Jose Mourinho has ruled out a move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic because he has the "best striker in England" at his disposal in Harry Kane.

Ibrahimovic has been linked with a move to the north London club after Mourinho was swiftly announced as Mauricio Pochettino's replacement last week.

The pair briefly worked together at Inter during the 2008-09 season before linking up again at Manchester United in 2016.

Speaking ahead of his first Champions League game in charge of Spurs against Olympiacos on Tuesday, Mourinho poured cold water on suggestions he could swoop for the 38-year-old free agent.

"I have more than a connection [with Ibrahimovic]," he said. "He's an amazing player, amazing guy, but I would say no chance.

"We have the best striker in England. We have one of the top two or three strikers in the world.

"A striker of Zlatan's dimension...obviously in his late 30s but still a striker that can play at any club in the world.

"[But] it doesn't make sense to sign him when we have Harry Kane."

Tottenham confirmed Ben Davies is unavailable for Tuesday's game after sustaining an ankle injury against West Ham at the weekend, but Tanguy Ndombele and Jan Vertonghen both took part in training on Monday.

Spurs are five points behind Group B leaders Bayern Munich but will qualify for the last 16 if they overcome their Greek opponents at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

 

 

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane could once again face the wrath of Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo after declaring his love for Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe, 20, is consistently linked with a move away from the Ligue 1 giants, where he has starred since arriving in 2017.

Zidane has long been an admirer of the France international and said last month it was Mbappe's dream to play for Los Blancos.

That led to Leonardo responding: "It annoys me a little and it bothers me. This is not the time to talk about this. He still has two and a half years of contract with us. It's time to stop all this."

Speaking ahead of Madrid's Champions League clash with PSG on Tuesday, Zidane once again expressed his admiration for the World Cup winner.

"You know that I have known him for a long time," he told a media conference. "I am already in love with him, firstly as a person, because he came to do a trial here a long time ago.

"On Tuesday he comes as a rival. What matters to me is what we are going to do and we are going to prepare for it. We know the player and we must be prepared."

Mbappe could line up alongside Neymar at the Santiago Bernabeu after the Brazilian superstar made his first appearance for a month in the Ligue 1 win over Lille on Friday.

Zidane believes the pair will be named in Thomas Tuchel's starting XI and expects a tough test against a side he ranks among the best in the world.

"Nothing changes for me because I think Neymar and Mbappe are going to play," he explained. "We are prepared in any case to play against any team.

"PSG is a very good team. I think it will be a great game. Since the beginning of the season they have not had many failures; they have lost very little in the league.

"I see a team that is progressing very well. They are one of the best teams in the world.

"They will demand a lot from us and we know that. In the end, we're going to need a lot of things – our heads, our hearts and a lot of good football. We need to work well with the ball."

Madrid are five points behind PSG at the summit of Group A but will qualify for the last 16 if they overcome the French champions.

Pep Guardiola has conceded he is uncertain if Mikel Arteta will remain as his assistant for much longer amid reports of Arsenal's interest.

Former Gunners midfielder Arteta joined Guardiola's backroom staff in 2016 and has become highly thought of as an assistant coach as Manchester City have stormed to domestic dominance.

Arteta, who spent five years at Arsenal after signing from Everton in 2011, was linked with taking over from Arsene Wenger in 2018, only for Unai Emery to be appointed instead.

Despite a run to the Europa League final last season, ex-Paris Saint-Germain coach Emery has failed to impress, with reports suggesting he is on the brink of dismissal following a poor start to the campaign.

Arteta has again being referenced as a front runner for the job should Emery leave his role.

And, while emphasising his wish for Arteta to remain at City, Guardiola acknowledged it may be difficult to keep his compatriot on board beyond the end of the current campaign.

"Emery is manager of Arsenal," Guardiola told a news conference when asked about the reports linking Arteta with a return to north London.

"Of course [Mikel] will be a manager sooner or later, if I was in his position, an assistant coach as young as he is [I'd want to be a manager too], but now we're going to finish this season. In the future I don't know what's going to happen.

"I would like [Mikel] to stay with us as much as possible. Manchester City has an incredible value for a person to work at this club for the future, but personal life is personal life, professional desires are professional for each person.

"Everyone, not just me, is more than satisfied to have him here, but what happens at the end of the season, I don't know."

