Pochettino out, Mourinho in is a two-fingered salute to fans

Date published: Wednesday 20th November 2019 7:38

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The real quiz
Well, at least you’ll get some mails now.
Bill, Aberdeenshire

 

Farewell
I could wax rhapsodic about our rise from Europa League regulars to Champions League finalists, or going unbeaten in our final season at the Lane, or what about the title challenges, denied only by two ridiculous seasons from Leicester (we don’t talk about the Newcastle game) and Chelsea?

He took us to the Champions League final – Inter, PSV, Barcelona, Dortmund, City, Ajax… Every match, every tie, delivering moments of exquisite drama and heart-stopping exhilaration.

I could talk about how it all turned sour over the last few months, how the last memories of Pochettino’s Tottenham will include collapses against Bayern and Brighton, and being glad of a draw against Sheffield United.

But above all I prefer to remember the charming, slightly oddball, inspirational leader who let us believe – truly believe – for the first time in decades that Tottenham could do incredible things. We never did, not quite, but that’s never been the Tottenham way, not really.

And then I realise that Mourinho is the favourite to replace him, and I realise it was always too good to last.

Thanks for everything, and maybe we’ll meet again sometime.
Michael C

 

So…I wasn’t expecting to feel so indifferent about it. I’ve never turned on Poch, I’ve spent far too long watching far much too much dross at the Lane to have nothing but love for the man, but it has kinda felt like the end of a relationship, where you both know it’s over, but no one wants to bring it up.

I can guarantee though that fella at work you’ve always been a bit unsure about will be sliding straight into her DMs as soon as that Facebook status is changed. Ugh, imagine Ed Woodward’s opening line….actually, no. I won’t.

Thanks Poch, we will always have Ajax. ❤️
Jon, Lincoln

 

The Good:

Best manager of my twenty five plus years supporting Spurs, a genuinely good guy, made me proud that he was manager of my club.

Took us to the next level of consistency, making us remarkably solid at the back while somehow extracting ruthless efficiency up front.

Seemed to unearth international-level players from absolutely nowhere for fun during the first few years.

The Mixed:

Over time, his approach seemed to wear players out a lot. Didnt rotate well. Took a year to get players fit enough to play consistently.

As the team became his, he never again showed a willingness to drop underperforming seniors/favourites in order to give youth or backup options a chance. Many prospects left the club without getting minutes.

The football was energetic and positive, but very often functional and ugly.  Excellent players performing well-drilled moves over and over. Bar the odd lovely finish, I have to be honest……we kind of stopped doing anything … fun? Even when winning, we’d often be an ugly grind. Even the run to the CL final saw us outplayed and riding our luck in almost every match, our league and cup performances besides have been muck even when effective.

The Bad:

Couldn’t admit responsibility for failure. Found one basic idea- run harder and faster than the opposition, but never solved critical weaknesses under long ball, quick break or deep crosses. Never recovered from even the most limited opposition managers figuring out you could just sit back and watch us pass it sideways all game. Our defenders have been asked to play all the football, attackers to do all the water-carrying, and its not worked in ages.

When he had influence over a fresh young team, he seemed to do no wrong. as that team achieved and grew in confidence, his discipline/ego approach seemed to become a negative. Very few seemed go be playing for him all this year, going back to February. Nobody is signing new contracts and all look relieved to be heading away to international duty recently

Team selection and subs have often been poor. The last few months in particular has seen woeful performances from three or four seniors rewarded with maximum gametime while squad players and youth starved for minutes

His playing of the media was poor when he wasnt being lauded. I’m not sure a tell-all book bragging about the mind games his young players fell for looks a good move in retrospect. His press conferences were messy, attention seeking affairs that proved counterproductive more often than not when things started to go wrong on the pitch. His behaviour before the CL final was a hugely negative episode, and his moaning since about his squad has helped nobody, particularly while he refused to do any of the things within his power to turn results around.

Summary:

He’ll move on to a bigger and better club. He’s earned it. but it’s going to be very interesting to see how his approach of “try harder or I’ll say you didnt execute the plan” works out with senior players wherever he goes next.

