Former Spurs manager Tim Sherwood has revealed that a deal for him to move to Arsenal in 1996 was done, but the arrival of Arsene Wenger scuppered those plans, The Guardian reports.
Bruce Rioch was the manager who wanted to bring Sherwood in, with the Aston Villa boss awaiting a phone call to confirm the deal.
Instead, he was told that Rioch had been sacked and that the new boss wanted to pursue his own targets; including two French midfielders many in England hadn’t heard of.
In a wide-ranging interview, Sherwood also felt the need to address whether or not he is indeed an Arsenal fan, but was rather evasive in his answer.
“We lived in Harpenden, in Hertfordshire, and it was summer time and I’d been talking to [Bruce],” Sherwood revealed.
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“The deal, for me, was done. We never spoke money, but it was Arsenal. I thought he was calling me to say what time to go to [Arsenal training ground] London Colney but he was ringing me to say he’d been sacked.
“They got rid of him and brought in some guy called Arsène Wenger. And he signed two players called [Patrick] Vieira and [Emmanuel] Petit, who no one had ever heard of. I was going: ‘Who are they?'”
Well, Tim. They turned out to be two of the finest midfielders of their generation, and players whose boots you weren’t fit to lace. The Aston Villa boss was probed regarding his allegiances and refused to confirm if he was indeed an Arsenal fan.
“I was from Boreham Wood, so you either supported Tottenham or Arsenal … and I just supported football, can I say that?”
Sherwood has enjoyed a successful end to the season after guiding Aston Villa to Premier League safety; however, considering that our aggregate score in the Premier League this season against his side stands at 8-0, we should be considered overwhelming favourites to retain the trophy.
Since the FA Cup final returned to Wembley in 2007, each final has been decided by a single goal – which indicates that our game against Villa will be tight.
The key to victory will be to score first and eliminate potentially being on the receiving end of their counter-attacks.
We have the chance to become the most decorated team in this competition’s history (via the Mirror) – a major feat.