Guardiola also claimed Arteta's managerial credentials were clear from early on in their working relationship, believing the midfield role which both he and Arteta occupied in their playing days provides the ideal platform for a coaching career.

"He was an incredible player, normally with a holding midfielder they have a vision of all the pitch," Guardiola said. 

"The holding midfielder is an incredible lesson during your career as a player to learn what happens. You don't need to go to [coaching] school, he was so clever in that.

"More than that he is an incredible human being, work ethic, he works a lot. I said after a few months we were together that this guy would be a manager sooner or later. He is already a manager, he works like a manager.

"That is why we're satisfied to have him here."

Cristiano Ronaldo has trained with Juventus and will be evaluated ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid, Maurizio Sarri has confirmed.

The Portugal striker sat out the unconvincing 3-1 win at Atalanta over the weekend as he continues to contend with a knee injury.

However, Ronaldo is seemingly in line to feature in the Group D contest against Atleti, an opponent the former Real Madrid star has scored 25 times against in his prolific career.

"Yesterday he did the training sessions with his team-mates," Sarri said. "He seems to be growing [stronger].

"We will evaluate it between today and tomorrow to see if we have solved it, but the fact that yesterday he did all the training with his team-mates is very positive.

"I think and hope there will be no repercussions."

Ronaldo's relationship with Sarri has been under the microscope in recent weeks, mainly due to the coach's decision to haul off his star forward in two straight matches when Juve were chasing a win prior to the international break.

The second of those games, a 1-0 victory over AC Milan, saw Ronaldo head straight down the tunnel and reportedly leave the stadium before the match had finished.

However, Sarri insists all is well between the duo and he has no objection to players showing frustration when being substituted.

"My relationship with Cristiano is good," he added. 

"If a player who has won so much is angry about being substituted it means he still has a lot of motivation and this is something positive.

"It is 25 years I have seen players get angry over substitutions."

Sarri, who confirmed Matthijs de Ligt and Federico Bernardeschi will also be evaluated before the game with Atleti, also explained why he does not foresee Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala lining up in the same XI any time soon.

"Playing Paulo, Gonzalo and Cristiano all together is difficult because of their characteristics, but all three know how to play really well and are comfortable with each other," he said.

"We have three strong strikers for two places. None of the three can play 65 games as seen in the early part of the season. Everyone will find a place."

Juve have already qualified for the knockout phase of the Champions League but know a win over Atleti will secure top spot in Group D.

"Right now I'm seeing the team play excellently in flashes and I would like to see some more continuity in certain aspects, but we must take into account the characteristics of the players," Sarri said. 

"We certainly have room for improvement. Against Atleti we can't worry about what they are going to do. 

"They are a difficult team to face but we must think about how important first place in the group is."

Thibaut Courtois has no doubt that Gareth Bale is committed to Real Madrid following the Wales star's controversial return to LaLiga action on Saturday.

Bale was introduced as a second-half substitute in the 3-1 win over Real Sociedad and was greeted by a mixture of boos and applause from the Santiago Bernabeu faithful.

It marked Bale's first appearance for Madrid since October and came at the end of a week in which he celebrated Wales' Euro 2020 qualification behind a banner that read: "WALES. GOLF. MADRID…IN THAT ORDER".

The slogan originates from a chant by Wales supporters that pokes fun at perceptions of Bale among the Spanish press, who have accused the former Tottenham player of pushing Madrid down his list of priorities.

Courtois would not be drawn on whether he believes the reception that greeted Bale was harsh, but is confident the 30-year-old remains committed to playing for the Spanish giants.

Speaking at a media conference ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain, the Belgium international said: "You love your country and that comes before where you are playing, but he is involved every day and is a professional. 

"He was very involved when he came on and generated a lot of danger. [Luka] Modric's goal came from a cross of his. If he wasn't committed, he wouldn't play like that.

"We are here to win games. What has happened, has happened. He gives everything in training and matches to help us win. The Bernabeu has its opinion and I am not in a position to comment on that."

Madrid suffered a humbling 3-0 defeat to PSG in their opening Group A game in September, but Courtois insists Los Blancos will not have revenge on their minds during Tuesday's fixture.

"I wouldn't say revenge," he added. "The match helped us to learn. We have improved a lot lately and we will see where we are.

"We have to be strong and not make mistakes. It will be a great game from the first second until the last."

