Tim Sherwood, Massimiliano Allegri, and the Security of a Di Matteo Tenure
Having taken over the helm at White Hart Lane following the amputation of the arguably malignant Andre Villas-Boas in December last year, the former England midfielder signed an 18 month deal to be Tottenham boss until 2015, but as it has transpired, the contract he signed brought with it as much security as a small wooden hut built on the side of a volcano.
Daniel Levy, Spurs’ sinister chairman, has given veiled support to his novice manager throughout his so far brief tenure in charge. Behind the scenes, however, Levy’s reported actions have been vociferously against Sherwood, with the latest news coming out of Italy claiming that former AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has agreed to become Tottenham manager at the end of the season.
The Italian’s apparent appointment comes after months of rumors linking Dutch veteran Louis van Gaal with the Spurs job, and both sets of stories have served to utterly undermine Sherwood’s almost farcical reign in charge at the club.
I say farcical in terms of the security that initially came with the job, and Tottenham’s stunning inconsistency that perhaps justifies Levy’s actions against the 45-year-old.
Currently sixth in the table, a nasty-looking 17 points behind leaders Liverpool, the only consistency managed by Tottenham this season has been their penchant to frustrate and bewilder, with results serving to show that an identity has been sorely lacking at the Lane for some time.
Spurs have netted 48 times so far this season, but conceded the exact same amount, perpetually keeping them slap bang in the middle of progress and inadequacy, something Sherwood himself has lambasted a few times over the past months.
“You can’t legislate for the capitulation – you can’t have that,” Sherwood exclaimed following the demoralising 4-0 loss at Chelsea in March,
[There's a] lack of character… too many of them are too nice to each other and you need to show a bit more guts and not want to be someone’s mate all the time. They need to drag it out of each other.
“It hurts me and I won’t forget about this when we hit the motorway, but some might.”
While his ferociousness has been questioned, his overriding point holds true. Tottenham have not stood up to what has been a trying season, and have reaped what they have sowed.
But despite the problems, the ups and downs, Sherwood’s tenure throughout has held as much potential longevity as Roberto Di Matteo’s stewardship at Chelsea in 2012.
The Italian guided the then beleaguered Blues to Champions League glory in Munich, defying quite a formidable set of odds in the process, and was rewarded with a two-year deal in June that year; a deal that may as well have been signed on rice paper, considering the fragility of his five months as permanent Chelsea boss.
Roman Abramovich and the Blues hierarchy seemed permanently primed to replace their fledgling coach, and following a 3-0 defeat to Juventus in the Champions League, Di Matteo was ushered out the door, and much to the dismay of the Chelsea faithful, Rafa Benitez was handed the reigns.
While such horrors are certain to bypass Spurs (no Sol Campbell at the helm for them), Sherwood seemed destined for the chop from the get-go, bar some miracle table-topping exploits.
Whether the Corriere dello Sport report concerning Allegri is true or not remains to be seen, but you’d be a brave man to bet against Tim Sherwood leaving his post come the end of the season.
Tottenham’s identity crisis surely will remain for at least another summer, and Spurs fans can only hope for a genuine period of transition, where so many wrongs can be undone, and a concrete challenge for a top four spot formulated, rather than their half-baked, cut-and-paste efforts this season.