Sherwood v AVB at Tottenham - Were they right to make the change?

Tim Sherwood Press Conference 12/02/2014

Has there been an upturn in fortunes during Tim Sherwood's time in charge of Tottenham Hotspur?

When a side sacks their manager at the midway point of the season, you wonder if it will turn out for the best.

Tottenham Hotspur took that decision after they were well beaten 5-0 at home by Liverpool and Andre Villas-Boas was relieved of his duties as Head Coach with Tim Sherwood swiftly appointed as his successor - for how long remains to be seen as speculation is ongoing over who will be in the post next season.

From the outset, the target for Tottenham has been Champions League qualification; a target they narrowly missed out on last season. With the sale of Gareth Bale they brought in several new players in order to strengthen the squad, spending in excess off £100million on new players.

Tottenham Hotspur 8 16
Tottenham Hotspur 15 16

One of the big things that was missing under Andre Villas-Boas was goals. He decided to keep faith with Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor was exiled and only made one appearance this season under the Portuguese boss, and they average under a goal per game. Though it wasn't for want of trying as Spurs averaged over 17 attempts on goal per game in those 16 Premier League matches.

NameTotal Scoring AttPlayed
Tottenham Hotspur 278 16

But when they conceded goals, they could concede several in one game. They may have kept several clean sheets but 6-0 and 5-0 losses to Manchester City and Liverpool respectively meant that statistic is inflated somewhat, but a sign that there were issues with the defence. Getting thrashed heavily once is unfortunate, twice is careless.

NameGoals ConcededPlayed
Tottenham Hotspur 21 16
NameClean SheetPlayed
Tottenham Hotspur 7 16

And now a look at the statistics when Tim Sherwood took charge of first-team affairs.

It is safe to say that his time in the Premier League has been more fruitful than that of his predecessor already having won the same amount of games playing four fewer. Then there's the goals, 22 of them in 12 games compared to the 15 from 16 - and Emmanuel Adebayor is their top scorer in the league with eight goals.

Tottenham Hotspur 8 12
Tottenham Hotspur 22 12
NameTotal Scoring AttPlayed
Tottenham Hotspur 153 12

There is also scope for saying that Tottenham are more clinical in front of goal under Sherwood as well. As expected - having played less Premier League games under their current boss - their absolute amount of scoring attempts is lower, but on average they have just under 13 attempts in every Premier League game. Could that be down to Adebayor's reintroduction into the side? Perhaps.

NameGoals ConcededPlayed
Tottenham Hotspur 12 12
NameClean SheetPlayed
Tottenham Hotspur 5 12

Defensively, Spurs have just been on the end of the one hammering under Sherwood when Manchester City ran out 5-1 winners at White Hart Lane - though some will stress they were unlucky to concede five goals after Danny Rose was controversially sent off.

But they now only concede - on average - a goal per game, less than under Villas-Boas, and though the fixtures they have coming up are difficult, it is quite possible they will keep two clean sheets out of their next four games to match the record of AVB. 

It is hard to judge their cup records because Sherwood has been in charge for just two domestic cup games - which he lost. Though some will say Villas-Boas is competent when it comes to European competition given their 100% record in the group stages of the Europa League, other will say it was a soft group. Sherwood still has the side in the Europa League, and his credentials in Europe will be on show between now and the end of the season.

image: © HITC

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