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Tottenham Win Shows Tim Sherwood Beginning To Grow Tactically

Tim Sherwood’s squad selection had become stale and somewhat predictable. A 4-4-2 with an attacking bent was the general trend his first several matches in charge of Tottenham Hotspur. But in this match, Spurs set up in a 4-2-3-1 with the two out-and-out wingers complementing the attacking influence of Christian Eriksen in the center of the attacking midfield line. Youngster Nabil Bentaleb was once again effective in a holding role as Spurs defeated Swansea 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium.

Facing a side that keeps the ball as well as Swansea does, Sherwood realized he needed a team on the pitch that could counter quickly and break up midfield play without the ball. When in the attack, Eriksen showed an ability to push into wide positions to start plays and to link up well with the defense.

While the formation initially had some difficult with the Swans controlling the first twenty minutes or so of play, once Spurs broke through in minute 35, the match was essentially over. From that point forward Tottenham defended with ease and the midfield controlled the game. Bentalab recorded a club season best eleven tackles from open play while Moussa Dembele’s influence grew as the match wore on.

Tottenham were also helped by an early second-half injury to Jonjo Shelvey, the only creative force Swansea had all day in the midfield. Sherwood kept his side playing compact and breaking on the counter, which led to several more Tottenham chances, and two more goals.

Sherwood has yet to obtain all his necessary coaching badges to manage at this level and has been thought to be tactically naïve. But on Sunday, Sherwood showed a great deal of growth and maturity as a manager. The tests get tougher for Tottenham in the league beginning a week from Wednesday against high-flying Manchester City at White Hart Lane. But Sherwood has proven he can manage at this level and he has a side that was suffering a crisis of confidence in great shape to potentially snatch the fourth and final Champions League spot.

Not bad for a month’s work.

For more Spurs news, analysis and opinion, visit the Tottenham team page.

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  1. Nelson

    January 19, 2014 at 9:09 pm


    • insert name here

      January 19, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      pedantic ??

    • Clampdown

      January 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      … a let you finish, but …

  2. insert name here

    January 19, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Im liking what Im seeing from Sherwood… He’s got some terrific results and Spurs are good to watch, especially away. I dont think he is tactically naive.. Maybe he got caught out a bit in the Arsenal game but overall has outsmarted the opposition. I think he could be a great manager for them.

  3. bucky

    January 19, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Look. They are picking up points. but all of these games you would have picked Spurs to win even with AVB. Swansea are ravaged by injury to most of their top attacking talent. even with them out, spurs conceded. Spurs are trying to just outscore people like LFC are. but soon enough people will just park the bus and pick up a point and move on. And Spurs don’t have the ability to break a team like that down.

    I just do not see how they can get a 4th place finish over LFC. There are 3 to 4 players trying to get away to compete for a WC place. This squad is a bit of a mess.

    but hey they won today. so, I guess they can crow (does a cock on a ball crow?) for a week.

    Who do they play in next week’s FA cup?

    • MrD5000

      January 19, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      Spurs have Sandro, Kabul, Paulinho, Verts out and Townsend (recovering from injury). If you anything about football you wouldn’t have put that argument forward about Swansea being injury ravaged.

      We didn’t have a single player who dived today to earn a goal either. Finally make the most of that racist you have as he will be at Madrid next season.

      • Bucky

        January 20, 2014 at 11:12 am

        I am not an LFC fan. And the fact that you do not agree with me doesnt mean I know nothing about football. you certainly do not know how to make an argument beyond what a four year can do.

        You spent 100m and should have the depth to cover for injuries. Swansea are missing their most influential players. Meanwhile you were able to not play your most expensive signing ever and your penalty taker.

        5th place is not a bad finish for you. Soldado and Eriksen will be even better next season. Maybe you can build on it. Or maybe you will do a typical Spurs thing and screw it up again.

        • insert name here

          January 20, 2014 at 8:45 pm

          M8 they just won five games in a row away from home for the first time in 54yrs. So you cant just say that they should win those.. Its quite a achievement for them and no Im not a Spurs fan but give them credit.

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