The timing was anything but perfect, with reports claiming Tim Sherwood would be relieved of his managerial duties at Tottenham Hotspur this summer just prior to their match against Sunderland.
A 5-1 victory has not stopped the rumours, with the spectre of Louis van Gaal looming large over the former Spurs and Blackburn Rovers midfielder. But while Sherwood’s Tottenham tenure may well be coming to an end, he has plenty to be proud of.
The resurgence of Adebayor
It is unfathomable to think that former boss Andre Villas-Boas could not find a place for Emmanuel Adebayor in his first-team plans, despite Tottenham’s goal-scoring struggles in the Portuguese boss’s last few months in charge.
But Sherwood’s first job upon taking over was to welcome back the Togo front-man, and he was duly rewarded with goals aplenty. Having clocked-up just 45 minutes of league football prior to December 22, Adebayor then went on a scoring-run that saw him net 10 goals and provide four assists in the top flight.
Whoever takes over from Sherwood is unlikely to make the same mistakes as Villas-Boas in terms of the influential Spurs striker.
A glimpse at the next generation
Harry Kane and Nabil Bentaleb have both featured under Sherwood, with the 19-year-old Algerian being an almost ever-present since the new boss took charge and Kane getting minutes (if predominantly from the bench).
It is no surprise given Sherwood’s former role as technical coordinator overseeing under-21 development, but Spurs’ young guns will be hoping that the new man is just as keen to give youth a chance.
His players performed for him
It is quite telling that in the first match since the latest rumours surfaced, Tottenham put in one of their best performances of the season, beating Sunderland 5-1. The players clearly perform for the boss and Christian Eriksen in particular is shining under Sherwood having struggled in his early months in England.
Whatever the future holds for Sherwood, he clearly has the respect of the players, and not everyone in the game can say that.