Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood recently made plenty of headlines with his comments about midfielder Sandro.
After the Brazilian had taken to Twitter to reveal he was not included in a match-day squad despite being fit, Sherwood responded by saying, "When he shows me he is good enough he will get into the team. At the moment he isn't."
It was a bold statement, but one that also showed Sherwood was not afraid to speak his mind and lay down a challenge to those under his stewardship. But while Sandro did at least find his way onto the bench for the weekend victory over Stoke City, a look at the performance of his teammate Paulinho suggests Sandro cannot be too far off that starting XI.
Of the starting midfield, Paulinho had the fewest touches, passes and accurate passes, while he played no key passes at all. He did, however, recover the ball six times, more than any other Spurs midfielder apart from Christian Eriksen.
|Touches||Total Pass||Accurate Pass||Key Pass||Ball Recovery||Mins|
That said, a quick look at Sandro's average stats for the season so far suggests that if he is not currently good enough for this Tottenham side, than questions should also be asked of his countryman.
|Touches / apps||Total Pass / apps||Accurate Pass / apps||Total Att Assist / apps||Ball Recovery / apps||Mins|
Given the player's at Sherwood's disposal, it is unlikely that both Sandro and Paulinho will play too many games together. And yet in truth, aside from his ability to recover the ball, there was little evidence to suggest the latter deserved his place ahead of Sandro for the most recent game.
Paulinho's stats may have been slightly better than Sandro's average, but when compared with the rest of his midfield, he was somewhat left behind.