Sky Sports pundit and former footballer Paul Merson believes Spurs’ decision to replace Mauricio Pochettino with Jose Mourinho has not paid dividends so far.
Mourinho was swiftly brought in to succeed the sacked Pochettino in mid-November, but after a promising start in the Tottenham hotseat, the Portuguese has overseen his side’s top-four challenge falter and they are currently on a run of four games without a win prior to their FA Cup replay against Middlesbrough.
In his column for Sky Sports, Merson has suggested that Spurs’ decision to fire Pochettino has looked to have backfired as a result – and is worried for the future at Tottenham if they fail to reach next season’s Champions League.
He said: “Where are Tottenham? Well, they’re eighth. Are they improving? No, they’re not. I think Mourinho’s trying to get his team defensively minded like his old Chelsea side. Hard to beat, and making sure they don’t lose football matches before they win them. He can’t live with winning 3-2 every week. He’ll want a lot of changes in that team; this is not his team.
“Don’t get me wrong, he was one of the best managers I’d ever seen. One thing he does, is hit the ground running, and treated the first game like it was the last game. I think they’ve gone to get Mourinho to get them in the top four, and I think it has backfired. If they don’t get into the top four this year, I think it’s worrying times for Tottenham.”
On one hand, Merson’s argument that Spurs’ decision to sack Pochettino may well become a regrettable one could be justified considering that Tottenham were 11 points adrift of the top four following the Argentinian’s final game and are now still nine points off with less than half of the season remaining. That is also despite a start that saw Mourinho win five of his first seven league games in charge.
Is Jose Mourinho a busted flush?
However, on the other hand, Merson suggested himself that it is not Mourinho’s team, which suggests that the current boss should perhaps be given the time to mould the side into how he sees fit – and that their present struggles are a consequence of changing their ways under a new regime.
Although, you may not blame Daniel Levy if he were having regrets over dismissing Pochettino before his time given how Spurs have continued to stall under their new boss.
Spurs fans, are you wishing you stuck with Pochettino? Let us know your thoughts below!
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