I think he and many others might be surprised at how far his approach can take a team, to be honest. If the managers all around you at the bottom of the league have figured you out and you refuse to change anything, maybe you believe the hype a bit more than is healthy. Maybe you’re not actually all that?

His refusal to change his own tactics or approach even in the face of dreadful performances sealed what must have been in Levy’s mind since before the CL final- this guy is no longer committed to making Spurs a success on the terms available.

The goodwill would have been there at board and fan level to write off this season if he’d looked at any stage like rebuilding or changing what was needed- he showed zero signs of this. Poch will do good work at other clubs, but he was either incapable or uninterested in continuing to do so for spurs, and that’s a grim truth for anyone watching this season to see.

So, with apologies for the ramble- Levy has sacked the best manager Spurs have had in my time supporting them…..and was right to do so.

No quick and easy analysis of the situation will make sense of it, but there it is.
Darragh, Spurs, Ireland

 

Embarrassing
It’s too soon to know if backing Poch, rather than sacking him, was actually an option. If he was finished with the club, emotionally, as some reports suggest, this may have been unavoidable.

But that provisio aside, I find this impossible to justify. True, our domestic form has been terrible for a while now. But a remarkable European run & a multitude of issues with the playing staff more than excuses that. We’ve sold £75m worth of right back and bought £24m worth of certifiable lunatic, for instance. Our midfield last year was a joke, our full back situation laughable, injuries rife, and consecutive transfer windows of self harm hardly helped.

Pochettino has been working with both hands tied behind his back for a while. With virtually no investment, he bought us the seat at the top table that we’re now likely to smash over our own heads with the recruitment of the Destructive One.

Some patience, backing, and investment was the least he deserved. Embarrassing.
Damien (still the manager of my heart) THFC

 

Jose? No way
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

This cannot be happening!!!

Anyone but him!!!
Cevski (oh god please no….) THFC

 

So. The world moves fast these days!

Poch gone! Careful what you wish for spurs fans. You. Have. Done. This.

Now a future of (most likely) Mourinho awaits. Steady results. Steady football. Steady formations. Steady passions. Steady ambitions. Steady life.

Thinking you were bigger than what you are, instead of seeing this Poch period as the high point of your last 50 years and prob your next 50 too. A short run of bad results is a minor itch in that context.

Enjoy your future of mediocrity.

Levy is the problem. Short term moron.

You. Have. Done. This.
Paul

 

What will Mourinho do with a team that has spent 5 years perfecting their counter press? It’s going to be really sad to watch him unwind one of the most exciting and energetic teams in the league.

Can already see Son going from amazing attacking talent to hard working defensive winger/auxiliary full back.

In fairness I think Mourinho would enjoy being the underdog again but can’t see how he will be able to work with Levy.
Minty, LFC

 

Mourinho a two-fingered salute to the fans
I am just so disappointed at the sacking of Mauricio Pocchetino. He raised the bar during his time at Tottenham, and made watching Spurs fun again.

The failure to refresh the team we are told is due to financial constraints caused by the building of the new stadium, and it is widely reported that the wages on offer at Spurs are below the rate for similarly positioned clubs. However, it’s interesting to notice that Daniel Levy is possibly the highest paid chairmen.

The statement from the club describes a huge elephant in the room, as it is clear to anyone that the manager didn’t receive the backing that someone with his track record is entitled to expect, and the recent results reflect that stagnation.

I feel this is a significantly bad move by Spurs, and my fear is that it may be compounded by the arrival of the ever toxic Mourinho. As a Spurs fan since the days of Bill Nicholson I would see his arrival as a two fingered salute from the chairmen to the fans. There would then be a season ticket available at the end of this season.

Whilst Levy is the main villain in my eyes, there are a number of the players who should seriously look at themselves in the mirror.
Jim French (Spurs since ’59) Herts

 

You will regret this, Daniel
Well you’ve done it again Daniel. After a list as long as the Tottenham High Road of joke managerial appointments you ended up with Mauricio Pochettino. Young, progressive and highly thought of as a future manager of an elite European club. He took a club with a net spend in the Premier League era smaller than that of Stoke City to qualify for the Champions League four seasons in a row culminating in the final last season. Truly unprecedented for a club like Tottenham.

Yes performances haven’t been great in 2019 but is that a surprise considering the bulk of the starting 11 maybe apart from 1 or 2 have been there for over 4 years. They are stale, they are tired and half of them don’t want to be there because they know under your stewardship nothing will change.

Here is just one example Daniel. You sold Kyle Walker, replaced him with his understudy then sold him without a ready made replacement. How is that strengthening from a position of strength? Literally what more do you think he or any other manager could have done working under a chairman like you? I hope you get what you wish for Daniel but I’m now resigned to a long line of Tim Sherwoods and Andre Villas Boas’ and mid table mediocrity.

You got lucky Daniel. You had an elite manager in the making, failed to back him and have now sacked him because he couldn’t continue to work the miracles he has done over the last 5 years. You will regret this. And I for one hope he goes to a real club who want to win things and back their managers and win the trophies he deserves.
Chris Baldwin, Crowthorne

 

I am a Liverpool fan, so of course I have to wade into the Spurs sacking Pochettino muck. This is such a sly move from the devious chairman. What’s worse, is hearing Spurs supporters lauding the sacking, asking what Poch has won. The ungrateful era has taken over, the trees have finally overcome the forest.Poch has achieved consistent Top 4 at a budget easily half of the nearest challenger. That squad got into the Champions League Final!! Pep with his billions couldn’t get into another one sans Messi.

Meanwhile, Lord Levy Voldemort sits on his lilywhite throne, spreading lies, demoralising Poch and laying the underperformance at his feet. And the fans lapped it all up, basking in their glory of having Levy as the true leader. Levy was the one who refuses to sell Ericksen and Alderweireld at a knock off price. Levy held back funds for the stadium, then he held back funds from that too! The problems that besetted the stadium was all Levy – cutting corners, forcing contractors to work for free.

Today is the day Spurs goes back to being Spurs, midtable, cementing St Totteringham’s Day in Arsenal fan’s calendar, managers like Redknapp and Timmy Sherwood leading the charge.

This is exactly what the myopic, entitled, I-want-a-medal-for-coming-in-6th fans deserve.

Goodbye loyalty, goodbye vision and goodbye Spurs.
Vinnie Pee

 

After years of praising Levy for negotiations and transfers can we spare a moment for how stupid this move was? Who are they going to get that’s better? Who’s going to convince players on £80,000 who should be on £160,000 to stick around. Harry Kane can finally jump ship and go to a proper club now. Ideal replacement for Benzema. The rest of them think they’ll get a similar move but not a hope in hell! Danish dud, Alli off form, Rose never in bloom.
Edward Canhands (Sign him up for Sunderland)

 

Klopp
Rodgers

Lampard
Guardiola

An exhaustive and entirely complete list of Premier League managers who are not spending the next six weeks checking to see if ‘Pochettino’ is being drawn on all their training tops with black Sharpie by their chairman
Tim Sutton

 

…but the Levy was dry
Levy’s Tottenham: 19 years, 10 managers, 1 League cup, and one massive missed opportunity with an amazing manager.

Under Pochettino- Daniel Levy:
– underpaid all the players so they become resentful,
– didn’t invest when we nearly won the league twice,
– made the players give up hope that the club want to win trophies and also run down their contracts, and then
– sacks the manager who outperformed everyone on a shoestring.

Harry Wanted Carlos Tevez and Gary Cahill. Levy gave him Luis Saha and Ryan Nelsen,

Ramos: “I wanted Samuel Eto’o and David Villa… Levy’s a hard, hard, hard negotiator and in the end it didn’t happen. So we were left with Bent and Campbell. We couldn’t beat anyone. We couldn’t have scored if we’d used a rainbow as the goalposts.”

Levy is the problem. He delivered a stadium 10 years late and half a billion over budget and wants a medal. ENIC don’t invest any of their own money.

Thank you Mauricio Pochettino, Jesus Perez, Miguel D’Agostino, and Antoni Jimenez for your loyalty, brilliance and for making us dream about real glory. As you said after the Champions League semi-final – “it’s amazing”. We love you.
Dave, (proud customer reference number holder, in possession of a season ticket which is the property of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, #levyout #enicout) Winchester Spurs

 

Dear F365,

You won’t get any other mails about this niche subject, so hopefully there’s some room for the PochOutGate.

Poch out points to the increasing short term nature of football club ownership.  But the result s have been very poor for quite a while, so how short term is this?  And the belief was gone from the squad, seemingly along with a number of players who seem determined to leave.  So he had to go, right?

What about the idea of having credibility in the bank?  That currency it seems is seriously devalued versus the almighty results now dollar.  And Poch drew down on that credibility with a pretty surly attitude since the CL final.  Let alone saying he’d probably leave if Spurs won.  His belief was gone, his head was gone, he probably should have left then.  Only romanticism and nostalgia says stay.  Football at this level isn’t like that anymore.  I don’t agree or like that, I still cling to the old stuff, but I’m also old and ugly enough to see it for what it is.

So who would go to manage Spurs?  Short term, anyone, probably.  Fireman Sam?  Chunky Cold Medina?  Mouri-nhoooo?  Who knows?  Longer term is a very different cup of fish.  Levy is a business man, as all owners are, but unlike many others he seems far more detached from the club despite the obligatory window dressing appearances at games.  Winning not only isn’t everything to him, it may not be anything to him.  And he never says so we never know.

So if it isn’t winning, what then is the plan?  Since we never hear it, we have to deduced it from what we see.  And from that it must be entirely financial.  The players and coaches are simply actors in the great show that brings in the crowds and then money, and Levy is the executive producer.  Hence the brand new stage.  Hence the NFL.

I’m sure Levy has forecast the financial benefit of winning a trophy and determined the risk (wages & transfers) versus reward (money) equation is unbalanced.  What I’m not sure he’s considered is the risk in finishing mid table for a few years.  Wht I think he might be over estimating is the loyalty of the fan/customer/revenue base.  A big chunk of the new money the club has enjoyed has come from new fans in new and emerging markets like Asia and the US.  But if you’re not competing properly in the league, these new fans are liable jump off the Spurs bus just as quick as they jumped on.  They’re only new.  They’re not that invested yet.  And they’re a different type of fan without the inter-generational or geographical connection.  Spurs are the current favourite flavour of crisps for customers who may well choose another flavour next year. If a fan of this type is going to put the effort into supporting a team in a sport played on the other side of the planet, I doubt mid-table 6 pointers will sustain love.

On that basis Levy is short-sighted.  I think he and club management pay lip service to the idea that on-field success drives the P&L & balance sheet longer term.  And I think he might find that out over the coming years if he continue to be penny wise pound stupid with the footballing part of the business.
Dr Oyvind.  Earth,

 

Spurs are f***ed
I was sat there in on of them important meeting where someone just decides to start rambling,  and so I take my phone decide to enter twitter trending, Mauricio Pochettino sacked. I actually exclaimed out loud; what! Quick reaction, I pretended I had to quickly resolve something and quickly got onto the laptop and opened up a bunch of confusing screens. Anyway, that was a bombshell. What are Tottenham thinking about? After 5 continues years of minuscule financial support, and incredible achievements; Levy decides, yeah, we can do better.

I’d hate to break it down to Tottenham fans, but it’s all going downhill from here. I’ll break it down this way, at least Ed Woodward spends money, Levy doesn’t spend sh*t. Tottenham are about to drop off back to the middle and no top tier manager would go anywhere near it. This then means it’s a honey-trap situation for up and coming managers. A situation that looks good but is actually poison. Which leaves the fallen Angel’s. Mourinho, Allegri types who have had previous success but need to rebuild their reputation.  I’m not sure this works either because of Levy and his lack of monetary support. Basically Spurs are f***ed.

I think Pochettino will still land a top tier job, but I doubt it will be in Spain, my guess is he will be next in line at Man U, Bayern or PSG.
Dave(It was a horrendous international break, but what a comeback by the epl), Somewhere

 

Here’s to the next false dawn
About a month ago I wrote in saying it was time for Poch to go. There have been a lot of Poch apologists, rightly pointing out the progress he has overseen at the club, and how he has credit in the metaphorical bank to weather a metaphorical storm. Possibly needing a metaphorical money umbrella made up of Giovani Lo Celso, Ryan Sessegnon and Tanguy Ndombele.