Sergio Aguero will miss the Manchester derby with a thigh problem sustained in the win over Chelsea, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

Aguero was forced off with the injury in the 77th minute of City's 2-1 victory in the Premier League on Saturday.

Guardiola informed reporters after the match that he believed Aguero's injury was "bad" but could not provide any further details.

However, in his news conference to preview City's Champions League meeting with Shakhtar Donetsk, Guardiola confirmed Aguero will be out of action for several weeks, meaning the striker - who has scored nine league goals this term - will miss the clash with Manchester United on December 7.

"Yes," Guardiola responded when asked if City would be without Aguero for the derby.

"He will be out for a few games, don't know exactly [how long], a few weeks, but he'll be out."

Guardiola was unable to pinpoint Aguero's exact issue, but suggested the problem was a muscular one in the striker's thigh.

"Exactly where I don't know, his [thigh] tendon, at the front."

Gabriel Jesus is set to lead City's line in Aguero's absence, with the 22-year-old Brazil international, who has five goals in all competitions so far in 2019-20, confident he can grasp the opportunity to shine.

"I'm not happy because Sergio is injured. I don't like my friends being injured but I work here every day and I'm ready to play, because I want to improve so yes, I'm ready," Jesus said.

"It's not easy [to wait]. I'm a guy who wants to play, wants to work and improve. I don't feel happy because I want to play but I respect everything and keep working.

"I have to do it all of the time because I am at a big club with big players and a big manager so I have to work and improve as much as possible."

Despite playing second fiddle to Aguero, Jesus insists he has no regrets over moving to City in January 2017.

"When I decided to come to City I knew it was going to be hard because we have Sergio who is the top scorer of the club and scores every game, I knew this," Jesus added.

"I have a chance to play under Pep, with top players here at a big club so that's why I came, to enjoy it and to learn."

Marco Verratti looks set to make his Paris Saint-Germain comeback after being included in an extended squad for the Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

PSG visit the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday knowing a point will be enough to sew up top spot in Group A.

Thomas Tuchel's men have already sealed progression to the knockout rounds and could welcome back midfielder Verratti in the Spanish capital.

The Italy international has been named in a 22-man group after undergoing rehabilitation on a knee injury suffered in the Ligue 1 win at Brest on November 9.

Star forward Neymar returned from a hamstring issue in Friday's 2-0 victory over Lille, while Kylian Mbappe was involved as a second-half substitute after overcoming illness.

Both players are in the squad to face Madrid, who lost 3-0 when the teams met in Paris in September.

Ander Herrera, Thilo Kehrer, Layvin Kurzawa and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are all unavailable.

David Alaba will miss Bayern Munich's Champions League trip to Red Star Belgrade as his partner is expecting the birth of their child.

The Austria defender is not part of the travelling party for Tuesday's Group B fixture, in a match where already qualified Bayern will clinch top spot with a victory.

Alaba has been filling in at centre-back for Bayern in recent matches due to long-term injuries to Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Sule, while Jerome Boateng missed wins over Borussia Dortmund and Fortuna Dusseldorf through suspension.

Michael Cuisance is also missing from Hansi Flick's Bayern squad, with the French midfielder unavailable due to illness.

Idrissa Gueye says Kylian Mbappe knows he can win numerous trophies with Paris Saint-Germain as the forward reportedly considers a contract extension.

French publication L'Equipe claims PSG have made fresh terms for Mbappe their number one priority.

The World Cup winner is tied down until 2022 but has routinely been linked with Real Madrid and is said to be unconvinced about a new deal due to reservations over the club's past performances in the Champions League.

PSG have failed to advance past the last 16 since Mbappe arrived from Monaco.

However, team-mate Gueye told Marca: "I think he knows what he has to do to help the club and he can win a lot of things at PSG.

"He can help us a lot and his talent and the future ahead is impressive. He has a lot of room [to develop] because he is very young but he is already very strong and must continue along that path.

"He can help us win matches, give passes, score goals and we will see if he brings us the Champions League too.

"It's not just him, we're a team and if we get to the top it will be like a team, with everybody working on the pitch and also off it."

PSG have won four from four in Europe's elite club competition this season and need only a point at Real Madrid on Tuesday to top Group A.

Madrid are five points behind the French side following a 3-0 defeat in Paris and a home draw with Club Brugge in October.

