Prior to Tottenham’s game against West Ham, Tim Sherwood only had one requirement for his side: to give their all in Saturday’s London derby.
The interim manager, who will be replaced at the end of the season, said of his team: "I've picked a side that will put their bodies on the line and fight for Spurs. I've told them to be up for the battle"
Yet with Spurs already losing 1-0 and down to 10 men following a red card to Younes Kaboul, Sherwood bore witness to one of the most embarrassing incidents of cowardice ever seen in the Premier League.
Defending a free-kick from Stewart Downing, all Spurs had to do was keep a tight wall, but as the winger unleashed his shot, both Emmanuel Adebayor and Paulinho lamentably moved out of the way of the ball to avoid harm, creating the perfect gap.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris gestured angrily at his two team-mates even before he had picked himself up from the ground having failed to keep Downing’s effort out.
Embarrassment is etched all over Adebayor’s face in the video seen above, with the striker looking at Paulinho in accusatory fashion before realising he is just as culpable.
The behaviour of the two players was really unforgivable. Sherwood has his detractors but what can he hope to achieve if Tottenham’s highly-paid stars are guilty of such dereliction of duty?
Sherwood – who has not been afraid to publicly criticise his players this season – was remarkably restrained, saying: “It wasn’t great but I spoke to them. They don’t ned me to point it out, they know it’s an error.”
An error that seems symbolic of Tottenham’s lack of fight this season.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tim Sherwood
- Younes Kaboul
- Emmanuel Adebayor