Having reportedly turned down offers from West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers (per the BBC), among others, it was always going to take something special to coax Tim Sherwood out of the football wilderness.
Aston Villa could well be it, with the Claret and Blue in dire need of fresh ideas following a period of stagnation under recently-ousted manager Paul Lambert.
Sherwood may have failed to inspire the confidence of Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy during his brief tenure in the White Hart Lane dugout but his time at the club remains littered with plenty in the way of highlights – here are three of them.
1. Manchester United 1-2 Tottenham – January 1st 2014
2014 started with a bang under Sherwood as Spurs recorded only their second win at Old Trafford in over 23 years.
Going into the match unbeaten after three games in the Tottenham hot-seat, this was his first major challenge as Lilywhites boss and one passed with flying colours against a United side that had actually been in the midst of a mini-resurgence under David Moyes at that point.
Soaking up some pressure early on, Spurs took a deserved lead through a fine header from Emmanuel Adebayor – a player who had been frozen out by previous manager Andre Villas-Boas – before Christian Eriksen added a second.
The Red Devils pulled a goal back in the 67th minute but with Nacer Chadli brought on for the Togo striker in a bid to bulk up the midfield, Sherwood pulled off something of a masterstroke.
Tottenham successfully weathered the storm to reignite their hopes of Champions League football and exorcise some of the demons from their previous 6-0 loss to Manchester City under AVB in the very same city earlier in the campaign.
2. Tottenham 1-0 Everton – February 9th 2014
Another crucial victory and one that highlighted Sherwood’s man-management skills came when Everton visited White Hart Lane.
The Toffees were in the mix for Champions League qualification, having lost just three times under Roberto Martinez so far that campaign, and enjoyed the better of the opening half.
But after a half-time team talk in which Sherwood urged his players to press Everton every time they had the ball, depriving the Merseysiders of the time and space needed to play their attacking game, Tottenham began to assert themselves more.
They were duly rewarded on 65 minutes when the seemingly reformed Adebayor struck again with a crucial goal for Sherwood, chesting down a Kyle Walker cross and firing home with aplomb.
The result saw Spurs leapfrog Everton and move to within three points of then-fourth placed Liverpool in the race for Champions League football.
3. Tottenham 3-2 Southampton – March 23rd 2014
A game in which Sherwood ultimately succeeded in outsmarting his Tottenham replacement Mauricio Pochettino, this result also stands as evidence of Sherwood’s influence at the club and the way in which Spurs’ current never-say-die attitude was first championed.
Tottenham have come from behind to win on several occasions this season under their new Argentine boss but few compare to this comeback which saw the Lilywhites reverse a 2-0 deficit, against a formidable Southampton side, to keep their season alive.
Goals from Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana had put the Saints two up with less than half an hour on the board, but Tottenham fought back almost immediately with Christian Eriksen pulling one back on the 31 minute mark.
The half-time introduction of Gylfi Sigurdsson for Moussa Dembele proved pivotal with Eriksen levelling the scores straight after the break before the Icelandic substitute struck in added on time to give Tottenham a first win from 2-0 down since November 2010.
It was a result that was characterised by Spurs' willingness to push on late in the game, with the fitness work and training conducted by Sherwood evidently paying dividends against a Southampton side that visibly tired during the second period.