There is now scepticism over whether Zinedine Zidane can steer the team to another Champions League triumph in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Gueye said: "No, they are able to win the Champions League without Cristiano.

"Other great players always come to Madrid. They sign good players and there are many who have already won the Champions League."

The midfielder added: "Madrid is always Madrid, that is not going to change, even if they did not win the Champions League last season.

"Madrid are a very big club, it always motivates us to play against these teams. We want the points at the Bernabeu."

Cristiano Ronaldo says is focused on returning to full fitness after being left out of the Juventus squad for Saturday's Serie A game away to Atalanta.

Head coach Maurizio Sarri told reporters Ronaldo was unlikely to be available for the trip to Bergamo and he was duly absent when the squad was named later on Friday.

Ronaldo has been substituted in Juve's last two games, prompting rumours of a rift between the forward and Sarri, though both men have denied that is the case.

It is unclear whether the Portugal star will be ready to return for Tuesday's Champions League group game at home to Atletico Madrid.

"Focused on my recovery to come back soon!" Ronaldo posted on Instagram after being left out of the Juve squad.

Serie A leaders Juve are on track to reach the next round of the Champions League after taking 10 points from their first four games in Group D.

Ronaldo scored a hat-trick for Portugal in their 6-0 demolition of Lithuania before netting his 99th international goal in a 2-0 win against Luxembourg.

Sarri previously said the 34-year-old is battling a knee issue and Ronaldo revealed he has been playing through pain.

Celtic have been fined €15,000 (£12,886) by UEFA for obsence chanting and displaying an "illicit banner" in their Europa League win against Lazio at Celtic Park last month.

Home supporters unveiled several banners ahead of the game, including one depicting former Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini hanging upside down.

Another contained a message in Italian that translated to "f*** off".

UEFA's control, ethics and disciplinary body has also fined Lazio €10,000 (£8,593) for "illicit chanting" during the meeting on October 24, which Celtic won 2-1.

Meanwhile, Club Brugge have been fined €14,000 for breaching safety regulations by blocking the stairways during their home Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain a month ago.

Ligue 1 champions PSG have been told to pay €50,000 and threatened with a one-match away ban for supporters if they offend again in the next 12 months after setting off fireworks in the same match.

Jose Mourinho was on Wednesday named Mauricio Pochettino's successor at Tottenham.

It's a remarkable return to English football for one of the game's most successful, and controversial, managers.

A quick look at the fixture list shows the Portuguese will have to hit the ground running if he is to turn Spurs' season around - the north London side are 14th heading into the weekend clash at West Ham, 11 points adrift of a Champions League spot.

After the cross-capital clash on Saturday, Mourinho will have to plot a route through a congested fixture list that also sees clashes with some old friends and foes.

A DERBY DATE FOR STARTERS - WEST HAM (A), SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23

Fittingly, Mourinho opens his Tottenham tenure against a West Ham team managed by someone he has clashed with previously.

Mourinho fired a succession of barbs at Manuel Pellegrini after succeeding him as Real Madrid boss in 2010, repeatedly and deliberately calling him "Pellegrino" before claiming "if they [Real] get rid of me, I will go to a big club in the Premier League or Serie A," when Pellegrini went to Malaga.

Further verbals were traded when the pair were at Chelsea and Manchester City respectively, and there is no doubt Mourinho would relish the opportunity to push his rival closer towards the sack.

West Ham have not won in six Premier League games and suffered a humiliating 4-0 thumping at League One side Oxford United in the EFL Cup in September.

 

AN EARLY GREEK TRAGEDY? - OLYMPIACOS (H), TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26

Spurs may have struggled domestically this season, but it has been a different story in the Champions League and victory over the Greek side will guarantee them a place in the knock-out stages.

Pochettino guided the club to their first Champions League final last season, where they lost to Liverpool, an amazing feat Mourinho will do well to replicate.

He could not ask for better opponents for his first home game, however. Olympiacos prop up Group B having taken just one point from their four games - against Spurs in Piraeus - while conceding 10 goals in the process.

OLD TRAFFORD RETURN - MANCHESTER UNITED (A), WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4

It will be fascinating to see what kind of reception Mourinho receives when he takes Tottenham to Manchester United.

While the Portuguese regularly flagged his achievements before arriving at Old Trafford, his two-and-a-half-year spell in Manchester was mixed.