But he’s been sacked and paid off handsomely for it; and I’m glad he’s gone. Not because he’s not done great things for the club, but because his time was up and he had lost the dressing room. Presumably a while ago he did what is never a good idea for anyone, and pissed off his trigger happy boss by only winning 3 games this season.

The rumours are flying that it may be Jose; who knows, maybe he’s got bored of radio adverts and working for BT sport, but presumably Levy has someone lined up to take Spurs on through the rest of the season.

Unfortunately the stakes of Big Football are now so high that a season without Champions League football is a near disaster to brand building; the cost of failure too much to consider. So a change will come- but that’s what we love in football. The new midfielder, the sexy striker who can win a derby- consistency is boring, and predictable, and costly.

So here’s to the next false dawn at Spurs; perhaps the amazon documentary will reveal all next season, or maybe Jeff Bezos was pulling the strings to create a better TV show for everyone to enjoy. But isn’t drama why we love football?

Andy Mac, Spurs, London. (Was at the stadium all day today for work, bit disappointed not to get an interview)

 

Roberto > Mauricio
Will all the people comparing the sacking of Poch with that of Di Matteo get a grip. It’s chalk and cheese.

Di Matteo won the Champions League
Paul

 

All about United
If there is a God, Please oh Please let Man United lose the next 5 games.

Save us Mauricio!
Manc in SA (Tottenham are idiots!)

 

Dear Ed

Please, pretty please, with cherry on top, sack Ole immediately and appoint Pochettino as his replacement before someone else hires him. I promise I won’t criticise you at all for at least a year no matter what other buffoonery you commit in the next 12 months.

Seriously though, there are at least 3 elite clubs that could be a perfect fit for him. United, PSG and Real Madrid. Pochettino would be the perfect coach to realise the potential of players like Rashford, Martial, Daniel James and many others. I’m afraid the timing isn’t right though. By the time Ed realises Ole just isn’t good enough (likewise for Real Madrid and Zindane), Pochettino would have long been grabbed by PSG.
Adeel 

 

Ole must’ve done a massive gulp as soon as he heard Poch got the boot. Even Woodward can’t mess this one up. United Christmas has come early lads…
Duck

 

Lovely
“Poch Wank”

About how bad Spurs’ form was.
You’re welcome.

No names, please… cheers…
Anon

 

In other news…
I understand that a certain something happened last night which has resulted in something utterly mental happening this morning, but can I please give a massive heartfelt shout out to Wales on qualifying for the Euros?

We looked almost dead and buried with a handful of games gone, but we’ve dug deep and managed to qualify for a major tournament for only the second time in around 500 years.
Somerset Dave (Tottenham – really? WTF!)

 

Not sure how many mails you’ll get about the Wales game last night as we’re only a small country (and not much interest elsewhere). Not even a mention on the f365 homepage that Wales have qualified at the time of writing (thanks Levy).
But Wales have qualified for only their third major tournament ever. In Giggs’s first qualifying campaign. Without some of his first 11 for most of it.

The boys were excellent tonight (this may be the beer though), and tbf Hungary were poor. Hennessey made a vital save at 1-0. Bale had his tricks, James was always an exit ball, Morrell had his best game in a Welah shirt, Moore was like fly paper with that ball, Joe Allen was everywhere, and Rambo – that’s what we’ve missed! Amazing!

Diolch
Gareth Cad, N Wales

 

Nations League reconstruction
Remember all that excitement on the final day of the UEFA Nations League group stage, with promotions and relegations at stake?  England got a late winner against Croatia to top the group; if they’d only drawn they’d have been relegated.  Scotland won promotion.  Northern Ireland were relegated.

Well, I don’t know how this escaped the news, but after only one season, the Nations League is to be reconstructed.  There will now be 16 teams in the top tier rather than 12, so the four countries that we all thought were relegated from the top tier will instead stay up.  Am I the only one that missed this?

And would this change have happened if Germany hadn’t been one of those four relegated sides?

Makes you think.
Steve

 

Agreed
This Goldstein guy
is pure gold! Great to have him back.
Hari

 

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