Spurs nightmare: could an old Arsenal legend rescue them?

West Ham defeat adds to Tottenham's woes, as De Boer and Bergkamp emerge as managerial option

LAST UPDATED AT 09:15 ON Thu 19 Dec 2013

Tottenham 1 West Ham United 2. These are woeful days at White Hart Lane. Thrashed 5-0 at home by Liverpool on Sunday, Spurs responded by sacking their manager the following day. Tim Sherwood  was appointed the short-term successor to Andre Villas-Boas but in his first game in charge he saw his side bounced out of the League cup by lowly West Ham. Not only that but Andros Townsend limped off with a hamstring injury and is likely to miss Tottenham's busy Christmas schedule that features four league games between now and New Year's Day, including clashes with Southampton and Manchester United. 

The evening had started well for the Lilywhites with Emmanuel Adebayor giving them the lead on 67 minutes with a sweet volley – his first goal for the club since May. But the Hammers hit back late on, Matt Jarvis levelling on 80 minutes and Modibo Maiga grabbing the winner five minutes later when he headed home Mohamed Diame's cross from the right.

West Ham's reward for beating Tottenham is a semi-final clash with Manchester City while in the other tie Manchester United – who won 2-0 at Stoke on Wednesday evening – face Sunderland in early January.

"We saw the shaken nerve ends of Tottenham when we scored," admitted Hammers' manager Sam Allardyce. "We then went for the jugular. Our substitutes, who came on with fresh legs, exploited the spaces."

If Allardyce has taken West Ham one step closer to their first major silverware since winning the FA Cup in 1980, Tottenham's season is disintegrating before their eyes. With just two wins in their last seven league matches, Spurs have to regroup fast if they are to resurrect their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season. There's also the little matter of an FA Third Round trip to Arsenal on 4 January.

The Mirror claims that the club has already identified the man to turn around their fortunes - Ajax manager Frank de Boer. Apparently Spurs' director of football Franco Baldini has believes the former Dutch international is the perfect fit for the club and the Mirror says "discreet enquiries" have already been made by Spurs.

If De Boer did come to Spurs the Mirror says he might well bring with his assistant at Ajax - Dennis Bergkamp. Revered by Arsenal fans for his decade of brilliant service, Bergkamp has been mooted as a possible successor to Arsene Wenger at the Emirates. Surely Dennis isn't going to do the dirty on Arsenal by signing on at Spurs. · 

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