Tottenham Need A Leader On The Pitch, And A New One On The Touchline


Even the rarest breed within the immense minority of optimistic Spurs fans wouldn't have predicted much at Anfield. In truth the Merseyside club have been relentless in front of goal and it was more a case of hoping that our non-existent organisational and non-disciplined performances would hopefully somehow protect Hugo Lloris' goal for as much of the game as humanly possible.

Again though, the writing was on the wall. With Sigurdsson and Bentaleb forming a partnership as the natural 'holding' pair and the opposition taking no prisoners in playing all of Gerrard, Coutinho, Sterling, Suarez and Sturridge, the match was always going to feel longer than 90 minutes.

So what do we hope for? We snatch at a bit of luck and keep it tight. If anything's emerged on the whole since AVB's sacking it's the realisation that we're made of feathers. We're blown away with any movement between our lines. We're disinterested in getting stuck in. You don't see the greatest players in the most effective sides pulling out of challenges and playing at 50% because there's a World Cup in the summer.

But at Spurs you see far too many average players playing at 20% for arguably the same reason. It's not right we except it but if we do then we've the right to demand more and more next season.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall at Sherwood's training sessions and would spare more than a penny for his thoughts. I picture I'd spend my penny and quickly be asking for a refund as I'm met with silence. We rarely seem to set up with a thorough game plan. We stick players in varying positions and see what happens.

Given the high-line today was abandoned and we sat a little deeper, we still looked on bewildered at the pace of our opposition. We looked as though we were playing the Chinese national side in a friendly and didn't know what to expect. We looked about as interested as much as well.

Our lack of pace in centre midfield left the defence with more work than a usual Sunday's worth, and they struggle with that enough as it is. We went 1-0 down early, again. We need to get out the habit of leaving our brains in the changing room (or perhaps Sherwood needs to return them to the players). We approach games not quite knowing how to set-up, how to play, how to attack our opponents weaknesses and look beaten before a ball's been kicked.

We've transformed into this nervy teenager on his first day of secondary school and don't want to face up to the big kids in front of us. The problem is we're happy to let them push us around and we have no one standing in the technical area that'll change this mentality.

Our early passes were short and nervy. Frustratingly it was two defensive errors that ensured we were behind at half time. We'd passed the ball reasonably well in midfield without committing too much. Our big issue was that our failure to attack at pace and commit at the right times allowed Liverpool to get numbers back and soak up any small phase of play we'd have.

The saving grace was arguably knowing we do have some intelligent footballers going forward, we just won't see the best of it this season. We found patches of space, at times, but did exceptionally little with it.

I've grown to the assumption that much of our positive play arrives from the quality of the players in themselves rather than a system employed by Sherwood. Granted that may sound a little unfair and a futile dig at Sherwood but the inconsistency in attack and defence, as well as the blatant disregard for the opposition and slow useless movement have forced me upon that assumption.

We've no plan for set pieces. Christian Eriksen's brilliance from a dead ball has seen us score a couple of free kicks but from corners the same routine fails every time. Eriksen, here, needs to pick up his ability to cross the ball.

What's more obvious is that we lack a leader in the side. We've no one to really grab the game by the neck. Our side is a reasonably young one and no one has stepped up to take that spot crying out for a leader at this club. The one who maybe could, in Sandro, was left on the bench.

Liverpool didn't get out of first gear and we made their job easy, and it wasn't unexpected. I don't feel wholesale changes are required, but a few areas need addressing. The full-back area is one that needs immediate surgery.

What's more though is that we need a leader on the pitch and we need a winner on the sideline. A good manager with a strong CV could do a lot with this squad, given the mentality needs replenishing. Levy, further, needs to appreciate that it can't be all done over night. The opponents that walked over us 4-0 are glowing examples of that. Remember when we beat them by the same scoreline a few years back?

The right man may not necessarily get it right first time, but they deserve that window of opportunity to - especially -if their past record has somewhat entitled it. Sherwood was thrown into the side in difficult circumstances although his evident lack of organisation and underlying defeatist approach is flooding through to the players who arguably lack any respect for him.

You combine this with an inexperienced past and it's difficult to hand a brand new season to him. Given I feel he could go on to be a good manager, he'd benefit from learning under a manager that knows no other way than to win.

The 4-0 scoreline and acceptance of this result at Anfield is a damning reflection of the platforms we'd previously built and have now fallen through. We no longer approach games as a team, but as a set of individuals counting down the days until the summer.


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