...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?
A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...
If you have anything to add on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Just a quick stat fest:
AVB this season:
Games - 26
Average scored - 1.68
Average conceded - 0.92
Win rate - 61%
Loss rate 19%
Sherwood this season:
Games - 17
Average scored - 1.53
Average conceded - 1.18
Win rate - 53%
Loss rate - 35%
Now you could go into this and look at opposition and all kinds of stuff blaaaa blaaa blaaaa.
But on this basis, how can Sherwood hope to have the job next season? The fact is, Spurs aren't actually doing that bad in comparison to previous seasons. Others are just doing better.
This also proves that the rot was far deeper than our previous 'clueless' manager.
Chris, (You know we're doing bad when people are crying out for our untested record signing, and the only plus point has been that Soldado's build-up play has been 'encouraging'...) THFC
...A Proper Football Man wouldn't wait until the 67th minute of a game we are not only losing, but haven't created a single chance of note, haven't done anything except pass the ball laterally across the field and then lump forward, to make a change. A Proper Football Man would be able to coach a team into actually offering angles in midfield to receive the ball, so that the aforementioned lumps wouldn't be the only option. A Proper Football Man wouldn't turn on his own team before the biggest week of our season so far. A Proper Football Man would acknowledge his own mistakes after possibly the worst performance of the season, particularly following so pointedly addressing his players shortcomings days before.
Safe to say, I have well and truly had enough of Tim Sherwood. Roll on the summer, when we can get a manager with a particular footballing vision. Something we have been missing for nigh on two years, since Harry decided that possibly being England manager was a better option than actually being Tottenham manager.
Alex G, THFC (will be spending Sunday locked in a dark room without a television)
...Put me in an induced coma. Wake me up if England get past the second round in Brazil. Otherwise, keep me on ice until the first game of Spurs' 2014/15 season under Louis van Gaal. If he doesn't want to join Spurs, extend the cryo-stasis indefinitely.
Last night was even worse if anything than the capitulations against Liverpool, City and Chelsea. At least in those games we looked like we had some shape, we were just outplayed and to an extent unlucky.
I don't know what we were playing against Benfica but it wasn't football. Repeatedly unable to get the ball out of defence, no movement whatsoever off the ball, midfielders wandering around with no apparent aim, unable to pass the ball five yards accurately.
Sherwood has to take some of the blame of course. Much as I warm to his 'football man' schtick and his honesty, he's no tactician yet.
But there's a sense that the tide is turning against Levy now. If we lose to the Woolwich on Sunday, that will be the tipping point. Blame AVB, blame Sherwood, blame 'Arry, but most of all blame a decade of knee-jerk reactions.
I can honestly say it has been worse watching Spurs this season than it was when we finished between 7th and 15th every year.
I don't really want to go to the north London Derby on Sunday but I will.
This is what we put ourselves through as football fans and this is what it means to be Spurs.
Transitional season every year, always the bridesmaid who ends up passed out in a puddle of her own sick, never the bride. Finger always hovering over the self-destruct button.
A pig, in a cage, on antibiotics. Someone set this lament to music because all of the harmony is gradually draining from my soul.
Rob Davies, THFC (I really don't care that your club is worse off, it's all relative)
Sherwood > Moyes
Rob Pearse asked an interesting question in the mailbox this morning. I was going to respond in a pithy manner, but it did spur some deeper thoughts.
Solely concentrating on the Premier League, I wouldn't take any manager from 10th (West Ham) downwards. The bottom 11 have been pretty uniformly rotten this year, although Steve Bruce has Hull performing above expectations and Gus Poyet's Sunderland have done well in the cups. Nevertheless, no to the lot of them (which might be a bit harsh on Garry Monk, I guess).
Mauricio Pochettino...Maybe, but judging him on his time at Southampton would be unwise, especially as 'better than 11 teams who are rubbish' isn't much of a recommendation. I'd quite like us to sign Luke Shaw, though.
Roberto Martinez is charming and media-friendly, which helps for any foreign boss. That his Everton side are currently five points behind a Spurs side flailing rather like an overturned tortoise at the moment isn't much of a recommendation, though. Someone speculated that a lot of his success at Everton came from inheriting the miserly defence set up by Moyes - he'd enjoy no such advantage at Spurs, sadly.
David Moyes...No. I don't understand (as a neutral) how he's still at United. I can't imagine he'll be there come the summer unless a miracle occurs.
As for the teams above us...
Manuel Pellegrini would be fun, but the triple crimes of managing a popular London club, having a (relatively) low-profile and trophyless career and being foreign would see the knives out in Fleet Street after the first dropped points.
There's no point speculating about Wenger. I'm more likely to manage Spurs than he is.
Brendan Rodgers...Yes, of course, but I imagine the concussions from banging my head against a wall every time he opened his mouth would take a toll.
Which leaves Jose Mourinho, but as we're already pretty well-stocked with central midfielders I can't imagine we'd appeal to him, even as he ambles in care-free fashion to another Premier League title. It would be fun, though.
Michael (too long to publish, I imagine, even after cutting my incisive views on Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce) C
Sherwood: Just A Poor Man's Harry
It really is no surprise that Tottenham are back to their inconsistent best under Sherwood. It is funny how the football media oscillated back and forth on whether he was going to be bad, then surprisingly good, to bad again.
