High-profile football manager Jose Mourinho was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur on Monday. This comes just a day after it was revealed that the London-club was a part of a 12-team breakaway Super League that has caused a stir in European football circles.
Spurs’ inclusion in the proposed tournament, however, has nothing to do with the Portuguese coach’s sacking, as the 58-year-old had reportedly already been in hot water with the Tottenham hierarchy. A combination of unimpressive results on the pitch – the latest being a 2-2 draw away to Everton – and the increasing feeling of resentment among the players didn’t help his cause either.
Spurs sever ties
The club issued a statement on its social media handle, claiming: “The Club can today announce that Jose Mourinho and his coaching staff Joao Sacramento, Nuno Santos, Carlos Lalin and Giovanni Cerra have been relieved of their duties.”
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 19, 2021
The statement further quoted club chairman Daniel Levy, “Jose and his coaching staff have been with us through some of our most challenging times as a Club. 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’s record at Tottenham
Following the unexpected sacking of popular Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, the club jumped at the opportunity to hire Mourinho – who was not employed by any club at the time – in November 2019.
The expectation, both from fans and the board, was for him to guide the club back into the Champions League elite. But Mourinho’s first season in charge saw the club finish sixth in the Premier League (only the top four make it to the Champions League, and the fifth team is guaranteed a spot in the Europa League group stage).
Mourinho had been unable to improve the results in the ongoing 2020-21 season. Tottenham currently sit in seventh position, five points behind West Ham United (fourth).
51% – Only with Leiria (45%) has José Mourinho posted a lower win ratio in all competitions in his managerial career than he has with Tottenham Hotspur (51% – won 44/86 games). Sacked. pic.twitter.com/lunYGIMwh8
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 19, 2021
Mourinho’s career started to take shape when he was hired as a local coach and translator when Late Bobby Robson was hired at Sporting Lisbon in 1992. The English coach recognised Mourinho as a clever tactician and used his skills to form team strategy. The duo – Mourinho had been upgraded to assistant coach – worked together during Robson’s trophy-laden spells at Porto and Barcelona, where the Portuguese stayed back when Robson moved to manage other clubs.
Mourinho, in 2002, took charge of Porto as head coach and led them to the Champions League title in 2004.
It was a win that got him the attention of Chelsea, then freshly armed with the riches of new owner Roman Abramovich, who hired him. That was his first shot at managing an elite European club – since then he’s been at the helm of teams that have now signed up for the Super League.
He won three Premier League titles at Chelsea over two stints (2004-2007 and 2013-2016), two Serie A crowns and the Champions League (2009-10) with Inter Milan, a La Liga title with Real Madrid in 2012, and the Europa League with Manchester United in 2017.
He failed to win any trophies with Tottenham.
José Mourinho has lost more games with Spurs than at Porto, Inter, Real Madrid & his first spell at Chelsea.
◎ Porto: 127 games, 15 defeats
◎ Chelsea I: 185 games, 21 defeats
◎ Inter: 108 games, 15 defeats
◎ Real Madrid: 178 games, 22 defeats
◉ Spurs: 86 games, 23 defeats pic.twitter.com/gZgiaDNvWD
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 19, 2021
Falling out with players
A shrewd tactician when it comes to winning matches, Mourinho’s man-management skills however have been suspect.
Over his career, he’s had several fallouts with important team members. He had frosty relations with Real Madrid players Pepe and Iker Casillas (reportedly, his criticism of the popular goalkeeper did not go well with other players in the team).
At Chelsea, he had rifts with Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, and once suggested Ricardo Carvalho should go to “a mental hospital.” Former Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o, who played under Mourinho while at Inter, did not get along with the coach when they reunited at Chelsea.
He’s had fallouts with several players during his time at Manchester United too: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Pogba explained the difference between current United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mourinho.
“What I have now with Ole is different, he wouldn’t go against the players. Maybe Ole wouldn’t pick them, but it’s not like he puts them on the side like they don’t exist anymore. That’s the difference between Mourinho and Ole,” Pogba said.
Mourinho replied claiming he “couldn’t care less.”