Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino as Tottenham manager in November 2019; Portuguese head coach led Spurs to sixth-place finish in the Premier League during first season in charge
Jose Mourinho has been sacked as head coach of Tottenham, less than a week before Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.
The club confirmed Mourinho and his coaching staff Joao Sacramento, Nuno Santos, Carlos Lalin and Giovanni Cerra had all been “relieved of their duties” on Monday morning.Sponsored link
“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.”
Mourinho had been in charge at Spurs since November 2019, replacing Mauricio Pochettino, signing a deal until the end of the 2023 season.Sponsored Links
In his first campaign, Mourinho took Tottenham from 14th in the Premier League to finish sixth – securing Europa League qualification – but were knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage by RB Leipzig.
Mourinho leaves Spurs seventh in the table, five points off the Champions League places.
The club crashed out of this season’s Europa League at the last-16 stage following defeat to Dinamo Zagreb.SAS GEO ERRORThis video is not authorized in your locationRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEOFREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton’s draw with Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League
‘Same coach, different players’
Mourinho had criticised his players in recent weeks, notably accusing stars of “hiding” in the defeat to Arsenal.
He said: “No intensity, no pressing. In terms of creating attacking football, some important players were hiding. In the second half we only had to improve which we did.”
Asked after a draw against Newcastle about Tottenham’s tendency to let points slip from winning positions, he gave the barbed reply: “Same coach, different players”.
He told Sky Sports after the Newcastle game: “It was not a problem of fight, it was not a problem of attitude, the players wanted to win but I have to be honest and say I saw things on the pitch, not in terms of attitude but in terms of profile, vision, balance, which belongs to the top players, I didn’t see in every position.”
Mourinho had appeared to try and take a different tack before the departure was confirmed, shutting down questions from the media about his side’s frailties.
Asked about their continuing tendency to drop points, Mourinho said: “That’s what I’m not ready to discuss with you. I think it has to do with some of our qualities as a team, but I’m not ready to discuss with you.”
When pressed on when he would be willing to discuss this matter, Mourinho said “maybe never”.
Jamie Redknapp had insisted Mourinho had to take responsibility for a Tottenham side neither getting results nor, as he declared, good to watch.
Speaking after the recent 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United, Redknapp said: “What Jose has done in this period is make them a really tough watch. You can say what you like about Spurs over the last 40 years but they’ve always been a good football team; they’ve always had a style of play.
“If Spurs fans were in here, I don’t think they’d enjoy that one bit. Too often I watch this Spurs side and there’s no real flair, there’s no excitement.
“I don’t think this is a bad squad of players; I’ve said it before and I’ll stand by it.
“This manager has chopped and changed at the back. To play football, you have to have a chemistry, a relationship with whoever you’re playing alongside.
“Earlier in the season, he played with (Pierre-Emile) Hojbjerg and (Moussa) Sissoko in midfield; sometimes they’d go into a back six. It wasn’t a great watch but at least you knew what they were trying to do. They were being defensive and getting results. Right now, they’re trying to be defensive, they’re not getting results and they’re an incredibly tough watch.
“The manager has to take responsibility. We talked in the past about a Jose masterclass; he loved it and celebrated it. If he doesn’t think this is a good squad… well, a great manager would find a way to get his players organised.
“They’re not playing great football and they’re losing matches. It’s not just about the potential of Harry Kane leaving, it’s the financial implications with the stadium, the assets, other players like Dele Alli, Harry Winks. Daniel Levy will not like the fact that his players are devaluing assets. He’ll hate it.”
Keane had backed Mourinho after the Manchester United defeat, insisting he did not have the sort of totemic defenders his sides had boasted in the past, and saying he thought his managerial record meant he deserved more time.
“He’s got a great record, he’s come into this side to compete; finishing sixth or seventh is not what they’ve employed him for.
“Jose has always has brilliant defenders, proper midfielders in terms of mindset. But Spurs aren’t strong enough. They’re not good enough to keep it tight behind Kane and Son.
“If he still has this mindset of getting our noses in front, sit back and hold onto leads, this team defensively – and I’m including the goalkeeper – aren’t good enough.
“These lads here are nowhere near as good enough defensively as what he’s had at his previous clubs. Lack of leaders, lack of characters, not good enough defensively.
“It’s a lot of things going into the mix and it’s not an easy fix. But I think his CV warrants staying longer in the job.”