The five Spurs players most at risk from Sherwood cull

Tim Sherwood Press Conference 12/02/2014

The Tottenham manager has risked alienating several members of the first-team squad after launching a scathing attack following a 4-0 defeat at Chelsea.

 

The 4-0 defeat to Chelsea was both unwelcome and untimely from a Tottenham Hotspur perspective. The start to a critical week which involves a Europa League round of 16 first leg with Portuguese giants Benfica and the small matter of a North London derby this weekend.

Win both upcoming games and the mood will alter dramatically, lose and another trophyless season, along with next to no chance of usurping their rivals in the race for Champions League football, lies in wait.

Spurs boss Tim Sherwood was particularly scathing after the defeat of both his players and seemed to criticise chairman Daniel Levy ahead of what he anticipates will be a summer exit, with Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal believed to be waiting in the wings. 

But it was his tirade against the players, who he must get a reaction out of this evening, which was most telling.

And after a number of below-par performances at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, Sherwood may be about to wield the axe on several first-teamers.

Here are the five most at risk under Sherwood's austere tutelage...

1) Gylfi Sigurdsson

The Icelandic midfielder was recalled on the left flank ahead of Paulinho and Nacer Chadli as Sherwood sought a creative spark in the absence of Christian Eriksen.

Unfortunately it was not forthcoming, with Sigurdsson a casualty of a bizarre formation and selection from the manager.

2) Aaron Lennon

The winger continues to flatter to deceive in a Spurs shirt, having produced just one goal and one assist this season and his performance at the weekend epitomised his travails.

Deployed in a central attacking role just off of Emmanuel Adebayor, it was always likely to be a difficult evening for the speedy wideman, and it proved as much.

3) Nacer Chadli

The summer signing was significantly left on the bench at the weekend, despite the paucity of wide options on offer to Sherwood.

It spoke volumes that Sigurdsson was selected despite having been largely exiled in recent times, with Chadli clearly failing to impress the outspoken interim manager despite a stunning strike in the 4-0 win at Newcastle just last month.

4) Etienne Capoue

The Frenchman is currently sidelined, but you get the impression his injury is acting as a cover-up for his conspicuous absence under Sherwood.

He was hardly highly-fancied by previous manager Andre Villas-Boas either, but the promotion of Nabil Bentaleb into the defensive midfield slot has seen Capoue become even further marginalised under the new regime.

5) Erik Lamela

The Argentinian's £30m move to England has been nothing short of a disaster having suffered from numerous injuries and loss of form and there must surely be a temptation on the club's part to cut their losses on the expensive flop.

He has been unable to feature in any of his side's matches since a 3-0 win over Stoke City at the tail end of 2013 and would hardly have impressed Sherwood in the three appearances he mustered since the caretaker coach's arrival.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch