Could Jose Mourinho actually replace Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham Hotspur?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 02 October 2019, 15:58

Four months ago Mauricio Pochettino had the chance to be crowned the Managerial King of Europe.

Fast-forward to the current day and he's enduring the toughest test of his Tottenham tenure.

Pochettino is used to people speculating over his future, as is any boss operating at the highest level.

Yet the issue now is that the current dose of frenzied speculation comes after a poor period of results during which Spurs have suffered a crushing 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern Munich, been dumped out of the Carabao Cup by League Two Colchester, and stunned by Steve Bruce’s Newcastle.

In the aftermath of the Bayern humiliation, Pochettino’s odds were cut to just 2/1 in the next Premier League manager to leave market, meaning the Argentine is now the outright favourite ahead of Marco Silva, Steve Bruce and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

There have been times when Pochettino has appeared untouchable at Tottenham, but in truth the club’s form has been patchy for some time. 10 defeats in 20 matches is a return of major concern.

- Lost to Newcastle at home
- Let a 2 goal slip vs #Arsenal
- Let a 2 goal lead slip vs Olympiakos
- Knocked out of the League Cup by Colchester
- Thumped at home by Bayern

Poch is 3/1 to be the next PL Manager to leave...????

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— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) October 1, 2019

Are Spurs now in a full-blown crisis?

To a certain extent yes, but don't expect the club to push the panic button just yet.

The club’s run to the Champions League final was obviously incredible, they then held Man City at the Etihad earlier this season, and prior to the Bayern defeat had conjured up an impressive win over Southampton with 10 men.

During a period of uncertainty when confidence levels were low, the Saints victory appeared to have brought the players and fans back together and in turn paper up the cracks.

Cracks which were then ruthlessly exposed by Niko Kovac’s German juggernaut who tore a fragile defence to shreds in front of a dumbfounded home support.

So what next?

With rumours swirling that Pochettino could leave - there could be a vacancy at Real Madrid opening up again soon - a certain manager keeps cropping up in conversation.

Step forward: Jose Mourinho. Victor of 25 trophies, compared to Pochettino’s zero. Obviously that doesn’t take into account plenty of other managerial factors, but the fact is that since taking charge of Porto in 2002 he’s won at least three trophies at every club he’s managed.

It feels like an eternity since the Portuguese coach last oversaw a game - a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on 16th December 2018 - yet here at The Sack Race we are desperate for The Special One to return.

But the question is, where?

The link to former club Real Madrid is an easy one to make, especially given the underwhelming nature of Zidane’s second spell to date.

He's been flirting with his old employers through the media, and would no doubt be tempted to return should the opportunity arise.

What about Tottenham?

A defeat at Brighton - who Tottenham haven’t lost to since 1983 - on Saturday would really set the alarm bells off ahead of the two-week international break, during which Pochettino and Spurs may decide that the time is right to part ways.

For the sake of this article, let’s just say this outcome occurs...

A look at the list of contenders in the next Tottenham manager market shows Mourinho as the joint 7/2 favourite alongside Brendan Rodgers. Given that the latter is enjoying an upward curve at high-flying Leicester, we’re going to rule him out for now. Although it would be interesting to see what he’d do if he was offered the Spurs job.

Former Juventus head coach Max Allegri, who is learning English and believed to be keen on the Premier League, would be a creditable option given his success and experience in Italy and Europe.

Eddie Howe would be considered a gamble, as would Erik Ten Hag, while it probably wouldn’t take much to tempt Rafa Benitez back from China.

The exciting Julian Nagelsmann also features, yet he’s in the preliminary stages of his RB Leipzig project.

So back to Mourinho. After the disappointing end to his spells at both Chelsea and Man Utd, the chance to manage another top Premier League club in a brand-spanking new stadium would undoubtedly whet his appetite.

Mourinho’s entertaining TV appearances have kept himself in the headlines, but an appointment at Spurs would no doubt split the fans.

Why?

There’s obviously his history at London rivals Chelsea, while the painfully drab nature of Man Utd’s performances are still fresh in the memory, although to his credit he won the Europa League and League Cup at Old Trafford.

When could a managerial change occur?

It would be a huge shock if Pochettino leaves Spurs - either voluntarily or by force - before Saturday's clash with Brighton.

The key here is the upcoming international break.

It goes without saying that the vast majority of Tottenham supporters will desperately be hoping that Pochettino remains at the helm, whatever the result this weekend.

However, should he depart North London, then Mourinho has the pedigree, personality (most of the time), and the trophy-splattered CV to venture over in the other direction and instigate a new era.

Love him or loathe him, you wouldn’t bet against him winning a trophy.

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