He claimed EFL Cup and Europa League titles, but it was a reign characterised by acrimony with key players in his squad.

His successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has also struggled and Mourinho will see this as a wonderful opportunity to make a statement.

 

A PRE-CHRISTMAS CRACKER - CHELSEA (H), SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22

Mourinho faces another of his former clubs when Chelsea visit Tottenham Hotspur Stadium three days before Christmas.

The 56-year-old enjoyed enormous success across two spells at Stamford Bridge but was roundly jeered on his last visit with Manchester United.

In response, Mourinho held up three figures to signify the number of Premier League titles he won with the club, in addition to an FA Cup success.

If the love affair was on the rocks then, Mourinho's move to Chelsea's London rivals means it is now officially over.

HOLA PEP! - MANCHESTER CITY (H), SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1

Two of the game's most successful managers - and perennial rivals - over the past 10 years, Guardiola and Mourinho continue to slug it out at the highest level.

From undignified rows when at Real Madrid and Barcelona to a more peaceful co-habitation of Manchester, the latest chapter promises to be equally engaging.

By early February, City will likely be in the title race while Spurs' push for a top-four finish could be in full swing.

Either way, this promises to be another intriguing encounter.

Jose Mourinho has been given a shot at Premier League redemption with Tottenham.

Almost a year on from his acrimonious exit from Manchester United, the two-time Champions League winner has an unexpected chance to prove his best work is not confined to the past.

As the Special One aims to rise again, we reflect on the highs and lows of a managerial career full of highlights and high drama.


HIGHS

Upstaging the elite with Porto

Mourinho made his name at Porto, where he orchestrated perhaps the most unlikely Champions League triumph of the 21st century. Deco and Ricardo Carvalho were among the stars of the side that overcame future employers United, Lyon and Deportivo La Coruna en route to a meeting with Monaco in Gelsenkirchen. An emphatic 3-0 win secured Mourinho the continent's most coveted trophy in just his second full season in charge and laid the foundation for a silver-tinged future.


Tripletta treat

Inter snapped up Mourinho in June 2008, less than a year on from his initial split with Chelsea. It proved a perfect marriage of two tempestuous forces. After cantering to the Scudetto at the first attempt, Mourinho set his sights on guiding the Nerazzurri to greater heights in 2009-10. He did that and then some. Inter pipped Roma to the title, won the Coppa Italia and, after stunning Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals, Mourinho scaled Europe's highest peak for the second time, a 2-0 defeat of Bayern Munich crowning a magnificent treble.


Madrid make history

Mourinho's decision to depart San Siro for the Santiago Bernabeu brought little immediate success as Real Madrid claimed only the Copa del Rey in an underwhelming 2010-11 campaign. Cristiano Ronaldo had grander plans and his 46 goals the following season fired Los Blancos to a LaLiga title, their one and only under Mourinho. Most impressive was the team's final tally of 100 points, at the time a LaLiga record.


The best of the rest

In a January 2019 interview with beIN SPORTS, Mourinho suggested some would call him "crazy" for regarding a second-place finish with United as one of his greatest achievements. On reflection, it seems a reasonable assertion. United might have finished 19 points adrift of champions Manchester City in 2017-18 but now, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struggling to cobble together a team fit for Europe, finishing above Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal appears an admirable feat.

LOWS

Chelsea return ruined

Parting ways with Chelsea once must have been painful enough for a manager who won worldwide recognition in his first Premier League job. To leave in ignominious circumstances a second time surely rankles among his greatest regrets. The Blues described Mourinho as a "much-loved, respected and significant figure" after relieving him of his duties in December 2015 but it was clear that not all held the same affection for him. Mourinho suggested he felt "betrayed" by his players amid a miserable beginning to their title defence, leaving a stain on his Stamford Bridge legacy.

Problems with Pogba

Mourinho arrived at United at the same time as Paul Pogba and together the pair were supposed to lead a renaissance. Instead, they became caught in a vortex of middling results and worse relations. Mourinho's failure to extract the best from Pogba on the pitch, and their frosty exchanges off it, portrayed a manager unable to elevate top-class talent. His treatment of Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial attracted further criticism and echoed the sort of strained relationships that were apparent in Madrid, Mourinho having notably not seen eye to eye with Iker Casillas.

