You will never find shards in the back of Tim Sherwood, because he is not a man sitting on the fence.
And this despite the advice of Sir Alex Ferguson for him to choose his words carefully after becoming the boss of Tottenham in 2013.
“I spoke to him,” Sherwood told Chris Sutton, his former teammate at Norwich and Blackburn.
Tim Sherwood discussed his player and boss career on a WhatsApp call with Chris Sutton
“He said, ‘You play two games a week as a manager – one is the press conference and the other is a football game. Sometimes winning the conference is just as important as winning the match. ”
‘He was right. But I didn’t catch it. To Sherwood’s credit, in a world where footballers cover their mouths and where managers express themselves in clichés, his bullish approach is rather refreshing.
With that, we start on the subject of modern gaming.
CHRIS SUTTON: I cleaned your boots in Norwich! You weren’t one of the highest paid players but at Christmas you gave me the same tip as Ian Butterworth and Paul Blades – £ 20! But before that, and before you won the title at Blackburn together in 1995, you started at Watford. Tell me about it.
TIM SHERWOOD: Tom Walley was a youth coach for Watford. Legendary. It was a hard love. It really showed you how to do it rather than exploding your smoke.
I was an apprentice under Graham Taylor. My youth team manager sent me to train with the first team and told me to shake off a few. “Make sure the manager knows your name when you return. “
Brian Talbot, who played for Arsenal for a very long time and came to Watford towards the end of his career, said to Taylor, ‘Can you tell that stupid shit to stop kicking me?’ Taylor said, “You know what number you wear on a Saturday? Maybe this stupid shit wants it. It stayed with me.
Then Dave Bassett took over and my full debut was at Goodison Park against a team that had beaten the league. Everton won 2-0. I thought, ‘Jesus, is it going to be so difficult every week? I have no chance. ‘
Sherwood (L) and Sutton (R) were teammates in a very successful Blackburn team
CS: It must have influenced the way you bring the boys.
TS: The path is more difficult now – I appreciate it – but they have to realize that it is hard work. You don’t just leave Tottenham Academy and go play for Crystal Palace or Fulham. You can get out of Tottenham Academy and fall off the face of the earth. It could be the end.
CS: Do you think that the young people of today do not appreciate the route and what it takes?
TS: They get their ass wiped for them. The opposite for me is Harry Kane.
CS: You gave Kane his league debut for Tottenham. It obviously impressed you.
TS: He would play the same way for £ 1 per week. He would never lose a day on the training ground.
I would take attitude on ability all day. If you can marry the two, then you have a serious footballer. I hate it when I hear experts talk about “natural talent”. There’s nothing like that.
Sherwood gave Harry Kane his Spurs debut against Sunderland with scoring forward
CS: Surely you have players born with naturally athletic gifts?
TS: It’s physical. I’m not buying natural scorers. Lionel Messi is what he is because he dribbled a stone around an alley and his brothers kicked him for five years. It’s nourishing. You weren’t just born like that.
CS: You will have read what Kane said about leaving Tottenham. He will only stay if he believes they are ambitious, but he is now 26 and short on time. What would you recommend?
TS: It’s like Alan Shearer. He finished fourth with Blackburn (in 1992-93), then second (in 1993-94). Manchester United is everywhere around him. But he decides to stay because he thinks we have the quality to win it, and we did it next season. Harry has to assess this for himself. I would wait to see what they do in the summer.
They have a manager who didn’t go there to finish only in the top four. Harry will know very soon if the club is ready to spend this money to give themselves the opportunity to win the league.
Five-month spell after Tottenham boss sees Sherwood win record 59.1
Sherwood was appointed director of Tottenham in December 2013 after the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas, but left five months later. He walked away with the best winning ratio of all Spurs bosses in Premier League history – 59.1%. Mauricio Pochettino replaced him, but Sherwood insists it’s no surprise. He was aware of President Daniel Levy’s master plan.
TS: I knew I was holding on before Pochettino arrived. I also knew that it was useless to take over from André Villas-Boas and not to change anything. He was fired for a reason. They did not win enough football games, score enough goals or play with enough freedom. So I watched the players. Emmanuel Adebayor, for example, was isolated, training with me and the children.
