Spurs sack Jose Mourinho days before League Cup final
The Special One becomes the ‘first Super League manager to lose their job’
Jose Mourinho’s ambitions of ending Tottenham’s 13-year trophy drought are over after the “Special One” was sacked by the north London club. His firing comes just days before Spurs are set to face Manchester City in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
When Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino in November 2019, hopes were high that he would deliver silverware to White Hart Lane after successful spells with Porto, Chelsea (twice), Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United. Upon the appointment Spurs chairman Daniel Levy was confident that the Portuguese would “bring energy and belief to the dressing room”.
Taking over when the club were 14th in the table, Mourinho led Spurs to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League in his first season. However, this campaign the club are seventh in the table, five points off the Champions League spots, and were knocked out of the Europa League in the last-16 by Dinamo Zagreb.
Mourinho’s coaching staff - Joao Sacramento, Nuno Santos, Carlos Lalin and Giovanni Cerra - have also been sacked, the club confirmed in a statement.
“Jose and his coaching staff have been with us through some of our most challenging times as a club,” said Levy. “Jose is a true professional who showed enormous resilience during the pandemic. On a personal level I have enjoyed working with him and regret that things have not worked out as we both had envisaged. He will always be welcome here and we should like to thank him and his coaching staff for their contribution.”
Spurs also said Ryan Mason will take charge of first-team training, but it’s not confirmed if he will lead the team at Wembley for the final against City.
How pundits reacted
Mourinho’s sacking comes a day after Tottenham were confirmed as one of the 12 founder members of the proposed European Super League.
In a tongue-in-cheek tweet, former Spurs striker and now TV pundit Gary Lineker said Mourinho was “the first of the European Super League managers to lose their job”.
Former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan believes Spurs were wrong to sack Mourinho. Speaking on talkSPORT, Jordan said it was a “flawed move” and “if Jose won the cup on Sunday, he’d have delivered what Spurs want”.
Ex-Tottenham midfielder Danny Murphy was also baffled by the “bizarre” timing of the sacking. “It’s a really strange time to do it… but the style of football has been his downfall, not his attitude and what he’s said to the press,” Murphy said on talkSPORT.
Who will replace Mourinho?
Mourinho’s future at Tottenham had been up in the air for a number of months and the focus is now on who will replace the 58-year-old.
RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann is the bookmakers’ favourite to take over at Tottenham, the Daily Mirror reports. However, the 33-year-old German is also being linked with the top job at Bayern Munich.
In February it was reported that Leicester City’s Brendan Rodgers was a “leading contender” to replace Mourinho. The Northern Irishman has led Leicester to third place in the Premier League table and they are through to the FA Cup final where they will face Chelsea on 15 May.
Football Insider revealed that Rodgers was in fact Levy’s “preferred choice” to replace Harry Redknapp nine years ago before he eventually took over at Liverpool.