With the build-up to the World Cup hotting up and the season a third of the way through, Fair Betting Sites caught up with past Premier League winner Tim Sherwood.
We asked the former Spurs boss for his England World Cup starting XI – and Pickford WASN’T in goal, while Sherwood feels any manager NOT playing Grealish and Foden is missing a trick.
Tim believes Forest and Bournemouth are doomed in the Premier League this season and it could be Southampton or Wolves joining them for the drop, while he also feels his title-winning Blackburn side of 95 would mix it in today’s Premier League – with Shearer the Haaland of the 90’s!
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- Conte Could Leave If No Silverware Or Top Four This Season
- Conte Needs To Commit Future Before Spurs Spend
- Kane To See Out His Career At Spurs
- Newcastle Big Top Four Contenders
- City To Win The League and European Cup
- Emery A Top Appointment For Villa
- Brazil World Cup Side Like The Harlem Globetrotters
- Only A World Cup Win For England Will Be Classed As A Success
- Forest and Bournemouth For Drop – Wolves & Southampton Could Join Them
- Foden and Grealish Special Talents That Need To Figure At World Cup
- Maddison Should Be On The World Cup Plane
- Shearer The Haaland Of The 90’s
Q: What do you think the reason is for Tottenham’s slow starts to games?
Tim Sherwood: “It’s a head-scratcher for me. Their slow starts to games can only be one of two things.
Either Conte is wanting his players to set up at the start of the game in a pragmatic way and then chase the game to play on the break. Or, if that’s not the instruction, then his players are just not listening to him.
For me, Spurs have to start winning the games against the top sides and the teams in and around them if they want to challenge for the title or cement their place in the top four.”
Q: You spoke of Antonio Conte setting up in a negative fashion – BUT what would you like to see done differently?
Tim Sherwood: “Nothing – why should he change the way he’s always managed. When you employ Conte as manager, you know exactly what you’re getting – bodies behind the ball and counter attacking football.
But he’s a very successful manager that brings trophies to wherever he’s been and hopefully he can bring trophies to Tottenham.
However, at previous clubs he’s always had a lot of money to spend and has been able to get the owners to spend too – so he’s had his work cut out with the Spurs chairman, but – to be fair – he didn’t do too badly in the summer transfer window.
I like Conte as a manager – yes, I don’t like the style of football he likes to play, but he’s not there to be pretty and bring any youth academy players through – he’s there to win and we’ll see how he does at the end of the season.
If he doesn’t win anything or secure a top four finish, I don’t see Conte being there after this season – but I don’t see Spurs sacking him.“
Q: Some Spurs fans booed off the players at half time, do you think they are overreacting with the club still in the top four?
Tim Sherwood: “If you’ve just landed from the moon and seen Spurs fourth in the league and in the knockout stages of the Champions League – you’d say they’ve done well.
But, the reality is we’ve all watched it and I just feel we are papering over the cracks a bit.
Spurs fans are not stupid – Mourhino took Spurs to top of the table at Xmas when he was in charge, but look what happened to him as soon as the results started to go the other way – the fans turned on him.
I’m not suggesting Conte is Mourhino, as he still looks hungry and shows passion on the touchline.
However, Spurs fans are just reacting to what they are watching. Unfortunately that place (Spurs) demands a style of play that Conte won’t deliver – he’s not going to change and why would he after being so successful guiding teams the way he has.”
Q: Do you think Conte will stay at Spurs if they miss out on top four or do not win silverware?
Tim Sherwood: “I listen to Conte carefully and him saying he needs some help in the transfer market – but if he’s not going to commit to the club, then why would you give him any money to spend.
He needs to have a conversation with the owners and they need to know – is he staying for the long-haul?
If so, the owners can then persuade their top player to stay and recruit more.
But, Conte has already done well in the transfer market with Bentancur and Kulusevski both being excellent, so that should give the owners more confidence.”
Q: Where do you think Tottenham will finish this season?
Tim Sherwood: “I can see a top 4 finish and it will be a major disappointment if they don’t – but everyone is fighting for the same prize.
Man City will win the league, then it’s hard to not see Arsenal being in the top four.
