Spurs manager Tim Sherwood has poured cold water on his side’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, telling his side simply: “Wake up.”
Tottenham suffered yet another mauling at the hands of a top-four side in the form of a 4-0 thrashing at Chelsea, and Sherwood used his post-match interview with Sky Sports to say that there are “a lack of characters” in his team.
The Tottenham boss may have been passing the buck to some extent after setting his side up with a somewhat bizarre team selection. Natural right-back Kyle Walker found himself employed in midfield, and subsequently played a part in Demba Ba’s second, Chelsea’s fourth of the evening.
The Blues were admittedly helped along the way by a debatable penalty and the very harsh sending off for centre-back Younes Kaboul that followed.
Prior to the game, Sherwood insisted the pressure was off since Spurs hadn't won at Stamford Bridge in 24 years.
After watching another diabolical self-destruction, however, Sherwood has called the character of his troops into question, insisting there are certain players among them who Spurs cannot rely on.
Jan Vertonghen may be one such player, having gone completely off the boil since returning from injury. The Belgian international got proceedings under way by slipping over and rather than knocking the ball out, gifting it to Samuel Eto’o, who made no mistake for Chelsea’s first.
In truth, Spurs were lucky not to totally implode in the opening four minutes after both Eto’o and Eden Hazard found their ways through the back line.
It is true Sherwood must first silence his own critics, of whom there are plenty. Throughout his tenure, rumours have persisted that he will be out of a job come the end of the season if he cannot lead Spurs to the Champions League, but having inherited a team from Andre Villas-Boas that consists largely of summer-signing flops, it is difficult to blame the juvenile head coach for his side’s ever increasing drift away from that coveted fourth spot.
Whether that is Sherwood’s problem, or Louis Van Gaal’s, come the start of next season remains to be seen.
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