So Long Poch, Hey José
YOU South Africa|5 December 2019
It’s all change at Tottenham Hotspur after a lacklustre start to the season
Sandy Cook

IT WAS a dizzying fall from grace. Just six months ago he was the toast of the town after taking his team – a lesser player in a game dominated by the bigbucks glamour clubs – all the way to the Champions League final.

Tottenham Hotspur had also come third in the Premier League in 2018 and Mauricio Pochettino was hailed for creating an exciting squad and a thrilling style of play that delighted fans.

He did all this on a far smaller budget than many of his rival coaches, which makes his achievements even more remarkable.

But now it’s all over for the 47-year-old Argentinian. Spurs recently announced Poch had been sacked after a losing streak that saw the side sink to the bottom half of the Premier League table.

“We were extremely reluctant to make this change and it’s not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste,” chairman Daniel Levy said.

“Regrettably, domestic results have been extremely disappointing.”

To fans it was a shock – and they’d barely come to terms with his firing when another bombshell was dropped: his replacement was to be none other than José Mourinho, the self-styled “Special One” who’d been cooling his heels since his sacking from Manchester United in December last year.

So just what went wrong at Spurs? And is Mourinho, with his legacy of arrogance and personality clashes with players and management alike, the right guy to take over?

LOSING STREAK

Over the past year, the upward trajec tory Spurs had been enjoying took a nosedive. The north London side had just five wins in total since their surprise victory against Ajax in the Champions League in June – the game that catapulted them into the final against Liverpool, which they lost.

At the time of going to print, the side were 11 points adrift of the Premier League top four and a distant 20 points behind leaders Liverpool.

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