What’s more nagging for the Spurs fans – is the way Arsenal are playing this season – they are brave, the manager trusts his players, they are entertaining and go toe-to-toe with whoever they face. Plus, they are top of the league.
Liverpool will start coming in the second half of the season, but haven’t been impressed with them. Man Utd and surely Chelsea have to get better and Newcastle have to be challengers for the top 4 too.
I think Eddie Howe, at Newcastle, has bought well. He’s been very astute with his signings and might get a few more in January, while he’s also improved the players that were there anyway.
In short, there’s probably seven teams trying to get into 4 places, so it’s going to be difficult, but Spurs certainly have a chance.”
Q: Harry Kane was rumoured to want to move to Man City, do you think he will regret that decision after seeing Erling Haaland’s success?
Tim Sherwood: “Every striker in the world, when looking at Man City, will be green with envy with the support acts he has. The service he’s got would be a joy for an offensive player to play in the current City side.
City are the best team in the world. And the have the best manager in the world.”
Q: If you were managing a team, would you rather have Haaland or Kane?
Tim Sherwood: “I’d have them both!“
Q: Do you think Kane will be at Spurs for the rest of his career?
Tim Sherwood: “I can’t see Harry going to any other Premier League side. He’s not interested in the money – his motivation is about winning trophies.
Outside of Man City – who is nailed on to win trophies? But, Spurs have as good a chance as any.
Unless he wants to try and go abroad – wherever that may be – I’d never say never, but I doubt he’ll want to play abroad at this moment in time.
I see Kane seeing his career out at Tottenham. I think it depends a lot on the manager though – I think Harry likes Conte but he might not commit his future until he knows what the manager is going to do.”
Q: Who would you like to see Spurs sign in January?
Tim Sherwood: “I can’t see them spending a lot of money in January. If I was the owner I wouldn’t until Conte commits his future further.
I wouldn’t want to waste money on players that a potential new manager might not fancy.
The main ingredient to all this is Antonio committing his future to the club for a longer period – then I think they will buy more.”
Q: Do you think Spurs can get past AC Milan?
Tim Sherwood: “Yes, I think Conte has the best record of any manager when facing AC Milan – so when the draw came out I’m sure Conte was jumping up and down. In short, the draw could have been a lot worse.”
Q: Who do you think will win the Champions League this season?
Tim Sherwood: “If Spurs can’t win it, then I really hope it’s City – I love the way they entertain – love the manager and best we’ve ever seen in the Premier League.
But I’ve been with City for the last four years and always failed, but this year with Haaland up front and his specialist subject scoring goals in the Champions League that might be the missing part of the jigsaw when it comes to City and winning the Champions League.”
Q: What do you think about the news that Liverpool have been put up for sale?
Tim Sherwood: “IT all depends on who the buyers are really, I’m sure it will be very attractive for a lot of potential buyers.”
Q: Do you think Jurgen Klopp will leave Liverpool this season?
Tim Sherwood: “No one is sacking him! The only way he’s leaving is if Klopp decides he’s taken them as far as he can.
He’s done so well for them – the fans and players buy into him and it would be very wrong for him to be sacked.”
Q: How would the Blackburn title-winning side of 95 fare in today’s Prem?
Tim Sherwood: “It’s hard to tell with different generations – but I’d like to think we’d be very competitive.
We played different styles, we could play football or have a fight with any team. We had the package, we had a group of leaders in the team who could find a way of getting over the line and obviously we had the best centre forward (Shearer) the league has ever seen.
We had the Haaland of the 90’s!”
Q: Aston Villa won their first game with Unai Emery, how do you think he will fare there?
Tim Sherwood: “He’s a very good appointment – the best possible person who was out there at the time. He did well at Arsenal and got unfairly ridiculed – I think he was close to achieving a lot there.
I would have loved to see Pochettino go there and take on that project, but Emery is a very decent manager.
Emery went off after Arsenal and did well in Europe, is back in the Premier League now and back at a huge club. He probably didn’t realise just how big the club is before he walked in the door – but he does now.
