• Premier League

Arsenal's title bid has cracks - Sherwood

ESPN staff
March 17, 2014
Tim Sherwood writes off Tottenham's top-four chances

Tim Sherwood insists Arsenal's victory against Tottenham will do little more than "paper over the cracks" of their title bid.

The 1-0 win gave Arsene Wenger's side a much-needed fillip in their Premier League campaign after they had taken only four points from the last 12 available.

But, after Tomas Rosicky's early goal, the victory was notable more for the way they withstood a dominant Spurs side than for an overall impressive showing.

Heading for a final day decider?

  • The title race has been decided on the final on six occasions in the Premier League era and Tomas Rosicky thinks the seventh is looming. Manchester United, for once, will not be involved.
  • 1994-95: United trail Blackburn by two points going into the final day. Rovers lose at Liverpool, but Sir Alex Ferguson's men can only draw at West Ham.
  • 1995-96: United, two points clear of Newcastle, win comfortably at Middlesbrough to deny Kevin Keegan's side, who themselves could only manage a draw at home to Spurs.
  • 1998-99: Leading Arsenal by a single point going into the final round of games, United edged Spurs at Old Trafford to claim the title - just days before adding the FA Cup and Champions League to the trophy cabinet.
  • 2007-08: For the first time, two teams went into the final day locked on the same number of points - but while United went to Wigan and won comfortably, Chelsea were held at home by Bolton.
  • 2009-10: Two years later Chelsea and United again went nose-to-nose, but with the opposite result. United needed their rivals to drop points at home to Wigan. Instead, Carlo Ancelotti's men won 8-0.
  • 2011-12: Manchesters City and United entered the final day on 86 points. United won at Sunderland and, as the final whistle blew at the Stadium Light, City were being held by QPR. We all know what happened next.

Wenger praised his team's resilience and the and goalscorer Rosicky predicted Arsenal will have until the last game of the season to secure the Premier League crown.

However, Sherwood was unimpressed. The Spurs head coach said: "The result for Arsenal will paper over a lot of cracks, they were outplayed and they've got to admit that.

"We've outplayed Arsenal and they're title contenders. No one can say we deserved to lose that game. If the players give me that between now and the end of the season, no problem, we'll be where we need to be."

Sherwood was seen throwing the ball at Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna in the second half but he was unrepentant.

"I just want to wear my heart on my sleeve," he said. "That's me. It might get me in trouble at times - I'm sure it will. I can't apologise for it and I can't say it won't ever happen again. I don't even know why I was angry!

"Every manager would be the same, but I suppose I show it more than others. If we were all the same then this world would be very boring.

"I've got to show my emotions. If I didn't then I'd be acting, and there's too many actors in this game."

Sherwood also threw his gilet at the dugout in anger at one point but, despite that frustration and the fact Spurs have now lost three games in a row, he had few complaints with his side's effort.

"After going behind so early in the game, you fear the worse but they did me proud today," he said. "They stuck together and took the game to Arsenal.

"To be honest, I am a winner. I want to win and I would rather play bad and win the game. Anyone that saw that game today will know we didn't deserve to lose that.

"They had one shot in the second half, when Mertesacker forced Hugo Lloris into a good save. They came here to counter-attack and that is a credit to us. They did that pretty well in the first half but the boys stuck to their guns, we showed some quality.

"We should have scored, it's as simple as that. When we score, we go on to win the game because the momentum would have taken us there. The crowd were fantastic, stuck with us all the way today and you would expect that when they are seeing the boys give that sort of effort."

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