Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood criticized his players in the aftermath of their 4-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The defeat to the Blues is a blow to the North Londoners’ aim of qualifying for the Champions League, currently sitting four points behind a Manchester City side with no less than three games in hand still to play.
“I’m their manager, not their babysitter,” Sherwood said of his players following the game last weekend.
"You can't get out-fought and out-desired. I don't want to see that again. I won't tolerate less than 100 per cent desire".
The 45-year-old coach and former Spurs midfielder took the reigns from Andre Villas-Boas in December and his impact on the team, most notably striker Emmanuel Adebayor, had been something of a revelation – Spurs won four out of their first five games in the league under Sherwood prior to their 5-1 defeat to Manchester City at home.
Following that Spurs have won three of their last six games including Sunday’s defeat at Stamford Bridge.
Sherwood is quite right to expect 100 per cent from his players but I do believe he must be the man to take the responsibility for results and performances – it is, after all, the manager’s jurisdiction to ensure the players on the pitch are motivated appropriately and committed to him and the club.
Meanwhile, it is also important to note that Sherwood should not be expected to be a ‘babysitter’ but the squad is still relatively young and there are still developing players as well as newcomers to the club and the Premier League.
The starting XI on Sunday consisted of five players 25-years-old or younger – it is arguable that, for example, a 19-year-old such as Nabil Bentaleb probably does need to be ‘babysat’ to a degree given he has only just been promoted to the first team this term by the boss.
Substitute Zeki Fryers is still just 21 and has only just signed for the club whilst substitute Paulinho also signed just last summer. There is still plenty more to come from this crop of youngsters and new signings and a defeat by the current Premier League leaders on their home turf where they are undefeated under Jose Mourinho is not cause for major concern – in my estimation it’s defeats to Norwich and draws with Hull last month that are more of a worry for the manager.