It’s a special place there and I really hope he can build something and they give him the opportunity. They’ve got the finances and certainly got the fanbase and now have a manager that is willing to buy into a project.”
Q: Premier League Relegation Thoughts?
Tim Sherwood: “Forest and Bournemouth have little chance of staying up in my opinion, then it’s out of Southampton and Wolves for the other spot.
Fulham will be fine – they’ve done great and have good players while I believe they’ve learnt their lessons from when they came up before.”
Q: How will England fare in the upcoming World Cup?
Tim Sherwood: “England will be getting through the group stage as normal, then it gets tricky. We’ve got the offensive players to cause any team a lot of problems.
I’m not sure Southgate will set them up in the way that will excite everyone, but he’s done a good job till now (semi final and final), but needs to go the extra step this time.
I would like to see them die on their sword and have a real go and go down fighting, but I’m not sure Southgate will set them up like that.
For me this is possibly Gareth’s last tournament so he might as well have a go – don’t die wondering.”
Q: What Stage should they reach for it to be classed as a success for Southgate?
Tim Sherwood: “Is it good to finish in the semi and class that as a success? No one remembers the semi final teams, they only remember the winners, he needs to go for it and win it really for it to be deemed a successful World Cup.”
Q: Do you think England’s WC betting odds are fair at around 8/1?
Tim Sherwood: “Yeah, they are fair – possibly just a bit on the short side.”
Q: Who do you think will win the World Cup?
Tim Sherwood: “If I’m betting with my own money I’m backing Brazil. When you see their squad it’s like the Harlem Globetrotters!! An incredible squad of players and if they can knit it all together they will take some stopping.”
Q: What would your starting XI be for the first game?
Tim Sherwood: “My starting 11 won’t be the same as Gareth’s – obviously, but if I was the manager it would look like this.
Ramsdale, James, Walker, Stones, Shaw, Rice, Bellingham, Mount, Grealish, Foden, Kane.
Saka is unlucky and really putting his hand up for a start for me.
Stones and Walker are our best partnership at the centre back – being they know each other’s game.
James and Shaw find the game easy and even though Shaw’s decision making can let him down at times, I’d still have him.
Rice is the best holding midfielder – he’s responsible and knows limitations.
Bellingham, over the last few friendlies, has cemented his place in the team.
Mount you have to have in the team, as he gets up and down, scores goals and creates too.
I also feel, if you name a team without Foden and Grealish in then you’ve missed a trick. These boys don’t come around often and are special – if they were in the Brazil squad they’d be playing for Brazil!!
Kane – speaks for himself.
Maddison – can’t do anymore than what he’s doing. I admire him as when Leicester were poor he was the one shining light they had.
He showed a lot of character and knuckled down during that period so he’s just unfortunate as there are so many good players in his position. But I do think Maddison should be on the plane – I really do.”
Q: Do you think Gareth Southgate is the best man to take England to the World Cup?
Tim Sherwood: “Yes – you’ve got to have faith and trust him.”
Q: Who do you see as a promising manager who could be the next England boss?
Tim Sherwood: “Eddie Howe would be my first choice and Potter has claims too. As mentioned I’ve been impressed with Newcastle this season and what Eddie Howe is doing there, so he’d have to be a big contender. “
Q: Who do you think will be a player that will have an outstanding World Cup we should look out for?
Tim Sherwood: “I’m unsure he plays, but, for me, I think Jack Grealish and Foden are two special players – and another player we’ve got that’s coming to the front is Jude Bellingham. If getting the chance, this trio can have a cracking World Cup.”
Q: With the WC coming in the winter – do you feel we might see a funny second half of the Prem Season – some players burnt out, others having a month off to rest up etc?
Tim Sherwood: “Man City can cope with injuries as they’ve shown in the past they can win the Prem without a centre forward.
So, the sides with the deep squads will be fine – yes, it will be like a ghost town at City’s training ground during the World Cup, but they will still be too strong when the league action returns.
Southampton look set to only have a couple of players at the World Cup – so anyone that wants to go in there and work with the players has a real chance during this period as it would be like a mini-pre season.
Other sides, like Newcastle, could benefit from the break and kick on again in January, especially if they buy a few more too.”