Tim Sherwood has certainly made an impact since taking over at Tottenham and the victory away at Manchester United on New Year's Day – Spurs' second win there in as many seasons – went a long way to winning over the chunk of Spurs supporters that still doubt his credibility.

The gung-ho, direct, all-out-attacking way he has the team playing has solved the goalscoring issue, at least so far, but it remains to be seen how long he can sustain it. The team look to be running on pure adrenaline at the moment, like wind-up toys finally released from the tension seemingly created by previous manager Andre Villas-Boas.

However, there is almost always a short-term rejuvenation after the pressure from a previous manager is eased. Sherwood's impact, although positive, should not be a surprise. The examples are many – even the managerial caricature that is Paolo Di Canio brought about an upturn in form at Sunderland last season that saved them from relegation. The real proof of whether the decision to change managers was the right one, and whether the new guy has really been worth the investment, is in the longer term.

So, even if Sherwood is able to maintain this wave of a resurgent Spurs until May and guide them into the top four, whether he really is made of the stuff that makes a big manager is something only season 2014-15 will reveal.

Nevertheless, Sherwood has the chance to win a permanent place in the hearts of Tottenham fans and win over another huge section of his skeptics if he can mastermind a victory at the Emirates on Saturday. Tottenham's love affair with the FA Cup needs no sonnet from this column. But where Manchester United are suffering from their own inconsistencies, Arsenal are not. They will not be so easily startled in the headlights of Sherwood's new freight train.

This third round clash is also a golden opportunity for Emmanuel Adebayor to re-establish himself among those who make up the English league's top players. His reawakening under TS should be of little surprise to those who have followed his career closely and been aware of his poor relationship with Villas-Boas. The striker, who should now be settling into his more experienced, stable days as a player, is instead having to prove himself for umpteenth time, like a 22-year-old appearing at Arsenal for the first time.

It is in these situations, where he may feel that his career is somewhat on the line, when the now 29-year-old thrives, but he has also been boosted by a confidence injection from Sherwood. Just last week, a former Tottenham player explained to this column  just how much Adebayor needs to be loved, needs “an arm around his shoulder”, and to be told how great he is – or at least capable of being.

Adebayor was sent-off the last time he appeared for Tottenham at the Emirates, and cost Spurs the game after scoring the opening goal of a 5-2 defeat. He has proved his emotions can get the better of him, and whether he can bridle his current confidence-high enough to remain focused, and effective, is a concern.

Villas-Boas was criticised for being too regimented and too restrictive in his methods and there have been recent suggestions from several players that they were frustrated tactically. The shackles are now off, the rockets have been firmly placed up their proverbial backsides and lit with glee by Sherwood, but there must come a point where the fuel runs out.

Now he has the job, seemingly for at least 18 months, Sherwood's task is not to kick life in Tottenham any more but to find the balance that will lead to the consistency required to be a top team. He must lead them safely along the knife-edge between emotional drive and sensibileness.