Tim Sherwood believes Tottenham must foster a mentality that favors youth over big-money signings.
Spurs spent over 100 million euros on seven players last summer following the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, with the money splashed by former boss Andre Villas-Boas and technical director Franco Baldini. However, Villas-Boas struggled to mold the players into a coherent team and Sherwood was appointed following the Portuguese's sacking in December.
Sherwood was handed an 18-month contract upon his appointment but has had to contend with persistent rumors linking the likes of Louis van Gaal, Frank De Boer and Mauricio Pochettino to the White Hart Lane hot seat.
The former Blackburn Rovers captain - who has handed first-team chances to the likes of Nabil Bentaleb and Harry Kane - understands the speculation but believes should a new manager be appointed, he must favor youth over experience, with De Boer an “interesting one.”
“Frank De Boer is an interesting one because he is an Ajax man, and everyone employed by Ajax is an Ajax person,” he told The Independent. “Can we try to emulate what he does there, bringing the kids through at Tottenham? Fantastic, I wish we could do it. You have to educate the fans to do that first and foremost.
“The fans at Tottenham want signings, they always have since Ossie Ardiles’ time. You have to educate the fans to take a step back. I have always believed that your best players are your homegrown. You might get a [Cristiano] Ronaldo but you have to pay for them.
“Over time your best players are homegrown. Look at Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville. Even at Tottenham it’s Glenn Hoddle. They really care about the club. At Ajax, homegrown players are given more time. Here it is the other way round.”
Sherwood insists his relationship with chairman Daniel Levy is good, but admits he is “untried” at the highest level – hence his short-term deal – though he has sounded a warning that any possible successor “might not fit” at the club.
“He [Levy] wants the club to do well,” he said. “He really, really does. He cares for the club. And I believe he wants me to do well. I would like it [the contract] to be 10 years but I am realistic enough to know this is a dress rehearsal.
“I am untried. What I would say is there is no guarantee [about the alternatives]. Someone could win 19 trophies elsewhere and they might not fit at Tottenham. The club has to fit the manager and you don’t know until you bring them in. But they have a better idea with me than with anyone else.”
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- Frank De Boer
- Mauricio Pochettino