Whilst Tim Sherwood’s future as Tottenham hangs in the balance, one factor which is certainly is in his favour is his willingness to give youth a chance and also his decision to make team selections based on form rather than reputation. Something Sandro is probably feeling less than happy about right now.
Sherwood’s willingness to promote from within and give younger players a chance is certainly a result of his having being a coach at the club. Promoting a manager from within the club then results in players being promoted from the youth set up to the first team.
Nabil Bentaleb, the Algerian 19 year old holding midfielder was the first to prosper from Sherwood’s youthful policy and has become a firm fixture in Sherwood’s Spurs side making 13 appearances so far this season. However, despite good performances he has not featured since the 4-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool.
Sherwood has turned to another youngster as he has returned to the 4-4-2, system, or variations of, which he used when he first began his tenure as manager at White Hart Lane. The first time around that system saw Emmanuel Adebayor prosper and look like the world class player he was once considered to be. In its second reincarnation it is Harry Kane, the 20 year old English striker who is taking the chance he has been afforded. The fact that a 20 year old is keeping out Soldado, a player Spurs signed for in excess of £20m in the summer, speaks volumes of the performances of the youngster, but also of the torrid performances of Soldado.
The Spanish striker has failed to find his feet in his first season at White Hart Lane, Soldado has managed just 6 goals in the Premier League so far this season, just two of which have been from open play, the other 4 have been penalties. Soldado has also provided 5 assists for his team mates and averaged 2.1 shots per game.
In contrast, Harry Kane has scored 3 Premier League goals so far this season, all of which have come in his last 3 starts. Given Kane’s performances and prolificacy, coupled with Sherwood’s penchant for selecting his team based on form, it looks as though Kane will continue to get chances as the season draws to a close.
Kane’s 3 goals make him Spurs’ 6th highest goal scorer this season, a total he’ll certainly be looking to add to in the remaining three fixtures. He also averages 2.6 shots per game, the highest in the squad, although the fact he has played fewer games is a factor in that, which speaks of the confidence he has in himself and his ability to take chances. From his 18 shots this season to have scored 3 goals shows he has a clinical edge in front of goal.
Two of Kane’s three goals have been headers, he wins 1.4 headers per game on average, and the other was a finish from close range. Although the goals have not been remarkable they demonstrate more, they show that he has the positional sense, which will always guarantee goals.
Undoubtedly, Kane has profited from the fact that Tottenham’s season has dwindled out to some extent. Where they more than outsiders in the race for fourth place Kane may not have been offered the chances that he has. However, he has more than justified his selection and he will continue to grow in stature and confidence in the coming weeks.
Should he continue to score at anywhere near the rate he is currently, Kane will certainly have a large number of suitors should Spurs wish to loan out the striker next season. That decision will rest with whoever the manager is next season, should it be Sherwood you imagine Kane would continue to be given chances, if not his performances at the back end of this season have shown he is certainly worth considering for a starting position.
Statistics courtesy of whoscored.com