This was not how it as supposed to be. Tim Sherwood returned to White Hart Lane and left with three valuable points in Villa’s bid for Premier League survival, while Mauricio Pochettino was left regretting another missed opportunity.
In his brief but turbulent reign at Tottenham, Sherwood alienated players and fans. His teams often seemed a collection of individuals without an identity. Despite his obvious flaws – and there were many – he did manage to get some impressive results by putting his faith in Emmanuel Adebayor and setting the team up to supply him. For Emmanuel Adebayor read Christian Benteke.
It was Benteke’s 35th minute header that broke the deadlock. It came out of the blue after a promising start for the home team. Spurs had controlled possession without really creating any clear cut chances. Danny Rose had come closest as he burst into the area. The left back passed up the chance to shoot early, his extra touch taking him wide, making the save easier for Guzman in the Villa goal.
Ten minutes later it could have been two, as Agbonlahor exposed Spurs high line, running through on goal, cutting inside with Fazio all at sea. His shot struck the inside of the post.
Whilst disappointing, Spurs first half performance showed some promise. Without really clicking we were a little unlucky to go in behind. It felt like we had the beating of Villa and I was optimistic. Unfortunately the second half was a damp squib.
Spurs were the more technically gifted side but Villa had more energy and bite. We were trying to pick our way through the centre with little passes but once we got near goal we invariably found ourselves running into a Villa player.
Kane was given no space, a defender constantly on his back. Eriksen, so often the spark, looked laboured as he kept running into a wall of claret.
Villa were set up in a diamond, a formation Pochettino has struggled to deal with in the past. In defence they were aggressive and compact, going forward they attacked down the flanks, using Benteke’s size or the pace of Agbonlahor.
Spurs’ makeshift defence struggled at times, especially on the right where Chiriches had a far less convincing game than at Burnley.
As time wore on Spurs chances became less frequent, while Villa started wasting time. Vorm made a great save when Delph should have sealed it. Despite Carlos Sanchez’s late sending off – after a wild lunge at Rose – Villa held on.
The numbers suggest we were a little unfortunate. Spurs out-shot Villa 14 to 10 and had 58% possession. However, a telling statistic is Villa’s 31 tackles to our 19 – a sign of the visitor’s extra aggression.
So where does this defeat leave us? The Champions League places were already gone. Pochettino getting out-thought by Sherwood is hard to take but it’s only one game and there’s a big difference between rousing players for a relegation fight and having a clear vision for the future. I’m still confident we made the right decision last summer.
Follow me on Twitter: @ABPSpurs
Were Villa lucky to win or were they the better side? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Spurs seem to have lost their momentum. They do not seem to play any longer with purpose and commitment. They are much too slow with the ball and lack cohesion and creativity up front. For this reason, we are not scoring.They keep on making individual errors in almost every game which costs us matches. Sherwood knows very well how Spurs play and therefore knew what strategy to use for his team to beat Spurs. We seem to have become a one-man team and as long as Kane is tightly marked, which is frequently the case, there is no scoring on our part. I think we should start with two strikers which will help distract attention from Kane. It is worth trying it out in the forthcoming matches.
I agree we should try some new tactics. We don’t have much to lose now given the distance from fourth spot. It’s a good chance to experiment.
…1st new tactic in levys book will be to change manager!!!
Sorry John, but your comment like the author of the article falls on deaf ears with me! Consistently dropping points in vital games we could gain PL places and every time this bunch of phukwits cant come up with the goods! Sooner spend my money going to Stagnant Fridge and watching a team of WINNERS rather than the perpetual bo!!0x at Shite Fart Drain!!!
Spurs ain’t had any momentum and never will with the bunch of losers that they have playing for them. PCC has,t got a clue. Should have kept Tim.
There are 11 players that Spurs MUST SELL in summer window,who have proven they’re not good enough in top flight!
Soldado,Lemela,Pahinio,Chirches, Caponie, Fazio,Kuboul, Townsend,Ade,Chadi,Lennon!
Levi Stop-Asking more than what they are worth,even if we have to take loss,we should still bring in around $80 & Million! Levi stop looking for cheap replacements that have only worked couple of times in past, while other top teams buy quality players every year!
BUY: Morgan or Auderweild, Cabye,Hector,Jay if recovered or Ings, Javier ,Maralis in exchange for Lennon. $65 + Million & still ahead financially Mr Levi & Get Rid of Mr Wine & Dine Baldini Although Kane above average player needs help or will fade! After last 2 results with bottom teams who played more quality soccer. If we continue using same “Misfits”,will be lucky to finish 10-12 & not top 6 spot! Would rather see Porch give out talented younger players a chance,even if we loose,they will play their hearts out wearing Spurs shirt, for 90 minutes!
