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Tottenham: Jose Mourinho appointed after Mauricio Pochettino sacked

Tottenham will be the third Premier League club managed by Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has been appointed Tottenham manager, succeeding Mauricio Pochettino who was sacked on Tuesday.

Former Chelsea and Manchester United boss Mourinho has signed a contract until the end of the 2022-23 season.

"The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me," said the 56-year-old Portuguese. "Working with these players is what has attracted me."

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said: "In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football."

Tottenham reached the Champions League final last season under Pochettino but lost to Liverpool in Madrid.

The Argentine, who was appointed in May 2014, failed to win a trophy in his time in charge of the north London club with Spurs' last silverware being the League Cup in 2008.

Levy added: "He (Mourinho) has a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician.

"He has won honours at every club he has coached. We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room."

Mourinho still lives in London and won three Premier League titles and one FA Cup in two spells at Chelsea, while he won the Europa League and Carabao Cup with Manchester United.

He has also previously managed Portuguese side Porto - where he won the Champions League - Italian club Inter Milan, with whom he claimed a league, cup and Champions League Treble, and Spanish team Real Madrid, who he led to the La Liga title.

Mourinho has been out of work since being sacked as Manchester United manager in December 2018.

He takes over a Spurs side that are 14th in the Premier League and without a win in their last five games.

Mourinho has turned down a number of job opportunities, including in China, Spain and Portugal, since leaving Old Trafford.

Analysis

BBC sports editor Dan Roan

Spurs have never hired a manager as expensive or demanding as Mourinho, nor spent the kind of money on players that he became accustomed to at clubs such as Real Madrid and Manchester United.

But Spurs have come a long way in recent years under Pochettino. They have a new £1bn stadium and training ground, and spent four successive seasons in the Champions League.

They now have a European pedigree, and a hugely talented squad.

Mourinho has been out of the game for almost a year but retained a home in London.

His tribulations at Manchester United saw him lose his 'Special One' status, but his many achievements in the game still command widespread respect.

More to follow.


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50483023

Next Tottenham manager: Mauricio Pochettino's highs and lows before Spurs sacking

Tottenham Hotspur have sacked Mauricio Pochettino after five-and-a-half years at the club.

It has been an eventful and swashbuckling ride during his time in north London full of ups and downs.

After guiding the club to the League Cup final in his first season, Pochettino secured four successive top-four finishes as well as the club’s fairy tale run to the Champions League final last season.

However, after a miserable run of form this season that's left the club in 14th place, Jose Mourinho is now the favourite to take over at the club.

Here is a look at Pochettino's highs and lows in north London.

Highs

Moura’s Miracle

At half-time of Champions League semi-final second leg against Ajax, Tottenham were dead and buried. They trailed 2-0 on the night and 3-0 on aggregate and Ajax supporters were booking flights to Madrid during the half-time interval. Spurs needed a hero if they had any chance of continuing what had already been an amazing journey. Step forward Lucas Moura. The Brazilian’s lightning pace and footwork saw him quickly bag two at the start of the second half, but it looked like the comeback would fall just short – until the final few seconds of injury time. Moura latched on to Dele Alli’s pass to fire into the bottom corner, completing his hat-trick, sparking scenes of wild celebration and sealing one of the most famous nights in the club’s history.

Lucas Moura helped pull off a historic comeback against Ajax (AP)

Cutting Real Madrid down to size

Playing at Wembley was not an altogether enjoyable experience for Spurs, but there were some memorable nights there, notably the slaying of the European champions. They put Real Madrid, still with peak Cristiano Ronaldo in their side, to the sword at the national stadium in a real Red Letter Day. Dele Alli put them ahead in the first half and was rewarded for an outstanding display with a second after the break. Christian Eriksen put them 3-0 up soon after before Ronaldo got one back late in the game. The result and the performance was an announcement that Spurs had arrived on the European stage.

Getting one over on Pep

Pochettino will always be able to say that he was the first opposition manager to beat Pep Guardiola in England. The pair, who regularly faced off as Barcelona and Espanyol managers, first came face to face in this country in October 2016 and Spurs handed down a first defeat to Guardiola’s Manchester City. An Alli opener and Aleksandr Kolarov’s own goal gave the north Londoners an impressive three points. Guardiola dominated the Premier League rivalry after that, but Pochettino got one over his rival in the Champions League last season, masterminding a narrow, but dramatic, away goals win in the quarter-finals.

