Has the firing of Andre Villas-Boas and the advancement of Tim Sherwood actually changed anything for Tottenham? Their league record has improved, but hasn’t gotten them any closer to the Champions League. In other competitions? It’s actually been worse.
In the league, Villas-Boas won 27 points of a possible 48, fired after the 5-0 home loss against Liverpool. It came less than a month after the 6-0 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad. The scoring problem, the weird tactics and certain relationships seemed to have cost Villas-Boas his job.
Sherwood? He made Emmanuel Adebayor a red hot scorer for a while, and since taking over, Tottenham have won 26 of a possible 39 points. They are fifth in the league, but their five point lead over Everton and Manchester United is misleading. Manchester United have a match in hand, Everton have two. Tottenham don’t seem capable of erasing the gab between them and the top 4 as well.
Tottenham have been beaten heavily with Sherwood as well. Manchester City won in White Hart Lane 5-1 at the end of January, and Chelsea ran rampant in the derby with a 4-0 win at Stamford Bridge. The winning streak, the confidence, the strong defense – it hasn’t been part of Tottenham’s way over the last few weeks.
Statistically over the years, replacing managers doesn’t make much of a difference. It’s often better to stick with what you have, especially if it’s a young manager who seems to have plenty of potential to make Tottenham a bit more than they’ve been able to achieve for quite some time, unless there’s something internal that goes beyond the results we see on the pitch.
There’s immense pressure from the media to fire managers, especially foreign ones. Tottenham’s results in the Cups and the league hid the fact that they weren’t too far off the 4th place, and that when compared with other teams in terms of squad and overall quality, they weren’t good enough, on paper, to be better than 6th-5th in the league.
Maybe Sherwood has a bright future with Tottenham and generally a manager in the Premier League, but sacking Villas-Boas in favor of the former England international (only 3 caps) doesn’t really make sense in hindsight.