#1 We Must Find New Owner & Say Goodbye Too Levi,only way he will be OUT!
I’ve been on same track since last transfer window, & fed up with same excuses about Levi Money issues that’s a joke & time Porch took a stand, before another manager bites the dust!
Key to the summer business is who we can get rid of and I agree there’s a long list.
As a delighted villa fan I have to say that so far Sherwood had done most things right at Villa Park.Doubts remain long term.As for Spuds I am amazed at the amount of money you have spent on bang average players.The only ones who seem to be trying are the ones who came thru the youth system.Ericcson(spelling?) apart all seem to be worse than the player/s they replaced,Who does your buying?Solve that and you may progress,if not i suppose you will get rid of yet another decent manager who is stuck with players he doesnt really want./.
We’ve recently brought in Paul Mitchell who worked on transfers with Pochettino at Southampton. Hopefully this will mean a better more joined up set of targets this summer.
Certainly the end of the season is turning into a yawn fest.With nothing to play for it seems the manager cannot motivate a performance from whoever he selects.
I have to agree that a large turnover of players is required,which from a financial point is looking very difficult.It’s the same problem of high wages and the impossible fee Levy will put on those that Poch will want rid of.And is the manager really up for it?His cv is not that impressive actually and I doubt his tactical nous.
The lack of CL football plus the fees we will play and salaries we will offer will severely restrict the market we can compete in so the summer could be very difficult to conduct the sort of business required to turn round our fortunes.
It’s getting rid of players I’m most worried about. We really need a clear out.
I thought Davies had played well enough as a sub for Walker to earn a start on defense against AV. To me, Fazio was not a pleasant surprise. Transfers should focus on defenders and holding midfielders.
I think we could do with a striker and a winger too but a holding midfield player is right at the top of the list.
Spuds tactically outclassed and out muscled. Not surprising when majority of spuds players more concerned with their hairdo than performance. Typical londoners
Absolutely 100% certain a big clear out is needed. For example, I like Townsend and Chadli, and they have done well at times this season but we need them to be good for more than 3 games out of every 10. Same goes for a lot of the squad… if you can’t play well for 8/10 games in which you are picked, you need to be moved on. Everyone has their off days and no-one can be red hot all the time, but for a team trying to achieve something it is not acceptable to have people going through the motions without making regular, decisive contributions. After such a promising start to the year, this disappointing run of form raises so many questions.
Isn’t it the manager’s job to identify who is hot and who is not, and pick the team accordingly?
Are these players inconsistent because they are tired? Or are they actually just not as good as we thought and have mugged us off with occasional glimpses of quality?
If they were rotated more, would they be more consistent? Or do they get comfortable and complacent, knowing that they are going to keep getting picked regardless?
Why has Holtby never been given a look in? He has high energy, can create good chances with clever passes and can shoot as well. Eriksen is the preferred CAM but if he had been rotated with Holtby throughout the season maybe he wouldn’t look so jaded now?
Pritchard and Carroll to come back next season… how to make room for them?
Stambouli has never been given a proper chance. Dembele rarely gets a look in… If either of those two had played as badly as Bentaleb and Mason have in recent weeks they would have been dropped for sure, so why are Bentaleb and Mason considered untouchable?
A defensive coach is also a priority. With Vertonghen and Fazio (behind 3 central midfielders), we should have one of the tightest defences league, yet we make mistakes every single game.
All this without even touching on the subject of Pochettino’s tactical inflexibility and lack of imagination.
What’s the harm in experimenting, what have we got to lose from switching to 442/532 in a game we’re losing?
Oh so typical of Spurs to get your hopes up like that.
The tactical inflexibility worries me slightly. To get out-thought by Tim Sherwood is a little worrying.
whoah, lots of replies to this post :)
As the blog and the comments of all the other people on this site already covered all the negative aspects of the team’s performance, i’m going to focus on the bright parts:
– Yedlin made his debut and i hope he gets more chances to play before the end of the season.
– Our team suddenly played with more urgency and fluidity once Lamela came on. I am convinced that he needs to start now.
– Rose has improved so much. He’s still not one of the best left back in the league as Poch claimed but he is slowly and gradually getting there.
– Vorm is an amazing back-up goalie. That save on Delph was amazing.
Some good points amongst all the negativity.
Rose did play well. I was sitting on his side in the first half and several times he had acres of space out wide but nobody to help him. I would have tried Townsend on the let to use that space.