Down and out at United

Never before his exit from Old Trafford had Mourinho departed a club without winning a league title. Several were expected when he took charge of the Red Devils in 2016 and, though the resources of neighbours City reframed the standard measure of success, trophies in the EFL Cup and Europa League fell short of the brief. Mourinho stakes his reputation on winning major honours, not friends, yet he left with few of either when United called time on his reign almost 12 months ago. A playing style deemed unacceptable by supporters only contributed to the sense that the new Tottenham boss squandered an opportunity he keenly coveted. He will hope to avoid a repeat.

Tottenham have sacked Mauricio Pochettino, bringing an end to his five-year tenure in charge after a run of dismal results in the Premier League this season.

Three wins from 12 league matches have left Tottenham in 14th place, albeit only three points off fifth, while they also lost 7-2 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last month.

Four successive top-four finishes and a Champions League final appearance will be Pochettino's lasting legacy and he also oversaw Tottenham's transition to a new, state-of-the-art stadium.

With the debate sure to continue over whether Spurs have made a harsh call, and plenty of speculation to come over who will replace him, two of our writers argue the case for and against Pochettino's sacking.

Tottenham have got it wrong - Tom Webber

Spurs defied expectations under the Argentinian and he underlined his status as an elite manager by leading them to the Champions League final last term.

While that game ended in defeat to Liverpool and left Pochettino without a trophy, their European run was combined with a fourth straight top-four finish, showing they had a leader capable of taking them to new heights.

However, their transfer business in the close season was a source of frustration for Pochettino, and he made no attempt to hide that.

While Tanguy Ndombele was a club-record signing from Lyon and Giovani Lo Celso provided another creative option in midfield, there were no other additions capable of immediately pushing the team forward.

Spurs let Kieran Trippier go and did not sign a replacement, leaving them exposed at right-back, while Danny Rose was seemingly retained against Pochettino's wishes.

By failing to give the 47-year-old the backing his work deserved, Spurs have now shot themselves in the foot twice and will only have themselves to blame if things go backwards from here.

Tottenham have got it right - Patric Ridge

Given what Pochettino has achieved during his time at Tottenham, the decision to cut ties seems a ruthless one when viewed in isolation, but that would not be taking into account what has been a dismal 2019 for Spurs on the domestic front.

In this calendar year, Tottenham have taken just 40 points from a possible 90 on offer in the Premier League, winning 11 matches, drawing a further seven and suffering 12 defeats.

Their poor form was, of course, masked by an incredible run to the Champions League final, but it is easy to forget Spurs were heading out in Amsterdam until Lucas Moura took matters into his own hands in a match that could easily have gone the other way.

Looking only at their league results this term, three wins from 14 league matches would be enough to get many managers in the top flight sacked. Why not Pochettino? 

While it is fair to say Tottenham did perhaps not back him as they should have done in the transfer market, the club did spend big. It is hard to imagine he did not have the final say on who was brought in.

Was a creative force such as Lo Celso, for example, strictly necessary when it was so obvious Tottenham lacked a quality right-back or alternatives up front – weaknesses that were exposed in humiliating fashion by Bayern last month?

The situation with Christian Eriksen has not helped, but again Pochettino must take his fair share of responsibility; looking back, any players dallying over signing fresh deals – see also Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen – have been ostracised during his time in north London. Is this the wisest approach when Tottenham have not had the squad depth to be able to cope with key players sitting idly by?

With the Premier League seemingly wide open – at least outside the top four – this season, Tottenham could not afford to delay any longer and, on the back of a five-match winless league run, they desperately need a fresh source of inspiration.

Mauricio Pochettino arrived at Tottenham as the club's eighth full-time appointment since March 2001.

Juande Ramos secured silverware during his tenure, winning the League Cup in 2008, while Harry Redknapp qualified for the Champions League two years later.

Still, they were the good times. Club legend Glenn Hoddle came with great expectations that fell flat. Frenchman Jacques Santini did not last too long. Andre Villas-Boas failed to pan out. Tim Sherwood did make the gilet popular, but Spurs still decided to dispense with his services.

Then, in 2014, Pochettino turned up. The former Argentina international had shone at Southampton, quickly dispelling the doubters who felt Nigel Adkins had been harshly sacked.

There were plenty of positive moments during his tenure, but also some difficult times. Following the news of his departure on Tuesday, Omnisport picks out a few of the highs and lows of Pochettino's reign.

