Arsenal fan favourite Paul Merson sympathises for his old pal Tim Sherwood, claiming that the 4-0 shellacking Tottenham Hotspur were subjected to at Anfield last Sunday had nothing to do with the management or coaching style of the Englishman but was solely down to lack of heart from the playing staff.
"I’ve played with Tim Sherwood and I know what he’s all about - he’s a winner – so I felt so sorry for him having to sit and watch Tottenham’s performance against Liverpool last week," said Merson in his weekly prediction column for Sky Sports.
"Most of those players need to go and see the Wizard of Oz to get a heart; it was terrible," he added. "That display was nothing to do with the manager, it was all the players, and it wasn’t on. There are ways of getting beat and you shouldn’t get beaten that way because there was no heart."
Tottenham now take on Sunderland at White Hart Lane on Monday, April 7 and Merson believes the Lilywhites owe Sherwood a performance: "They now need to show desire against a team that’s playing for their lives."
Spurs are currently in a mixed bag of form - they have failed to return a goal in four of their last six games in the Premier League, yet are undefeated in their last seven matches against Sunderland (five wins, two draws). Merson tips Tottenham to put an end to their inconsistent form but maintain their strong record against the Black Cats, taming them with a 2-1 winning score.
"Sunderland will be in disarray with the fixtures they’ve got coming up and they need a fluky result sooner," concluded Merson, after stating that the lucky result they crave will not arrive in North London.