Tim Sherwood has had an impressive start to his managerial career. Leading Tottenham up to fifth in the Premier League, taking the record for the best start by a Tottenham manager (16 points from a possible 18) and a 64 per cent win record in the league.
Yet in the last week, things haven't been looking too good for the Englishman. Talks of him being replaced at the end of the season, defeats in Europe and to Norwich and players underperforming. Could this be the end of Sherwood's excellent run and his time in charge?
Sherwood was seen by some as a surprise replacement for Andre Viilas-Boas in December. Yet the former member of the coaching team has taken it all in his stride and has turned the strong performances into points on the table. A great start saw him win 16 points from a possible 18, which was a new record for a Tottenham manager. Some shaky performances in the cups and in Europe showed that he still had lots to learn though.
After 11 games in charge, Tottenham lie fifth place, only six points behind fourth place Liverpool and a Champions League spot. Yet this week, things haven't exactly gone Sherwood's way. As the end of the season grows closer, speculation regarding who will be in charge come the start of the new season has intensified.
Sherwood's contract was only until the end of the season, but after his superb start, it was considered that the job could become his on a permanent basis. However, Louis van Gaal, the current Netherlands coach is dropping massive hints linking himself with a move to the Premier League, with Tottenham the most likely destination.
When comparing the two managers careers, it doesn't take a genius to determine who has been more successful and who would be better long term to take the club forward. The pressure on Sherwood to keep doing a good job whilst his role is linked to somebody else must be intense.
This week's results haven't been good for Sherwood either. Two 1-0 defeats to Dnipro and Norwich has been difficult for the Spurs faithful to swallow. The defeat in the first leg of the last 32 of the Europa League is by no means the end of the world but when you look at the chances Tottenham created, especially for out of form striker Roberto Saldado, it's understandably frustrating.
The weekend game against Norwich was a surprise defeat though. Fifth against 17th in the league should provide a comfortable win for the team chasing Champions League football. However this wasn't the case. Tottenham failed to have a shot on target until last minute, and it was a tame effort at that. Norwich scored and held onto their lead, Tottenham lacking the composure to break the Canaries' defence down.
Worryingly for Sherwood is the lack of form of some of his players. Soldado has struggled to impose himself in the Premier League, Erik Lamela has not lived up to his potential yet and Christian Eriksen has been too inconsistent. There is no doubting that Tottenham have a top quality side, but they seem to be struggling to work as a team. The loss of talisman Gareth Bale in the summer hasn't helped either.
Sherwood has done remarkably well to get the team where they are just now, with the minimal experience he has. With the most important part of the season coming up, Sherwood will be hoping that he can guide Tottenham to a good finish, despite being written off as top four contenders.
If he can prove the doubters wrong and have a finish as good as his start, it would be crazy to think of anyone else being in charge of Spurs next season. Sherwood has the key to his future, at the moment. Even if he does all he can, it may not be enough to keep him in a job.
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