Mauricio Pochettino handed Pep Guardiola his first defeat at Man City (Reuters)

Saying farewell in style

The 2016-17 season was Tottenham’s final year at their famous White Hart Lane stadium before its demolition and Pochettino was determined for them to say goodbye to their home in style. And his side answered his wish as they went the entire campaign unbeaten in front of their home fans, winning 17 of their 19 games. They did it scoring 47 goals and conceding only nine. The final ever game there on a day of celebration and nostalgia was a 2-1 win over Manchester United.

Ending Stamford Bridge hoodoo

It must have felt like Tottenham were never going to win at Stamford Bridge again as their hoodoo at the home of their London rivals had gone on 28 years. In 2017-18 the majority of their players had not even been born when Gary Lineker scored the goal that gave them their last victory there, but they finally stopped the rot with three points which were vital to their Champions League qualification. They fell behind to Alvaro Morata’s header, but Eriksen levelled up before the break with a fine strike from distance before Alli continued his penchant of scoring big-game goals with a second-half double

Dele Alli taunts Chelsea’s fans at Stamford Bridge (Getty)

Lows

Falling at the final hurdle

Having embarked on an epic and memorable journey to the Champions League final, sealed by that wild night in Amsterdam, Spurs fell flat in the showpiece in Madrid, losing 2-0 to Liverpool. That defeat hurt Pochettino more than any other as a manager. He revealed that he spent 10 days grieving the loss at his home in Spain, barely leaving his room, and said that the feeling was as bad as that he felt as a player following Argentina’s omission from the 2002 World Cup.

Seven hell

Spurs went into the record books for all the wrong reasons after the 7-2 Champions League hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich. The performance might not have been quite as bad as the scoreline suggests but it was Pochettino’s heaviest defeat as a manager. It was also the first time Spurs had conceded seven at home in a major competition in their 137-year history and the first time any English club had let in that many in a European competition. It was an early black mark at their new stadium and an embarrassing night for the club.

Serge Gnaby tore Tottenham to shreds this season (Reuters)

Final-day capitulation

After a thrilling title race with Leicester had seen Spurs fall short at the death, they downed tools on the final day of the season and were hammered, allowing Arsenal to steal second place. They capitulated to a 5-1 defeat against Rafael Benitez’s already-relegated Newcastle, who had 10 men, and Pochettino was apoplectic. He revealed in his book that he wanted to “kill” his players afterwards given their poor attitude.

FA Cup heartache

Spurs had lost in the FA Cup semi-final 12 months earlier so when they got back there in April 2018 there was a sense that this was their time. That was only heightened as playing against Manchester United at Wembley, their home ground for the season, an electric start was rewarded with an early goal from Alli. But they failed to take further early chances as Alexis Sanchez levelled and then Ander Herrera sent Jose Mourinho’s men to the final. It did nothing to shake off the ‘Spursy’ tag – perennial nearly men.

Mauricio Pochettino was often hamstrung by a lack of new signings (Getty)

Self-imposed transfer ban

Having delivered Tottenham towards the top of English football, Pochettino’s ability to take them to the next level was seemingly hampered by a self-imposed transfer ban which saw them go 18 months and through two transfer windows without bringing any new players into the club. It meant the Argentinian was not able to add any depth to his squad, which was shattered from their World Cup exertions, nor could he freshen it up following four years of the same players hearing largely the same message.

PA


This news item was provided by the The Independent - Premier League website - the original link is: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/mauricio-pochettino-sacked-tottenham-hotspur-next-manager-odds-mourinho-epl-a9210031.html

Tottenham sacking may be liberating for Mauricio Pochettino – Guillem Balague column

Guillem Balague will be writing a regular column throughout the season and also appearing every Thursday on BBC Radio 5 Live's Football Daily podcast, when the focus will be on European football.

You can download the latest Football Daily podcast here.

