Jose Mourinho has been sacked as manager of Tottenham Hotspur, with former midfielder Ryan Mason taking over first-team duties. The Portuguese leaves just six days before the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City and with the club seventh in the Premier League table. Spurs drew 2-2 with Everton on Friday in a damaging blow to their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. The result came alongside an injury to Harry Kane, who is a doubt for Sunday’s Wembley final.
Mourinho arrived at Spurs in November 2019 and succeeded Mauricio Pochettino in north London. He signed a contract keeping him at the club until 2023. After a difficult first season that was hit by injuries and disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Mourinho led Spurs to the top of the Premier League table last November with a 2-0 win over Manchester City. The club were tipped for a title challenge but it faltered over Christmas and into the New Year following a dismal run of form that saw them drop out of the top four. Spurs were also knocked out of the Europa League in embarrassing fashion after losing 3-0 to Dinamo Zagreb.
Mourinho has now been sacked from his last three clubs in the Premier League, following spells at Chelsea and Manchester United. RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann is the early favourite to succeed him with Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers also in the frame.
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What’s next for Mourinho?
After acrimonious endings to his spells at Chelsea in 2015 and Manchester United in 2018, this is the third time in a row that Mourinho has been sacked from a club mid-season.
So what next? Mourinho has long been tipped as future manager of the Portugal, and perhaps a turn to international football would better suit his management style. But at the age of 58, Mourinho might think that he has another club in him.
He spent 12 months out of the game in between being sacked from United and taking over at Spurs, briefly working as a TV pundit, and he may want a similar amount of time before deciding upon his next challenge.
Here, Miguel Delaney asks whether Mourinho’s magic has gone.
Who will replace Mourinho?
The 33-year-old guided Leipzig to the semi-finals of the Champions League last season and has the side second in the Bundesliga this campaign, although seven points behind Bayern Munich.
The German has previously been tipped as a future manager of Real Madrid or Manchester United, and would also be a strong contender to take over from Hansi Flick at Bayern when Flick leaves the club at the end of the season.
When did Mourinho join Spurs?
Mourinho arrived at Tottenham in dramatic circumstances in November 2019. He replaced Mauricio Pochettino, the manager who had guided them to the Champions League final the previous season, and took charge with the club 14th in the Premier League.
Spurs beat West Ham 3-2 in Mourinho’s first game and his appointment brought an upturn in form, but by March the club had crashed out of the Champions League and League Cup following defeats to Red Bull Leipzig and Norwich.
Spurs then won five of their last eight league games of the season – after the Premier League was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic – to qualify for the Europa League.
There was optimism ahead of his second second, especially after Spurs thrashed Manchester United 6-1 in August before Spurs hit the top of the Premier League thanks to a 2-0 win over Manchester City in November, but their title challenge did not materialise.
European Super League
It is understood that the decision to sack Mourinho is solely based on results, and has nothing to do with Tottenham’s participation in the European Super League.
Spurs confirmed on Sunday that they will join Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Milan and Inter in the tournament, as one of at least 12 founding, permanent members.
The controversial competition is set to replace the Champions League, with clubs guaranteed entry each season rather than having to qualify through their league performance.
Tottenham have won just one out of the last five Premier League matches, and it is believed that their dismal form since the turn of the year, as well as their elimination from the FA Cup and Europa League, have been the determining factors in his departure.
How will Spurs stars react?
This was Harry Kane’s tribute to Mauricio Pochettino after the former Spurs boss was sacked in November 2019. It remains to be seen how the Spurs players will react publicly following Mourinho’s departure.
Dele Alli, of course, has been frozen out of the Spurs line-up this season, while Gareth Bale has had a rocky relationship with Mourinho over the course of his loan move from Real Madrid.
Mourinho set for big Spurs pay-off
Additional details here on Mourinho’s sacking, with a severance package of around £15 million said to have been agreed between Mourinho and the club.
Who is Ryan Mason?
Tottenham have confirmed that former midfielder Ryan Mason will take over first-team duties, starting with training today. Mason broke into the Spurs first team alongside Harry Kane in 2014/15, making over 50 Premier League appearances for the club over two seasons. He moved to Hull City in 2016 but was forced to retire from football after fracturing his skull in January 2017 following a clash of heads with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill.
Mason returned to Spurs in 2018 where he has worked as their head of player development.
Spurs act ahead of Carabao Cup final
It seems Tottenham have taken the decision to sack Mourinho in an effort to galvanise their squad ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final. They believe they have a better chance of beating Manchester City without him.
‘Same coach, different players’: How Mourinho’s end game followed a familiar pattern.
The Special One? Not any more. Recent defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal, as well as their eliminations from the Europa League and FA Cup proved hugely damaging. Since the turn of the year, Spurs have also lost to Liverpool, Brighton, Chelsea, Manchester City and West Ham.