Spurs coach: Sherwood hasn’t changed - although he’s looking a bit older!

11:59 14 February 2014

Les Ferdinand (left) with head coach Tim Sherwood on the Tottenham bench

Les Ferdinand (left) with head coach Tim Sherwood on the Tottenham bench


EXCLUSIVE: Les Ferdinand discusses Tim Sherwood’s progression from a Spurs player to the club’s manager, the dynamic of the coaching team and comparisons with Harry Redknapp.

Les Ferdinand (right) and Tim SherwoodLes Ferdinand (right) and Tim Sherwood

When Tim Sherwood was tearing around the White Hart Lane turf as a tigerish midfielder in 2002, few Spurs fans would have imagined that he would go on to manage the club, taking charge of a bid for Champions League qualification.

Sherwood has certainly enjoyed a meteoric rise at Tottenham. Having returned to the club to join Harry Redknapp’s coaching staff on a part-time basis in 2008, he impressed enough to earn the role of technical co-ordinator, managing player development.

When Redknapp was sacked, Sherwood survived and, when Andre Villas-Boas was axed, Sherwood was put in charge of first-team affairs – despite having no experience of management, let alone in the Premier League.

Les Ferdinand has been with him every step of the way. The pair played together at Spurs, they joined Redknapp’s coaching team at the same time and they were promoted to take charge of the senior squad together, along with Chris Ramsey.

‘Sir Les’ is therefore well qualified to discuss how Sherwood has changed along the way – but the fact is, he hasn’t changed a bit.

“He’s pretty much the same as he was as a player,” said Ferdinand. “He was always a winner as a player.

“That may sound strange because 99 per cent of players are winners, but he had this self-motivation and self-belief in himself, and he’s like that as a manager. He believes he can do it, and he’s proving that he can.

“He’s looking a bit older at the moment! But apart from that there’s been no change in him. We have the same banter that we were having before, I think that’s important.

“It’s not that he’s changed, a lot of people have changed towards him, with him becoming the manager – but he’s still the same. We have the same jokes, but we know it’s serious business.

“When we were in the development squad all that mattered was trying to develop players to make them professional footballers, whether they play for our first team or they go somewhere else and have a career.

“Now we’re in a position where we’re in charge of the team that has to win, so obviously there’s a difference in your approach there, but still with the same philosophy that you had before.”

Ferdinand added: “When we were with the development squad it can’t work the same way, but now the buck stops with Tim so he has the final say.

“We’ll give our suggestions and we tend to pretty much agree on what we believe in, but ultimately Tim’s the one who picks the side.

“He’ll always speak to us and say ‘what do you think?’ and we’ll give our opinions, and sometimes he goes with our opinion. Other times he doesn’t and sticks to his own.

“There’s no point having people around you if you’re not going to listen to what they say. He’s got total respect for what Chris does, what I do and how we do it, and we’ve obviously got respect for what he does. That’s important.”

The change from Villas-Boas to Sherwood has echoes of Daniel Levy’s decision to swap Juande Ramos for Redknapp in 2008.

There appear to be other similarities, such as the way that Sherwood has simplified the message to his players and his jovial relationship with the media – but Ferdinand rejects the comparisons.

“I think because Harry and Tim kind of speak in the same manner, people say ‘oh they’re very similar’ – and obviously Harry brought Tim and myself into the club so people are saying that,” he said.

“I think in his first couple of games we played with two strikers – people called it two strikers anyway – and everyone’s going ‘oh it’s old school, he’s gone back to 4-4-2, that’s what all the old English managers did’.

“Manchester City have played that way all season and scored 100-odd goals and I’ve not heard anyone say ‘oh they’re playing 4-4-2’, but that’s what you get.

“I think Tim will adapt the team to the opposition. Whoever we’re playing against, he’ll play the team that he thinks is going to win the game, whether that be 4-4-2, 4-3-2-1, 4-3-3 or whatever it may be.

“Systems don’t win you games, it’s players’ application when you put them out on the football pitch that wins you games.”

Follow me on Twitter BenPearceSpurs


Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 20:00
Mauricio Pochettino (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Harry Kane fired Tottenham into the knockout stages of the Europa League as they finally overcame stubborn Group J minnows Qarabag 1-0 in Baku.

Yesterday, 19:50
Maksim Medvedev of Qarabag challenged by Christian Eriksen  (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)

Spurs beat Qarabag 1-0 to qualify for the Europa League last 16 in Azerbaijan, here’s how we rated the players.

Yesterday, 18:36
Surrey winners of the Division 2 LV County Championship  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

English cricket will break with tradition in 2016 after the England and Wales Cricket Board announced a new rule which will see the forsaking of the toss.

Yesterday, 12:24
Haringey Borough manager Tom Loizou. Pic: Tony Gay

Jerome Martelli struck the decisive goal as Haringey Borough earned a crucial home win in Saturday’s basement battle against Heybridge and climbed out of the relegation zone in Ryman League Division One North.

Yesterday, 12:05
Andreas Sotiri scored a try in his first game for Haringey Rhinos. Pic: Tony Gay

Andreas Sotiri scored a try on his debut for Haringey Rhinos’ Under-14s as a side featuring a number of young players put in an encouraging performance, despite their defeat to Chingford.

Yesterday, 11:56
Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Baku, Azerbaijan. The Spurs squad are halfway through a 5,000-mile round trip and face FK Qarabag this evening just 64 hours prior to another London derby - Chelsea are the visitors for a midday kick-off on Sunday at White Hart Lane.

Wed, 16:02
Chris Rainsford (left) in action on the road for Highgate Harriers. Pic: Dieter Perry

Highgate Harriers were crowned national champions on Sunday as the prestigious UK 10k road race championships were held as part of the 30th anniversary of the Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash.

Wed, 15:58
Great Britain's James Ward (far right) with Great Britain captain Leon Smith, Jamie Murray and Andy Murray

Great Britain stand on the verge of history in the Davis Cup as they prepare for this weekend’s final, bidding to win the crown for the first time in 79 years.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder