Tottenham have sacked Mauricio Pochettino, bringing an end to his five-year tenure in charge after a run of dismal results in the Premier League this season.
Three wins from 12 league matches have left Tottenham in 14th place, albeit only three points off fifth, while they also lost 7-2 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last month.
Four successive top-four finishes and a Champions League final appearance will be Pochettino’s lasting legacy and he also oversaw Tottenham’s transition to a new, state-of-the-art stadium.
With the debate sure to continue over whether Spurs have made a harsh call, and plenty of speculation to come over who will replace him, two of our writers argue the case for and against Pochettino’s sacking.
54% – Of managers to have taken charge of 50 or more competitive games with Tottenham, only Andre Villas-Boas (55%) had a better win percentage than Mauricio Pochettino (54%), who won 159 of his 293 matches in charge of the club. Spurred. pic.twitter.com/0nk6fRHqJo
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 19, 2019
Tottenham have got it wrong – Tom Webber
Spurs defied expectations under the Argentinian and he underlined his status as an elite manager by leading them to the Champions League final last term.
While that game ended in defeat to Liverpool and left Pochettino without a trophy, their European run was combined with a fourth straight top-four finish, showing they had a leader capable of taking them to new heights.
However, their transfer business in the close season was a source of frustration for Pochettino, and he made no attempt to hide that.
While Tanguy Ndombele was a club-record signing from Lyon and Giovani Lo Celso provided another creative option in midfield, there were no other additions capable of immediately pushing the team forward.
Spurs let Kieran Trippier go and did not sign a replacement, leaving them exposed at right-back, while Danny Rose was seemingly retained against Pochettino’s wishes.
By failing to give the 47-year-old the backing his work deserved, Spurs have now shot themselves in the foot twice and will only have themselves to blame if things go backwards from here.
I can’t thank this man enough. He’s taught me so much and I’m so grateful for everything he’s done for me. Good luck and hope to see you again my friend. pic.twitter.com/dUO6AJlMxR
— Dele (@dele_official) November 19, 2019
Tottenham have got it right – Patric Ridge
Given what Pochettino has achieved during his time at Tottenham, the decision to cut ties seems a ruthless one when viewed in isolation, but that would not be taking into account what has been a dismal 2019 for Spurs on the domestic front.
In this calendar year, Tottenham have taken just 40 points from a possible 90 on offer in the Premier League, winning 11 matches, drawing a further seven and suffering 12 defeats.
Their poor form was, of course, masked by an incredible run to the Champions League final, but it is easy to forget Spurs were heading out in Amsterdam until Lucas Moura took matters into his own hands in a match that could easily have gone the other way.
Looking only at their league results this term, three wins from 14 league matches would be enough to get many managers in the top flight sacked. Why not Pochettino?
While it is fair to say Tottenham did perhaps not back him as they should have done in the transfer market, the club did spend big. It is hard to imagine he did not have the final say on who was brought in.
Was a creative force such as Lo Celso, for example, strictly necessary when it was so obvious Tottenham lacked a quality right-back or alternatives up front – weaknesses that were exposed in humiliating fashion by Bayern last month?
The situation with Christian Eriksen has not helped, but again Pochettino must take his fair share of responsibility; looking back, any players dallying over signing fresh deals – see also Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen – have been ostracised during his time in north London. Is this the wisest approach when Tottenham have not had the squad depth to be able to cope with key players sitting idly by?
With the Premier League seemingly wide open – at least outside the top four – this season, Tottenham could not afford to delay any longer and, on the back of a five-match winless league run, they desperately need a fresh source of inspiration.
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