The reality is that Sherwood has no plan, no blueprint (no idea) for his team. He wanted to be the anti-AVB, the green kryptonite to all those managers with a dossier. Well, it turns out you can't expect to swap players in and out and have consistent and consistently better from with a random game plan. Duh!
For all the flak Rodgers got for his treatise on football to the Liverpool Board, you can see his ideas and work paying off. Yes, he reserved the right to evolve and to modify tactics based on who they play, but the fundamental passing and running skills he has drilled into the team allow those game time tweaks. Over time that work pays off.
Sherwood took the lazy mans way of beating the chest, all bravado and hoping to win based purely on a macho form of man management an them wonders why his skilled and more (footballing) intelligent players aren't buying in.
Sherwood is a poor man's Redknapp. At least 'Arry knew how to blend some good quality talent to play some exciting football. Something beyond Sherwood.
Sturridge > Hazard
Paul, London, maybe a quick look at the stats* will reveal why poor old Eden didn't win the player of the month award;
For February; Hazard - 3 Goals, 0 Assists in 5 Games
For February; Sturridge - 5 Goals, 2 Assists in 5 Games
When you also consider that one of the games in which you highlighted Hazard played so well in, he didn't even win the man of the match award (Matic did vs City), and you probably have a clear reason why he has failed to win player of the month.
* Naturally these are courtesy of whoscored, as this seems to be where everyone goes for their stats...what happened to Opta?
Who Gives A Flying F***?
I really am surprised at how many people seem to care about monthly awards. What do they mean? If over his career Taarabt collects 20 of them but nothing else, what does that prove?
Taking February as a case in point, and in reply to this morning's mailer, Hazzard had three goals (in one game) and no assists. During what has been described as a period of 'poor form' for Luis Suarez, in February he only managed at least one assist in three of our four games (though could have had five alone against Arsenal, in which he was unplayable); he hit the post in two of our four games, and his parried shot caused the winner in a third.
What does that prove. Nothing, because stats are useless. Stats ignore Hazard's skill and movement, which were pretty much the main factor of Chelsea's results in February and without him Chelsea may not have the points they have. But they also ignore the closing down and harrying, and general defending from the front in which I personally feel Suarez is peerless.
Overall performance cannot be measured definitively, and stats do not paint the full story - especially in a short time frame like a month. So to that end I really don't care about monthly awards, and am baffled by those that seem to.
That being said, stats over a full season can shed some light on who's had the better campaign. Regression to the mean, as Jonathan Wilson might say. To that end, to throw in a quick stat from F365: Eden Hazard has scored or assisted 19 PL goals this season in 28 appearances. Luis Suarez has scored or assisted 34 in 23 appearances.
Tom (GET BACK TO WORK MARTIN DOYLE) G
Lescott For United? Are You Mental?
Eoin, Newcastle. I've chewed over it, as you suggested. Vidic, a colossus, one of the best defenders of the Premier League era has lost a bit of pace and is moving on in the summer, and you suggest replacing him with a 31-year-old who even in his prime wasn't half the player Vidic was, and is now a shadow of even that player, and this is meant to bring United closer to the top of the table? No, no, no and no again, at least when a past it Laurent Blanc was signed he had once been a great player, Lescott even in his prime wouldn't have been good enough for where United want to be.
Take The Job Lot
I'm a huge advocate of Eoin, Newcastle's suggestion of Joleon Lescott to United from this morning's Mailbox...but then I am a City fan.
If Mr Moyes is reading this might I suggest, in the style of Amazon's 'Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought...', one or all of the following while he's at it:
Of course Tristan thinks HIT IT is a good idea. He supports Southampton and saw Matthew Le Tissier in his pomp.
When Le Tiss was turning out for the Saints we had John Jensen and I don't think Finsbury Park station could have coped with the amount of balls being sent on the train tracks due to JJ being forced to HIT IT.
Apart from that - not a bad idea.
Graham Simons, Gooner, (JJ used to be my favourite player) Norf London
Tristan ("I can't believe he's hit it from there!"), Saints, London is really onto a winner with his idea. My friends and I have been playing pretty much the HIT IT! rule on FIFA for some years now and it has resulted in some truly spectacular goals. So to further his suggestion, let me offer our other rule: TENNIS!
When the ball gets launched forward by the keeper or defenders and you head it back, one player calls TENNIS! The objective is to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible, back and forth over the half-way line. Usually it ends when one player shoots wildly or misjudges the ball and accidentally plays a striker clean through on goal. Either way, someone gets a chance!
Harry, THFC (I suppose it's more like badminton, really)
Fantastic piece on the thoroughly likeable Jeff Stelling.
I just to highlight the point made that Soccer Saturday shouldn't work. In theory it shouldn't but I've honestly lost count of the amount of Saturday afternoons I've surfaced after a late Friday night and thanked the footballing Gods (Sky Sports) for Jeff and co. They are a phenomenally soothing and simplistic cure. Watching the football and discussing it so I can just lie on the couch and absorb my talking points for Monday.
Conor (Also, the Soccer Saturday drinking game should be made illegal), Drogheda