Football Expert & Columnist
Tim Sherwood: Tottenham boss can only be judged once he has entered the transfer market
Former Spurs player must also discover whether last summer's signings can cut it
Last Updated: 25/03/14 11:53am
It is rare to see a young coach who has never managed before get a job as high-profile as the one at Tottenham, so I'm sure he realises what a great opportunity he has been given and wants to make the most if it.
Sherwood is very passionate and seems in no doubt of his ability to lead Spurs in the long term - though he probably has to come across as confident with someone who has achieved as much as Louis van Gaal being mentioned as an alternative.
I would like to see Tim get the job for the foreseeable future because he has got some good results this year - the wins at Man United and Newcastle spring to mind - and it is always hard to judge a manager when he comes in midseason and doesn't have his squad.
Things weren't plain sailing for Liverpool in Brendan Rodgers' first season in charge but he was allowed to bed in and sign people he really wanted, and my old club have really kicked on this season.
Sherwood knows the fabric of Tottenham and could really build something at White Hart Lane if he is given time, though his job could be made tougher if, as looks likely, they end up playing Thursday-night football again next year.
I think three defeats in four over the last month has put Champions League qualification beyond Spurs, but between fourth and seventh is where they should be finishing so I don't think they are doing too bad.
Emmanuel Adebayor has come in since Sherwood took over and I think his physicality has made Tottenham harder to deal with in attacking areas than when they had Roberto Soldado up front on his own.
Sherwood has shuffled around with two up top and one in the hole but Adebayor has been the constant presence, scoring 11 goals in his 18 games since getting back into the first XI.
But other than that and the emergence of Nabil Bentaleb, who has looked very promising in the middle of midfield, there haven't been massive changes for Tottenham since Andre Villas-Boas was sacked.
I do, though, think Sherwood feels more confident about leaving the summer signings out, whereas Villas-Boas, probably because he played a part in getting them, was under more pressure to start them.
A lot of the new guys look neat and tidy, especially Christian Eriksen, whether he has played as a No. 10 or from the left.
But they all need to prove they can make a long-lasting impact in the Premier League and that will be their challenge if they are there next season.
That is what Maurico Pochettino seems to be doing at Southampton.
He was fantastic after taking over from Nigel Adkins in the last campaign, has been even better this year and has some of the form players in the country playing for him, so he must be in with a shout for Manager of the Season.
Southampton are packed with home-grown lads, like Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw, and going to St Mary's is now one of the toughest games of the season as you know their movement and pressing can hurt you.
But they are excellent on the road, too, losing just five of their 15 away games and winning three and drawing one of their last five, so Sunday's match will be a tough test for Tottenham.