Monday 25 September 2017

Sherwood to bring Adebayor back into Spurs fold

Emmanuel Adebayor endured a difficult relationship with former Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas but looks set for a recall under Tim Sherwood
Emmanuel Adebayor endured a difficult relationship with former Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas but looks set for a recall under Tim Sherwood

Jeremy Wilson and Matt Law

Tim Sherwood wants to reintegrate Emmanuel Adebayor into the Tottenham Hotspur squad and may even start the Togo forward in the League Cup quarter-final against West Ham tonight.

Adebayor played only 45 minutes for Tottenham this season while Andre Villas-Boas was in charge, but the forward is expected to be part of Sherwood's first squad as interim head coach and is in serious contention to face Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.

PRIORITY

Sherwood has identified the striker situation as a major priority, with Villas-Boas ultimately losing his job as Tottenham manager on Monday following discussions with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy about his team formation.

Summer signing Roberto Soldado has looked isolated and ill-suited to the role of a lone central striker and there had already been a feeling within Tottenham that Villas-Boas needed to make changes.

Adebayor is best suited to playing that role and it is also clear that either Soldado or Jermain Defoe would be more comfortable alongside a second forward.

The departure of Villas-Boas is not expected to stop Defoe signing for Toronto, but he could be loaned back to Tottenham until the Major League Season season starts on March 15.

Sherwood is keen to give Adebayor a chance after he was forced to train with the youth-team players at the start of the season and even told to apologise from a raised platform to the entire squad for his behaviour.

He is now fit and made a point yesterday of pleading his innocence after being accused of mocking Tottenham's 5-0 defeat against Liverpool. Adebayor and Benoit Assou-Ekotto held five fingers up between them in a photograph, but the 29-year-old said the picture was taken before the match.

"I apologise to all Spurs fans who thought from the Assou-Ekotto picture that we were making fun out of the defeat," he wrote. "I would never do that. That pose is how I pose in all my pictures."

Assou-Ekotto could also be recalled at left-back, with Sherwood admitting that his defensive options for the match tonight were limited. Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen are injured, while Michael Dawson and Paulinho are suspended.

West Ham were 3-0 winners at White Hart Lane in the Premier League this season and their manager Sam Allardyce yesterday labelled Sherwood "crazy" for moving into management from his position as technical coordinator.

"He's 44 years old and hasn't been a manager," Allardyce said. "I thought he would've challenged himself a lot sooner. If you're in a good job, why leave it to become a manager?

"You must be crazy leaving this job to go and manage. You could be one of the 50-60 managers out of the 92 that end up with the sack. That's what happens every year now.

"You have to be pretty good to last. But when you've been in the crazy world of management, it gets in your blood and you pine for it, even with all the pressures that come upon you."

Allardyce admitted that he could not be sure of his own position and has sympathy with how Villas-Boas lost his job after being forced to rebuild the Tottenham squad.

"To get the Spurs team playing together and understanding each other in such a short period of time is nearly impossible," Allardyce said.

"You would have to be a miracle worker. They've arrived from foreign countries in a different culture and an arena that they've never played in before."

Of his own position, Allardyce said: "I don't say I'm that confident, I just don't let that situation bother me. If I start worrying it will detract me from doing my job. Even with David Sullivan and David Gold's backing, patience cannot last for ever if I continue to lose football matches."

Sherwood oversaw training yesterday and knows that he must transmit his ideas quickly. "When you lose your manager it's a change and you've got to listen to a different voice, but I'm hoping to get a few messages across in a short space of time so we can get a positive result," he said.

"We have to get out there on the front foot and we have to impose ourselves on them as soon as we can during the game, get the crowd behind us and really be up and at them."

Tottenham may give Sherwood the chance to prove himself but the club will still reassess their options at the end of the season, if not before.

Potential targets include Mauricio Pochettino, although Southampton intend to offer their Argentinian manager an extension to a contract that expires in 2015. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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