From Poch to Mour in 12 hours

The world of Spurs fans turned on its head in 12 hours as manager Mauricio Pochettino was surprisingly sacked and Jose Mourinho was brought in quickly to replace him!

Much has been made of the poor form of Spurs in 2019 (apart from the Champions League run) and Pochettino ultimately paid the price. Certainly, the under-performance of individuals and the collective resulted in unfavourable results that have left Spurs languishing in 14th place. 

However, many believed that Pochettino had enough goodwill in the bank to deserve at least the rest of the season to turn things around. They were wrong. One suspects that chairman Daniel Levy was already putting this plan together some time ago, maybe around the time of the Bayern Munich humiliation and the collapse on the South Coast that followed. 

The speed of Mourinho’s appointment bears out this theory. However unjust Pochettino’s sacking was (and it was), as mere spectators, Spurs fans cannot do anything about the situation but wish the magic man all the best in his future endeavours. No doubt, our loss will be another club’s gain. Pochettino gave us an amazing five years and for that we will always be grateful. 

Now, even if you subscribe to the theory that Pochettino had taken Spurs as far as he could, the question now arises – is Jose Mourinho the man to take Spurs to the next level i.e. winning trophies?

Granted, Mourinho has an excellent managerial record – winning trophies at every major club he has overseen. Considering Spurs’ tight financial constraints, will Mourinho be able to replicate his success at FC Porto, when his resources were similarly limited?

Detractors will argue that Mourinho is a manager in decline, his stint at Man United a less stellar one – despite winning the League Cup and Europa League in his first season. Like Man United fans, Mourinho’s tactics – built on defensive strength and lack of possession – will not be popular with Spurs fans but will the prospect of trophies cure all ills? 

Once more, we must approach the season one match at a time. Certainly, all eyes will be on the London Stadium on Saturday, as Mourinho takes charge of his first game, against rivals West Ham United. Mourinho’s first lineup will no doubt be an indicator of where Mourinho defers from Pochettino and while personally, I am gutted at the manner in which Pochettino was shabbily treated, I will get behind the team, no matter who the head coach is. Wait and see.