Charlie Nicholas · Columnist
15:31 · November 21, 2019 · 3 min read
I am amazed to be honest. The background of it suggests that they were speaking to Jose Mourinho behind the scenes. A month or six weeks ago I indicated on Soccer Saturday that it sounded to me as though Mauricio Pochettino was talking his way out of Tottenham.
The chairman took them for dinner, Pochettino wasn’t getting money, yet this may have been to reassure him that the club was going in the right direction.
The relationship sounded as though it was repaired but he said he wanted to bring in fresh bodies. Pochettino wasn’t happy with the running down of contracts from Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen.
Danny Rose will be ready to say something soon now Pochettino has gone. Regarding the other ones, Poch said he tried to get contracts but he doesn’t control this.
Later, I thought it settled down a bit and thought they would just get on with it until the time comes, potentially waiting for Manchester United or Real Madrid to knock on the door. That’s how I saw it.
You have to say Pochettino was fantastic for the club - has he won anything? No. Has he been a success? Absolutely.
Arsenal were never really overly concerned with Tottenham, but on a couple occasions, they were not far off winning the title, they reached the Champions League final, which is far more threatening than the other team in north London. With the pedigree he head, Pochettino has done fantastic.
Mourinho is a serial winner but I am not sure he is any more - the game is adapting. I am surprised at the timing of it and how quickly it has happened. I don’t know if Mourinho and Levy is a partnership which will get the job done.
Mourinho to Tottenham
He likes to spend, and if the players aren’t doing what is asked of them then the relationship can become quite strained. Vertonghen, Alderweireld and Eriksen have six weeks and they could strike a deal to get out of Tottenham.
He may get some money in for them with it being in January, but he will want to adapt it to his style. The only reason I can see the push for Mourinho is his winning mentality, which will get some sort of trophy over the line. Mourinho is a short-term fix - he doesn’t do more than three seasons.
I am confused about the situation and how quickly and deliberate it has been with the sacking. This will eat into their budget also so it is a dramatic event - it did take me by surprise.
Charlie's Prediction: West Ham 1-2 Tottenham
Normally you get a bounce with a new manager, but I don’t know what a bounce is for Tottenham. West Ham love to turn Tottenham over more than any of the London clubs - there is something about the hostility between the two of these sides.
Manuel Pellegrini is under serious pressure and could be out of the door with a heavy defeat. One manager is trying to save himself, while the other manager is trying to assert his authority on a side that has had an abysmal season thus far. He won’t have any time to do it going into the weekend - they were in yesterday to train and meet the coach.
They will have to batten down the hatches and get on with it. It will be interesting to see who he picks. There is a lot of people who will be feeling let down that Pochettino has gone, but I expect a reaction from Tottenham. There will be fire in the belly and it will be feisty. What a start to the weekend.