Tottenham Hotspur Fires Coach Tim Sherwood After Finishing Sixth

Premier League soccer team Tottenham Hotspur fired coach Tim Sherwood after he took the club to a sixth-place finish following a tenure of less than five months.

The 45-year-old, who had been technical coordinator, was given an 18-month contract when he replaced the dismissed Andre Villas-Boas in late December. The north London team finished one spot higher than when Sherwood assumed the post and two places below the Champions League qualification positions.

“We appointed Tim mid-season as someone who knew both the players and the club,” Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement on the team website today. “We agreed an 18-month contract with a break clause at the end of the season and we have now exercised that option.”

Levy thanked Sherwood “for all his efforts during his years with us.”

Sherwood had initially been in interim charge after Villas-Boas was fired Dec. 16, a day after a 5-0 home loss to Liverpool. It was a first managerial role for Sherwood, who captained Blackburn Rovers to the Premier League title in 1995. He also played for clubs including Watford, Norwich and Tottenham.

“We have a talented squad and exciting young players coming through,” Levy added in the club statement. “We need to build on this season, develop our potential and inspire the kind of performances that we associate with our great club.”

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino and Frank de Boer of Ajax have been mentioned as possible successors to Sherwood in media reports including the Evening Standard.

Tottenham sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for about 85 million pounds ($143 million) last year and brought in players including Paulinho, Nacer Chadli, Roberto Soldado and Christian Eriksen. Even so, the new arrivals failed to knit together as hoped and, amid sometimes public criticism of his team by Sherwood, the club slipped from last season’s fifth-place finish.

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