Could Tim Sherwood steer QPR to Premier League survival?
Former Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood is the front-runner to succeed Harry Redknapp at Loftus Road, following the 67-year-old’s sensational decision to quit as manager of QPR.
The relegation-threatened Hoops, 11/10 with Coral to stay up, are struggling haplessly in this season’s Premier League and are second from bottom, currently a point adrift of safety.
Redknapp revealed that he needed to undergo knee surgery, citing that his injury was the sole reason behind stepping down from the west London outfit.
Sherwood, heavily odds-on at 1/8 to become next QPR boss, has been outlined as the man to takeover from Redknapp’s reign and help the hapless Hoops steer clear of an immediate drop to the Championship.
The 45-year-old undertook his first-ever top-flight managerial role in December 2013, as he was appointed as head coach at White Hart Lane, leading Spurs to a sixth place finish that season, and Europa League qualification, before being sacked the following summer.
After initially being placed as interim head coach, a victory over Southampton was enough to impress the Tottenham hierarchy for Sherwood to get the role until the end of last season.
When taking over from Andre Villas-Boas, Spurs were already sitting in a healthy position in the domestic league table, but his next managerial move should prove to be a tougher task, as QPR lie worryingly in the drop zone.
Should Sherwood take over, the no-nonsense Londoner will have to make an immediate impact, similar to his start at White Hart Lane when he lead Spurs to three victories and a draw in his first four games in charge, before crashing to heavy defeats against Arsenal and Manchester City.
Before departing from his former employers, Sherwood confidently stated that he was the best manager the club had ever seen. Despite being given the boot only months later, the confident coach was statistically correct, as he guided Spurs to a better win percentage in his first 10 games in charge than under any other previous boss.
This also included a much higher overall win percentage than club favourite Redknapp, who led Tottenham to their highest-ever Premier League finish, although he was involved in a vastly greater amount of matches.
QPR’s persistent problem this campaign has been their atrocious away form, having lost all 11 games on the road, and this would be Sherwood’s most difficult job of turning that worrying record around.
However, Sherwood’s determined attitude was echoed in his former Spurs squad, as he picked up five wins and lost only four of his away games in charge, showing a true grit on his travels which the Hoops have lacked this season.
Sherwood has the bold approach and no-nonsense style that could potentially keep QPR up this term, and he could be boosted by a former member of his staff being appointed as the club’s director of football.
Les Ferdinand was part of Sherwood’s coaching team at Tottenham last season, but left in the summer and resurfaced at Loftus Road in October 2014, and is now on hand to aid him, should Tony Fernandes appoint him as anticipated
With the Hoops also confirming coaches Glenn Hoddle and Joe Jordan have left following the departure of Redknapp, Sherwood could relish the chance to implement a whole new set-up under his watch, in a bid to secure QPR’s top-flight status.
QPR are odds-on 8/13 to be relegated this term after a run of six league games without a win.