 

LOW: THE ONLY WAY IS UP

"There is an abundance of top-class talent at the club and I am looking forward to starting work with the squad," Pochettino said following his appointment.

However, Tottenham's standing compared to the other big clubs was laid bare in the first month of the new boss' debut campaign. Liverpool were the visitors, with Spurs hoping for the chance to make something of a statement, but Brendan Rodgers' Reds blew them away with ease by winning 3-0.

It was Spurs' first loss under Pochettino and they went on to miss out on Champions League qualification by six points. 

 

LOW: THE BATTLE OF THE BRIDGE

There was no denying Tottenham's vast improvement between Pochettino's first few months and 2016, when they looked to challenge for a maiden Premier League title.

Crucially, though, when they needed to kick on with the finishing post in sight, the going became too tough. Spurs squandered a 2-0 lead at Chelsea in an ill-tempered London derby to come away with a 2-2 draw, therefore securing a famous success for Leicester City.

"It was a good lesson for us, we are the youngest squad in the league, we feel very proud and our supporters need to feel proud too, we have massive potential for the future," Pochettino said in the aftermath. Such was their collapse down the stretch, they eventually finished third, 11 points behind the Foxes they had been expected to catch.


HIGH: SAYING FAREWELL TO THE LANE IN STYLE

Having seemingly established themselves as top-four regulars, Spurs looked to further consolidate their new-found status by moving to an extravagant new stadium.

In Tottenham's final outing at the more modest White Hart Lane in May 2017, Spurs downed Manchester United 2-1 in front of a crowd enjoying both their team's success and also the chance to be inside the venue for one final time. A glamourous new era seemed to be on the horizon, with Pochettino steering the Spurs ship expertly.

The result made sure they went unbeaten at home for the first time in a league season since 1964-65 as they finished in second place. It was a wonderful way to say goodbye to their famous home.

 


HIGH: UNITED FALL AT OLD TRAFFORD

In August 2018, Pochettino was among the favourites to replace an under-fire Jose Mourinho at United.

Pochettino helped inflict more misery on the Red Devils with an emphatic 3-0 win at Old Trafford, a result that also pushed his claims for the job. Kane and a Lucas Moura double did the damage, making it United's worst start to a league season since 1992-93. 

Yet when Mourinho eventually left United before the turn of the year, Pochettino stayed put. Now a free agent, rumours of a move to the north-west will no doubt grow in the coming weeks and months.


HIGH: EURO VISION SECURES FINAL SPOT

After three games of their campaign in Group B, Tottenham appeared on course to slip out of the Champions League. By June, they were appearing in the final.

Pochettino engineered a remarkable turnaround just to make the knockout stages, where they stunned Manchester City in the quarter-finals thanks to a hotly disputed goal from Fernando Llorente in an eventful second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

There was more drama to come in the last four, with Spurs scoring three times in the second half in Amsterdam to stun Ajax. Lucas Moura was Tottenham's hero, completing his hat-trick in additional time to seal their progression on away goals. A jubilant Pochettino shed tears during wild celebrations with his players.


LOW: MISSED OPPORTUNITY IN MADRID

Admittedly appearing in a Champions League final hardly feels like a disappointment during the Pochettino era.

Still, there was an air of frustration at how they approached what proved to be a tepid contest in Madrid, with fans bemoaning an apparent lack of attacking intent as a half-fit Harry Kane struggled to make an impact.

Mohamed Salah's early penalty gave Spurs an uphill struggle and Divock Origi wrapped things up late on. Liverpool had barely made it out of second gear but kept their opponents quiet to prevail in an all-English final that will not live long in the memory. 


LOW: BAYERN BATTERING AMID HOME STRUGGLES

Pochettino had hinted he could leave his post prior to the Champions League showpiece, his future seemingly based on the club's progress in the off-season transfer window.

While new faces arrived, their form in the early stages of the 2019-20 campaign has been poor - and that is putting it kindly. In the Premier League, Spurs have picked up just 14 points, their lowest tally after 12 games of a campaign since 2008-09. There was also a 7-2 home loss to Bayern Munich in Europe, the embarrassment exacerbated by an Arsenal academy product – Serge Gnabry – scoring four times for the visitors.

A 1-1 draw with Sheffield United turned out to be Pochettino's final game in charge. There is still time for Spurs to turn things around, of course, but it will have to be with a new man at the helm.

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