DANIEL LEVY clearly felt Mauricio Pochettino could no longer manage.
But the crafty old Argie has managed to get himself out of Tottenham and into a situation where he will have the pick of most of Europe’s top clubs as his next employer.
Spurs sacked Mauricio Pochettino – but the manager has a £12.5m pay-off and his pick of top clubs[/caption]
Poch has also managed to screw a £12.5million pay-off from Levy.
If that was not enough, he has also managed to make the Spurs chairman look the villain of the piece.
Pochettino’s future may have been the hot topic of discussion but, when the news broke yesterday evening, it was still a bombshell moment.
So much so that the club’s players only discovered their gaffer was a goner online, the same time as the rest of us.
The clamour to validate the shock announcement was such it caused the club’s official website to crash — just like their season so far.
We all knew Pochettino’s position was perilous after their poor start to the campaign, which sees Spurs languishing 14th in the Premier League table with just three top-flight wins from 12 matches.
They were also knocked out of the Carabao Cup at League Two Colchester.
The heat will now be on chairman Daniel Levy to pick the correct successor[/caption]
But the feeling in and around Tottenham’s magnificent new stadium was Levy would only sack his manager as a last resort.
This was partly because of the excellent job Poch had done in transforming the club since his arrival from Southampton back in May 2014.
But mainly because Levy did not want to pay him the £12.5m compensation he would be due under the terms of the megabucks new five-year deal he gave him in June 2018.
Yet in the end Levy decided it was a price worth paying as Pochettino became the Tottenham terminator’s ninth managerial casualty.
Poch claimed in the build-up to last season’s Champions League final that he had made Levy “more human”. I think it is safe to say the Spurs boss — sorry, former boss — may have gone a bit early with that.
Just 171 days after leading the North Londoners on one of the greatest nights in their history, he was given the boot.
The timing, at the end of an international break rather than at the start, seems utterly bizarre and leads you to conclude Levy must have someone else already lined up.
But then again, it is Tottenham and Levy — who got rid of Harry Redknapp, the only previous manager to take the club into the Champions League before Poch, and replaced him with absolute disaster Andre Villas-Boas.
Levy turned to Pochettino after some Spurs fans had started to turn against him and his fellow directors.
If this situation does not go smoothly it is safe to say the chairman can expect more protests.
Yet it is not all his fault.
And you suspect Pochettino and his coaching staff were celebrating last night with a case or three of Argentinian fine red wine.
It almost appeared Poch had been angling to get out of Tottenham from the moment he put pen to paper on £42.5m deal 18 months ago.
Within weeks he seemed to regret signing it as he became linked with vacancies at Real Madrid and Manchester United.
Even Spurs’ historic Champions League run did not seem to satisfy him. No sooner had they reached the final in Madrid than he was threatening to quit if his side won the trophy.
After losing that showpiece 2-0 to Liverpool, Poch then turned on Levy, accusing his chairman of not backing him in the transfer market.
In a pre-season hissy-fit in Munich, he huffed: “I am not a manager, I am a coach,” knowing full well his success on the pitch would lead to Spurs fans taking his side against Levy off it.
Well, now Poch is neither coach or manager after being axed last night but he is free to talk to other clubs interested in him. Bayern Munich and Barcelona are also said in offering him a rapid return to the dugout.
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You wonder if sacking your manager at a cost of £12.5m so he is free to take up a role with one of your Euro rivals is a smart move by Levy. But it highlights how strained their relationship had become.
Levy clearly could not stomach the prospect of another transfer window with his mardy Argie.
The chairman will clearly be the fall guy for this in the coming days.
What he does to resolve this situation will determine whether he remains so.
This post written by Tom Sheen originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.