The tenure of Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham Hotspur has come to an end. In what came as a shocking decision, despite Spurs’ poor form this season, Pochettino has been sacked mid-season. Looking at Spurs’ position in the table, 14th place is a massive underperformance for the North London based club. However, analyzing this situation needs context.
Pochettino has worked with scraps at Tottenham. The summer of 2018 and the winter of 2019 saw zero new signings. Despite that, Tottenham finished in a Champions League spot for the fourth consecutive season. They even reached their first-ever Champions League final (which they had no business being in). Now, this season has been far from good, but where does the blame lie?
Tottenham Hotspur’s Decision to Sack Mauricio Pochettino
Who is to Blame?
One possibility is that Pochettino lost the dressing room. Often when this occurs, it doesn’t matter how good of a manager you are or how many credentials you have. It’s much easier to get rid of one manager rather than a bunch of rebellious players. This all has to come down to the higher-ups as they put Pochettino in the hardest possible position to succeed. Three of Tottenham’s key players are on expiring contracts. This list includes centre-half duo Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld along with Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen. If they refused to renew in the summer, then why are they still at the club? Danny Rose is still at the club even though he reportedly wanted to leave in the summer, and a proper right-back replacement for Kieran Trippier was not addressed in the transfer window.
Pochettino is one of the very best managers in the world, but he’s not a miracle worker. These are simple decisions that Daniel Levy and co should’ve made. Now looking at it differently, Pochettino wasn’t going to stay at Tottenham forever. That being said, it’s not even Christmas and unless you have Max Allegri on speed dial, there isn’t a better alternative. Often in football, being patient and trying to get through a rough patch is better than being reactionary. This was very much a reactionary decision.
Jose Mourinho Lined up as the Replacement?
Jose Mourinho has been handed the task of filling Pochettino’s boots. A move like that for Tottenham is a massive backward step. Mourinho is an all-time great manager, however, there comes a time where a manager fails to adapt. Mourinho showed that in his last half-year at Chelsea as well as his time at Manchester United. Mourinho’s second-place finish in his second season at Old Trafford was impressive but these days his ego often gets the best of him as we’ve seen him fall out with countless players over the past few years.
What’s Next for Pochettino?
The big silver lining here is that Mauricio Pochettino is going to be a big get for any team that secures him. Manchester United would be foolish not to begin discussions. Paris Saint-Germain could possibly move on from Thomas Tuchel if this season doesn’t go as planned. Finally, Bayern Munich just recently sacked Niko Kovac and they are currently under the interim management of Hans Dieter-Flick. Pochettino was Spurs’ best manager of the 21st century and not giving him all the tools to succeed will forever be a huge missed opportunity.