Jose Mourinho Sacked by Spurs the Day After Super League Announcement

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Earlier this season, Jose Mourinho promised to end Tottenham Hotspur’s 13 year trophy drought. He did lead Spurs to the final of the EFL Cup, but it will be somebody else leading the team on the touchline this weekend as he has now been sacked by the club.

The announcement comes a day after Tottenham made public their plans to join the breakaway European Super League, and endeavor that seems almost universally despised. Nothing happens in a vaccum, so one has to wonder about the timing, and how these two events are related.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy stated the following: “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.”

Tottenham, who were actually sitting top of the table in late autumn/early winter, are now in seventh place and five points off the pace of the top four. They have been eliminated from all other competitions other than the League Cup. Julian Nagelsmann has been linked as a potential Mourinho successor, but the conventional wisdom believes he’ll take the Bayern Munich job instead, when Hansi Flick completes his bitter divorce from his current club at the end of the season.

Mourinho had his full blown “third season syndrome” going on this year, but he never even completed a full season in north London- only half of last year and three-quarters of this one.

In late 2020, a feature story published in an American magazine headlined the north London outfit as a burgeoning super club.

The narrative was built around: the new stadium, the loan deal that brought Gareth Bale back in October 2020, having Jose Mourinho as a manager and signing Alex Morgan to the women’s team. At first glance, this theory sounds rock-solid. 

Bale broke the world transfer fee record when Tottenham had sold him to Real Madrid, Morgan is the most iconic women’s player alive and Mourinho is a true trophy machine among managers. 

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However, the events that played out made this theory a huge swing and miss. Morgan only made five appearances and scored just two goals before heading back to America. Mourinho lost a lot of proverbial zip on his managerial fastball, and 2021 saw Spurs falling out of the top four. 

Mourinho repeatedly publicly called out the motivation of his own players (If only he knew somebody who could have done something about potentially motivating his squad better?) this season, and no doubt that probably had a lot to do with his getting dismissed. 

Having often expressed his team possessed “sadness” this term, he seeemed well aware that he could get the sack again before the campaign was over.   

As for Bale, injuries have taken a cumulative toll on him and he’s just not the player he used to be. He contributed only one Premier League goal through the first 24 matches of the season

ESPN are reporting that Ryan Mason and Chris Powell are likely to be appointed on an interim basis in Mourinho’s stead, and that the special one will receive a buyout package that is somewhere in between £20m and £30 million. Mason will lead the team in training today.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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