Validation Time - 1 Day to go

One day to go to validation time, the time when Daniel Levy is hoping Tim Sherwood shows him he was right to rid us of Andre Villas-Boas by not getting thrashed 6-0.

Daniel will be looking for Tim to inspire a better performance than the humiliation we suffered last time. Sherwood also needs a good performance after having had a break since our previous game. Last time we had a break, a week, before the Crystal Palace game we put in the worst first half performance by a Spurs team in 30 years or more, probably since we were relegated in 1977.

We should have been dead and buried at half-time but woeful finishing and the worlds worst penalty let us off the hook and allowed us to go in 0-0. Another disastrous fist half after a break will raise questions, having had a week and a half to prepare a performance like the Palace game will not be acceptable. Whatever the mistakes that were made in preparation for that game can not be made twice, that would raise questions about Sherwood's ability in the role.

One thing in Sherwood's favour is Emmanuel Adebayor. Restored to the side, as Levy wanted AVB to do, Ade has been the Ade of old, the Ade we first signed. Against old clubs he gives it everything so we can be sure he'll be trying his best for 90 minutes and not spend a half walking around.

Les Ferdinand has indicated that we will continue with our policy of asking the midfielders to take it in turns to shield the back four. Mind you in Les fashion his comments are comical.
Les Ferdinand Spurs
Les Ferdinand in his playing days

“I know there’s a lot of talk about holding midfield players, and I’m always arguing with Tim and Chris about this – and they agree,” he said.

Well if you all agree Les, why are you having an argument about it! If you agree there is nothing to talk about.

“I don’t like holding midfield players. I like players to understand that if one goes forward, the other one tucks in for them. I don’t want someone who just sits in front of the back four and doesn’t go anywhere, but that’s just my own personal view."

Does that mean Sandro has to develop or is his position in the squad now called into question? We can't do anything until the summer or we'd be shooting ourselves in the foot. If we have a new manager then he may well want a holding midfielder and they don't come much better than Sandro. Perhaps that explains why Capoue is so upset, perhaps he thinks with that policy he won't play.

“I was saying to William Gallas when he was here, the worst thing that happened in this league was Claude Makelele.

“When he came into this country he wasn’t a holding midfield player. He was a player who had the intelligence to say ‘Frank [Lampard], you can score more goals than me so if you go I’m going to tuck in here for you, and I’ll hold. You keep going forward’.

“Then everyone went ‘right, we’ve got to have a holding midfield player’ - and what we’ve done is produce a crop of players who don’t want to go over the halfway line, who don’t want to pass over the halfway line and are happy to just sit in front of the back four.

The old square ball and pass backwards ball, well yes that has inflicted the English game, Les may have a point there.

“Having played the game, I know that if you’re a right winger and you come back and sit on the toes of the full-back, he won’t push you on. He’s happy to have that protection.

“It’s the same all around the field. If you’ve got a player who defends - a player that will come and sit in front of you and make the centre forward’s life difficult - he’s happy to have that, rather than defend on his own.”

Well it all makes sense Les, now let's see how it works against top teams.


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