I was convinced Mauricio Pochettino was not going to quit Tottenham but his future was not in his hands and, although I cannot understand many of the reasons behind his sacking, it has also felt like the end of the road for a while.

And, in a way, it may feel like a liberation for him and his coaching staff.

Pochettino is a fighter and wanted to continue fighting, but in the end whether he stayed or went was always going to depend on the club. He has paid the price for recent results, results which are the consequence of a decay of the squad predicted by the Argentine 18 months ago.

For more than a year now he has been trying to manage some difficult situations at Spurs, and 18 defeats in 2019 tells you a story which goes beyond what happened this season.

You could see that it would not end well unless things changed properly at the club in the summer - and big time. But they really didn't.

At the heart of it all is the two transfer windows from the end of January 2018 until the summer of 2019 when they did not sign anyone.

Pochettino had warned the club what was happening and chairman Daniel Levy decided it wasn't the time to invest in new players because his priority has been to be in the top four with minimum spend.

Pochettino, who was not asking for more money but quick and clever resolutions in the market, couldn't do the job to the best of his abilities.

It meant a change in the dynamic of the relationship between the two most pivotal men at the club.

When they first met each other and began working together they didn't fully understand each other's ideas of exactly what kind of club they both wanted, but then after a well-documented trip to Argentina there was much more synergy. Levy understood what Pochettino wanted and Pochettino knew the limits he had to work with.

But it got to the point that when the recycling of the squad wasn't forthcoming, that synergy wasn't continued and there was a logical frustration on Pochettino's side.

I wouldn't say the pair are friends as such - there was a professional relationship but it became clear the priorities for both men started being different. A new stadium should mean a more ambitious club, the manager thought. But Levy did not move an inch from the club intentions.

Maybe Pochettino should have left in the summer but that was never going to happen. If Levy did not think there was a way back or out, the only solution was to get rid of him and his coaching staff.

The compensation will be more than the £12m reported, as he and the five members of his coaching staff have more than three years left on their contracts.

Levy was clearly not scared of that and bringing a new leader to a project that cannot compete in the short or medium term with the richest clubs in the country. It obviously does not faze him.

There has been talk of player discontent but I don't think Pochettino lost the dressing room.

He took a couple of steps back from certain situations because in some cases he could not punish or replace players as there was nobody to replace them with.

Chairman Daniel Levy appointed Mauricio Pochettino as Tottenham manager in May 2014

But the same faces and the same voices do create erosion after a while. To reproduce what Spurs did between 2015 and 2018, the best version of the team, players had to come and go, and the club either did not agree with some movements or could not get rid of players.

Everyone can see that Spurs getting to the Champions League final in June was a miracle, maximising the potential of a side that was already on the decline.

You have heard the likes of Harry Kane asking for more from the players, frustrated because things that had been learned were abandoned.

But things were not happening and performances were not the best, for different reasons.

Some players were attracted to other clubs and distracted, while others had reached their potential and have declined, but are still around. Spurs are not sacking him because the players asked for it or the relationship deteriorated. Nothing of the sort.

This is a board decision based on a professional relationship where, between Pochettino and Levy, there was not much more to say to each other.

It was a divorce that many people can relate to - it gets to the point where what else can you say, how can it improve? You know what you want to do but you're not heard anymore.

Pochettino's next step, I think, will be to rest. This period has been very demanding.

He and his coaching staff know options will open up for them once they return home. He has admirers at Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid.

But one of the things that stopped him going anywhere before now is the fact there was compensation to pay.

Real and Juve have considered him but having to negotiate a price for his services with Levy put them off.

Generally when a sacking happens the club can add a clause in which they stop the manager going to certain teams. In exchange for a big compensation, could Levy add that he doesn't go to Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United?

United did want him when they appointed Jose Mourinho but they are backing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer strongly, so that option seems gone for now.

Like the last day of the best summer, it feels like Spurs have left behind a romance that will be unforgettable, but that could not be taken into autumn.


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50483190

Gareth Bale: Wales forward risks further rift with Real Madrid over banner

Gareth Bale will have the chance to put Wales top of his priorities again next summer at the Euro 2020 finals

'The first thing he thinks about is Wales, then golf and after that, Real Madrid.'

Gareth Bale has come under fire in Spain