I always made sure he had the right attitude otherwise I wouldn’t have had him with the boys anyway. I brought it back and we won more than we lost.
CS: What was your relationship with Levy?
TS: All right, and it still is.
CS: Are you still talking to him now?
CS: Didn’t you feel rough by? You were shown the door and Poch showed your office.
TS: No, because I knew. I knew the job. I knew the script. I knew he was ready to enter and they needed someone in the meantime. It would have been different if I hadn’t known. I might have liked this opportunity, like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at United. But I knew it wasn’t my job.
It’s been almost five years since Sherwood led Aston Villa to the FA Cup final against Arsenal in 2015
After Tottenham, Sherwood took over Aston Villa. He is nearing the fifth anniversary of his 2015 FA Cup final, which Villa lost 4-0 to Arsenal. He has not been successful since the sacking of his villa.
TS: It’s a crazy job house. Do I want to get back into this line of fire? If I feel I have a realistic chance of succeeding, I will. I loved my stay at the Villa. When I first entered there, we were struggling, in the relegation zone, and then we managed to stay away. We got to the final, which was probably the worst thing we could have done.
CS: Why was it the worst thing?
TS: This raised expectations. The owner, Randy Lerner, has the right to feel what he wants. But he felt that if you can get to an FA Cup final and outwit Liverpool along the way at Wembley, you can definitely stay in the league.
He had his ideas on recruiting and he moved the goal posts. I said to Randy, “You want to put decorations on a Christmas tree with a tree you don’t have. “
It was like I was the director of a film and he gave me the actors to work with.
CS: The villa could fall, but who knows what will happen. Do we need to finish this season?
TS: It must end. More than ever, these sport scientists, who are about 10 in each club, is their time. If you’re a player and miss the preseason, what’s going on? You struggle. When we play with Ligue 1 or Championship teams in the preseason and are two weeks behind them, we are beaten.
It doesn’t matter who you are. If you are Blackburn in 94-95, or Liverpool now, you are beaten, due to physical fitness. Whoever succeeds, who can run the ground, will give himself a real chance of survival and the top four.
Midfielder part of Premier League’s winning Blackburn team
It has been 25 years since Blackburn won the Premier League in 1994/95, scoring Manchester United by one point. In a match, Sherwood was booked and an opponent attempted a pass through. He blocked him with a handball and knew he deserved a second yellow.
Sherwood ran to the referee, who had started looking for his cards. The captain, worried about Blackburn’s chances for the title, pleaded, “If you send me, you will break my dreams. The official, who must remain anonymous, lowered his hand and said, “You owe me one. “
TS: And I do!
CS: What a story. Why did you go to Blackburn? You deleted a division at the time.
TS: Kenny Dalglish. As simple as that. They were in the championship equivalent but everyone could see that they were building something. Kenny sold me the vision.
CS: You were promoted to the Premier League, finished fourth, then second … and then we won it.
TS: There was a swagger on the team. I don’t remember that Kenny ever worried about the opposition to training. We were always about imposing ourselves on them.
CS: We were eight points ahead of United with six games left. Then it started to unravel. As a captain, did you do it?
TS: I remember talking about winning the locker room title and Stuart Ripley – an austere guy from the Northeast – said, “Don’t talk about it. Don’t mention it. ‘But we all knew it was a unique opportunity.
If we didn’t win it by then, we were not going to win it next year. It’s like Liverpool is losing it now. Do you want to put money in their hands to earn it next year? Probably not. The reason we won the league was our spirit. We were digging. I would say, “You have to start grabbing the ball. »You would say to me:« F *** off, why don’t you send it to me correctly? “You take it out in the open.
Sherwood made famous comparisons with French legend Zinedine Zidane at Blackburn
CS: Let’s just say we were wondering a lot. It was an ambitious club.
TS: It was a family. Jack Walker, the owner, was a fan. He used to walk into the locker room with us and play the penny along the wall. I remember Christophe Dugarry and Zinedine Zidane came to the training ground to take a look. Then Jack said, “Why do you need Zidane when we have Sherwood?” “
CS: I bet you’ve been living off this quote for a while!
TS: I’m still doing it!
Journalist Kieran Gill listened