• Europa League

Van Gaal is 'destined' for England

ESPN staff
March 20, 2014
Spurs have nothing to lose

Tim Sherwood says Louis van Gaal is "obviously destined" to manage in England after the Holland coach again made a play for a Premier League job.

The Dutchman is expected by many to replace Tottenham head coach Sherwood after the World Cup, but he is also believed to be taking a keen interest in developments at Manchester united.

No respect for Jesus

Tim Sherwood says he wears his heart on his sleeve © Getty Images
  • Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood will shake the hand of Benfica boss Jorge Jesus when the final whistle sounds in his side's Europa League tie in Portugal on Thursday, but joked he would love to be in a position to show the Portuguese tactician a rude victory gesture, too.
  • The pair clashed on the White Hart Lane touchline after Jesus waved three fingers in the direction of his counterpart when Benfica scored their third goal to establish a 3-1 first leg lead in the tie.
  • The ill-feeling lingers has lingered and Sherwood has clearly not forgiven the Benfica coach.
  • "I know exactly where he was coming from and I know what I saw," Sherwood said. "I have got no respect for the man. I've got respect for the football club and I've got respect for his players.
  • "Benfica is a huge club and we've had a lot of emails from Benfica fans apologising for their manager's behaviour. At the end of the day, I will shake his hand, because they are a giant of a club."
  • For his part, Jesus played down the spat, insisting it is "water under the bridge," but Sherwood, asked what he would do if his side pulled off the improbable against Benfica, he joked: "Would I put five fingers up at him? Maybe just one."

Van Gaal said this week that his ambition is to manage a top Premier League team but Sherwood was defiant the move would not come at his expense.

"He is obviously destined to manage in England," Sherwood said. "He has got a good track record, he is a good manager and I'm sure he'll get his opportunity: he's been shouting loud enough for it."

The former midfielder appeared more confident than ever that his job is safe. "I believe I'll be here next year," he said. "I'm planning for next season. These players are playing for their futures here and I want to be part of this club moving forward."

Sherwood has previously said he did not expect to remain in charge at Spurs if he failed to live up to the club's lofty ambitions for this season.

His side's hopes of a top four finish in the Premier League have all-but gone and, as they face Benfica on Thursday needing to overturn a 3-1 first-leg Europa League deficit, he cannot claim to be talking from a position of strength.

A hat-trick of defeats against Chelsea, Benfica and Arsenal have put a huge dent in Tottenham's hopes of success in two competitions, with their ambitions to pull off an unlikely revival as they travel to Portugal hit by an injury and suspension crisis.

Sherwood will become the first Spurs manager since David Pleat in 2004 to lose four games in a row if Tottenham lose on Thursday and they take on the Portuguese side without Michael Dawson, Vlad Chiriches, Younes Kaboul and Kyle Walker.

Jan Vertonghen's suspension has compounded the selection problems for the Spurs coaching staff and Sherwood has had to turn to the club's youth team to bolster his squad.

Midfielder Joshua Onomah, 16, and Scotland Under-21s goalkeeper Jordan Archer have made the trip but the head coach hopes he will not have to call on them.

"Some of these boys are apprentices," Sherwood said. "These boys are young kids, nowhere near ready to play in Tottenham's first team, but it's needs must. They are next in line to play. We have got a crippling injury list back at home. It really is severe and we're having to bring these boys."

Editor's note: This story and its headline has been updated from the original after a misquoting error

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