him in January and spend on a striker who delivers for more than a maximum of 6 games a season or when he wants a new contract. Southampton’s Lallana looked like the ideal solution for the player we need to feed our strikers. Another 3 points will give us a happier Christmas than I was anticipating.

Christmas Eve

In the film Kill Bill Vol II there is the famous five finger death punch. I wonder if this will become known as the one finger suicide flick? In fact,.

Is this the finger that cost Arsenal the Title?

[Photo: Alan Hill]Hello Jack, can we please have a comment on how it feels to lose your cool, spend Christmas on the sidelines as a punishment and drop from 5 points clear at the top to second behind Liverpool, failing to ever beat Chelsea in the League when Mourinho is manager and helping to prove the pundits right when they said Arsenal do not have what it takes to win the League? Oh I say, no need for that, I only Arsked! I hope the Turkey was worth it.

Last night at 9pm Spurs announced that Tim Sherwood has been appointed until the end of season 2014-15. Let’s get behind him now the deed is done.

Boxing Day

Spurs still not firing on all cylinders at WHL. We draw 1-1 with WBA in Tim Sherwood’s first home league game in charge. Not much else to write home about. No-one wanted to buy my seat for this game and MOTD left it until last. ‘Nuff said.

Sunday morning 29 January 

Hull score 6 against Fulham. Tom Huddlestone plays the game of his life on his birthday. Scores a cracker and can finally get his hair cut.

I got a present of a book of Spurs quotations from my niece which led my nephew and I to come up with suggestions for a couple of new ones for the next edition.

Mine was from Daniel Levy – “You’re sacked”.

Richard’s was Daniel Levy’s too. “So you say you want to be manager? Have you got any management experience? No? Have you got the relevant qualifications? No? Congratulations, the job’s yours”.

Sunday afternoon

A comfortable 3-0 home victory for Spurs over Stoke helps improve our dismal goal difference to minus 2. 7th but only 3 points off a Champions League place.  A good end to 2013.

Tim Sherwood admits that we may need our tin hats on for the next two games. Too right! Roll your sleeves up, deep breath…

[2 Jan: Phew! That’s the final 2013 blog summary finished! Over 50 articles from the year précised down to seven!  Hope you enjoyed them. It has already been a cracking start to 2014. See Logan’s Man U match report from New Year’s Day].

***Look out for more from Alan in his regular Season 2013-14 Diaries***