Tim Sherwood has been at it again, flagrantly accepting self-administered plaudits for providing the sturdy framework on which Mauricio Pochettino has built his Tottenham team, launching the careers of several stars therein and *that* sodding win rate.
Having been originally hired by Harry Redknapp, Sherwood had already been on the Spurs’ coaching staff for five years when he stepped into Andres Villas-Boas’ breach in December 2013 on caretaker terms.
Tasked with seeing out the season, Sherwood took charge of the remaining 22 games, winning 13 of them while also falling to four-goal maulings against Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool.
This left him with a 59% win percentage, the best of any Spurs manager in the Premier League era – a statistic he is still banging on about to this very day.
Speaking to the Independent, Sherwood discussed the seismic impact of his brief tenure at White Hart Lane, and how it served to lay the bedrock for the Mauricio Pochettino revolution that followed it:
It (being sacked) was never a negative thing. I always knew I was only getting until the end of the season and my win percentage was 59% – which is high.
And when the guy they have now took over from me, it wasn’t broken. It was a steady ship and he has now added to it.
You know his name, Tim. Use it.
Spurs were languishing down in seventh when Sherwood seized the reigns. He subsequently commanded them – by virtue of his 59% win ratio – right the way up into sixth place by the end of the season, three points behind Everton in fifth and 10 points behind Arsenal in fourth.
Sherwood also credits himself with granting Harry Kane his first fledgling steps in the first-team and, while it’s true that Kane made his full Premier League debut under Sherwood (in a 5-1 win over Sunderland in April), he’d already made 20 senior appearances under previous managers.
I gave them (the youngsters) a chance and, look, then the likes of Kane, Bentaleb, (Danny) Rose and (Kyle) Walker were all integrated into the team.
I admire what he (Pochettino) has done. I am just glad that after me somebody came in with the same mindset that I have, which is to give the kids an opportunity to go and play if they are good enough.
A lot of people doubted Kane, for example but […] I knew those kids and knew they were good enough.
And then when Pochettino came in, he had obviously all seen them rehearse, hadn’t he? So he takes over, sticks with them and they obviously all do very well.
Some he got rid of but they were sold on for a good price and it’s all helped to pay for a nice little training ground.
So he has done a really fantastic job and, in hindsight, if I’d have known the way he works and the way he likes to develop young players, which is what I like to do, I could have been tempted into staying there to help him out.
You really couldn’t script it, could you? The delusion is staggering. Stag-ger-ing. Kyle Walker was already four seasons and around 150 games into his professional career by the time Timmy arrived on the scene.
The fact that he sees himself as part of the same timeline as Pochettino is truly astounding. The latter was genesis when it comes to the current Spurs epoch. Nothing that existed before him (in terms of coaching) matters.
Just by way of contrast, Poch has since gone on to mould Tottenham into a coherent young team capable of competing for silverware on several fronts.
Sherwood went on to take charge at Aston Villa, threw a gilet at a fan and then got sacked after eight months with the club rock bottom of the Premier League, and he’d probably prefer us not to mention his stint as Director of Football at Swindon Town, which was a laughable farce from start to end.
We think Daniel Levy can probably rest easy at night knowing he made the right choice.