Tonight, Tottenham have sacked manager Mauricio Pochettino after five-and-a-half years in charge and are already planning to confirm his replacement this week. Reports claim former Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is widely expected to replace the Argentine imminently.
The news was confirmed in an official statement posted on the club’s social media shortly after 7.30pm UK time:
Alongside his departure, Pochettino’s coaching staff: Jesus Perez, Miguel D’Agostino and Antoni Jimenez have all been relieved of their duties.
Club chairman Daniel Levy had this to say in a statement:
“We were extremely reluctant to make this change and it is not a decision the Board has taken lightly, nor in haste. Regrettably, domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this have been extremely disappointing.
It falls to the Board to make difficult decisions – this one made more so given the many memorable moments we had with Mauricio and his coaching staff – but we do so in the club’s best interests.”
The timing of this news is abrupt, particularly at the end of 2019’s final international break and with matches aplenty across all competitions to come thick-and-fast as the winter schedule emerges.
Having led Spurs to their first-ever Champions League Final back in June, Pochettino refused to dispel speculation over his uncertain future during the 2018-19 campaign – being repeatedly linked with Manchester United and a return to Spain’s top-flight.
When asked how he’d feel if he could end a five-year chapter in north London by winning the Champions League back on May 7, he said: “It should be fantastic, no? Close the five-year chapter and go home.
It’s not a joke, why? To win [the CL] in this circumstance, in this season – maybe I need to think a little bit to do something different in the future. Because to repeat this miracle, you know…. but for sure, I go home. Whatever happens tomorrow, I go home.”
My initial thoughts after the decision was made official:
The Athletic’s David Ornstein revealed the club have already moved training from their original morning slot into the afternoon for tomorrow: with the aim of appointing his successor early on, before he leads his new squad in that forthcoming session.
Jose has been out of work for eleven months, having been dismissed by Manchester United in the week before Christmas last year. He’s widely expected to be announced as their new man at the helm. Sky Sports reported that they are in ‘advanced talks’ with the Portuguese, which usually suggests confirmation is inevitable at some stage.
More to follow when new info emerges from this developing story…