Tim Sherwood is by far the front-runner for the Queens Park Rangers managerial position vacated by Harry Redknapp at a microscopic 1/10.
But can the 45-year-old land odds of 21/20 be steering west Londoners free of the relegation mire?
There’s only the evidence of Sherwood’s short tenure in charge of Tottenham to go on and it’s to that evidence that news.bwin.com turn.
While it doesn’t take a football oracle to work out Rangers are not as blessed with quite as much talent as the Lilywhites it’s undoubtedly an experiment worth conducting and one that seems to have mainly optimistic outcomes.
Exhibit A: The bare form
Sherwood’s endearingly attack-minded purism meant that draws were scarce during his time at White Hart Lane, with points more often gained than lost through a lack of pragmatism.
If he was able to come close to emulating those win/draw/loss percentages at Loftus Road the R’s would likely end up comfortably free of the drop zone, even if some drop off for having less quality at his disposal is factored in.
The graphic below illustrates where how QPR would finish the season if Sherwood’s Spurs percentages were applied.
Exhibit B: Inability to win away
Rangers’ major malfunction is so obvious that even Paul Scholes has pointed it out in his Independent column, saying:
“QPR’s obvious problem this season has been their away form of played 11, lost 11.”
Sherwood’s road ledger at Spurs saw him his willingness to risk a point for three punished by the division’s leading sides but profitable against lesser foes, with Swansea, Newcastle and Stoke bested away from the Lane.
It seems like a positive portent given the R’s will near-exclusively be travelling to relegation rivals over the remainder of the league campaign.
Exhibit C: Diversity of goalscoring sources
Reliance on Charlie Austin, who has bagged 13 of QPR’s 21 league goals this term, is a major affliction that Sherwood’s spell at Spurs doesn’t necessarily suggest he will remedy.
Emmanuel Adebayor was his Austin in north London, so it may be worth Rangers fans of all denominations praying for his wellbeing over the season’s remaining months of the campaign.
Exhibit D: A preference for 4-4-2
Sherwood had an old-fashioned affinity for the 4-4-2 that saw him play two up top for the first seven games of his Tottenham tenure and regularly revisit it during the remainder of the season.
This could well prove a boon for the Super Hoops who have achieved their best returns in the time-honoured formation this term, as illustrated below.