LONDON (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood ended the season with a laugh on Sunday when he beckoned a fan from the stands, offered him his trademark gilet body-warmer to wear and let him sit on the bench.
Sherwood, whose future at the club is in considerable doubt, beckoned fan Danny Grimsdale from the crowd at White Hart Lane and then offered him his seat during the 3-0 Premier League win over Aston Villa.
Sherwood told reporters that Grimsdale, who sits near the dugout, often yelled out, telling him where he was going wrong.
”The guy’s an expert, seriously. Every week he tells me what to do. So I gave him the opportunity to do the job. He bottled it at first but then he swallowed it. It was just good banter.
“There were a couple I could have picked. We’ve got the police looking for him because he’s nicked the gilet. But it’s fine, he can have it,” he joked.
While Spurs failed to achieve their target of a top-four finish and Champions League football, Sunday’s victory did clinch sixth place and a spot in next season’s Europa League although Sherwood is unlikely to be at the club much longer.
Despite signing an 18-month deal when he was promoted from head of youth development after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked in December, Spurs have been repeatedly linked with other managers including Frank de Boer of Ajax Amsterdam and Southampton’s Mauricio Pochettino.
Sherwood, a former Spurs player who won the Premier league title as a midfielder with Blackburn Rovers, has not been given any public backing by chairman Daniel Levy who did not refer to him in his end-of-season message to supporters.
Levy, though, did criticise the way Tottenham had played this season after they bought seven new players last summer with the proceeds of Gareth Bale’s sale to Real Madrid for a world record fee of 86 million pounds.
”The new signings in the summer had the effect of raising expectations and we all started the season with high hopes, yet the players undoubtedly needed time to adapt to a new league.
”We were also forced to make managerial changes, which is far from ideal mid-season.
”Our sense of falling short, felt by all, including the players, is based on some poor performances during the season and knowing we have not performed at the level we know we could have done.
“Even in games where we gained maximum points, our football was not always what we have come to expect and associate with our club.”
Spurs finished the season with an easy win thanks to first half goals from Paulinho, an own goal from Nathan Baker and a penalty from Emmanuel Adebayor.
Sherwood told Sky Sports he wanted his position clarified as soon as possible adding that while he had started making pre-season plans, he was not sure he would get to implement them.
”Myself, Chris Ramsey and Les Ferdinand stepped up from the development team to come into the position to take over the first-team and overall we’re happy with what we’ve done,“ he said. ”I‘m not sure if we could have done any more to be honest.
”It’ll be nice to get the situation clarified and then we can look to pre-season and targets for next season as well. You need to get to work on those targets. There’s no point in me giving those targets and someone else would have a different opinion.
”It’s been a great learning curve for me. The one thing I have learned about football - it’s all about winning. And if you win it covers up a multitude of sins. It’s totally about winning - it’s an impulsive game.
“People who don’t know the game make impulsive decisions and that’s what they continue to do unfortunately.”
Reporting by Mike Collett; Editing by Ken Ferris