Is Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino set to become the first Premier League manager to leave?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 30 August 2019, 10:51

"This is my sixth season and the most unsettled group we are working with," Mauricio Pochettino revealed after Tottenham’s shock defeat at home to Newcastle last weekend.

Stood alone, that comment makes for alarming reading, however the Spurs boss did then go on to say: "That is why we are relaxed and calm. Some situations we cannot fix. Nothing to say about that, situations that are going on in the squad. Still we need to wait.”

Worrying nonetheless.

Fast Forward to Friday and bookmakers have suddenly suspended betting on Pochettino leaving Tottenham after taking a number of bets on this becoming a reality.

The Argentinian started the season a 50/1 shot in the next Premier League manager to leave market, only to be cut to 20/1 last weekend, with Watford head coach Javi Gracia the 11/8 favourite.

After bookies took the market down Coral spokesman John Hill told The Mirror: "This is a gamble which has taken us by surprise and as a result of the volume of bets we have taken, we have had no choice but to suspend betting to let the dust settle as there is rarely smoke without fire when it comes to such activity in our managerial markets.”

Three months ago Spurs were one win away from winning the Champions League, only to suffer a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in Madrid.

Spurs then splashed out over £100m on transfers in the summer on the likes of Tanguy Ndombele and Ryan Sessegnon, although the future of Christian Eriksen remains shrouded in doubt.

On the opening weekend of the season Pochettino’s men recovered from a goal down to beat new boys Aston Villa 3-1, which was followed by a fortunate 2-2 draw away to defending champions Man City. However, the subsequent shock loss to Steve Bruce’s previously pointless Toon Army was a hammer blow.

Up next?

The North London derby at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. A defeat  - Spurs are without a top-flight away win since January - would leave the club with just four points from four league games this term, and if coupled with the tail-end of last season then it would be five points from a possible 21.

Pochettino cut a downhearted figure in the aftermath of the Newcastle loss, and should he fail to get the result he wants this weekend, Spurs fans may face an anxious wait during the international break.

If the worst outcome does occur and Pochettino decides to leave Spurs, then there’s a certain high-profile Portuguese manager looking for a route back into the dugout…

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