Jose Mourinho revealed he received a "special" message from Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward after being named Tottenham head coach.

Three-time Premier League title winner Mourinho was appointed by Tottenham on Wednesday, less than 12 hours on from Mauricio Pochettino's departure.

Mourinho had been out of work since being sacked by United last December following a poor run of form that left the club sixth in the Premier League.

Despite his acrimonious split with United, Mourinho was congratulated by Woodward for landing a new job.

"I received messages from everybody, everywhere [from my former clubs]," he told Sky Sports News.

"Maybe I get the opportunity to apologise for not answering 500 of them that I couldn't answer. I have 700 but only had time to answer 200.

"But it was curious to see, from my last club, so many people showing me that respect, empathy and feeling. It was nice.

"All of them were special. The first one was from [United managing director] Richard Arnold. The third, fourth or fifth was Ed Woodward. And they were my bosses."

Mourinho's relationship with Woodward appeared to be strained at times over a disagreement on transfer targets, but he is not expecting that to be an issue with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.

"I think we will get on well," Mourinho said. "He explained to me the vision for the club and I embraced that. It was one of the most important reasons I accepted. So when I did that, it's a very good start."

Mourinho will take charge of Tottenham for the first time on Saturday when they travel to London rivals West Ham.

Are we about to see a Jose Mourinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic reunion?

Mourinho and Ibrahimovic worked together at Inter, before the Portuguese manager brought the Swedish star to Manchester United in 2016.

Now, new Tottenham boss Mourinho is reportedly eyeing the 38-year-old striker.

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO TARGETING IBRA

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho is poised to make a move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to the Telegraph.

Ibrahimovic is on the lookout for a new club after opting to leave MLS outfit LA Galaxy following two seasons in the United States.

The 38-year-old has been linked to AC Milan, Bologna, Napoli, Manchester United and Australian team Perth Glory; however, Mourinho reportedly wants to reunite with Ibrahimovic at Tottenham.

 

ROUND-UP

- Spanish newspaper Sport reports a close friend of Flamengo coach Jorge Jesus predicting he will get the Barcelona job if his side win Saturday's Copa Libertadores final against River Plate, who are led by another reputed Catalan target in Marcelo Gallardo. Ernesto Valverde is under pressure at the LaLiga champions.

Real Madrid are set to open talks with star striker Karim Benzema over a new contract, Marca reports. The 31-year-old's current deal expires in 2021.

- Out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic is wanted by LaLiga's Atletico Madrid, according to ESPN FC. Matic has struggled for game time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with AC Milan and Inter also interested.

- With Tottenham reportedly looking to hijack AC Milan's pursuit of Ibrahimovic, Sky Sport Italia says the Rossoneri are rivalling Inter and Borussia Dortmund for Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud.

- The Daily Mail reports that Leicester City have opened talks with James Maddison over a new contract. The 22-year-old England international has been heavily linked to Manchester United.

- Partizan Belgrade sensation Strahinja Pavlovic is on the verge of joining Ligue 1 outfit Monaco. Sportski Zurnal says the 18-year-old defender has undergone a medical ahead of a €10million transfer plus add-ons.

Mauricio Pochettino said "you will always be in our hearts" as the former Tottenham manager left an emotional goodbye message to the Spurs squad.

Pochettino was sacked and replaced by Jose Mourinho on Wednesday, despite leading Tottenham to a shock Champions League final last season.

Tottenham pulled the pin on Pochettino's five-and-a-half-year tenure with the club languishing 14th in the Premier League.

Pochettino's assistant Jesus Perez used Twitter to share the Argentinean's heartfelt goodbye on a tactics board, having been unable to say goodbye personally.

"Big thanks to you all," Pochettino wrote in a picture posted on Thursday.

"We can't say goodbye… you will always be in our hearts."

Pochettino's future has dominated headlines since his Tottenham departure.

The 47-year-old has been linked to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich as well as Manchester United, who reportedly keen on Pochettino before turning to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have also been touted as potential destinations for Pochettino.

Lille boss Christophe Galtier took a swipe at "classy" Jose Mourinho for taking two of his coaches to become part of his new team at Tottenham.

Mourinho was appointed as the new man in charge of Spurs on Wednesday after Mauricio Pochettino and his assistants were sacked.

Former Real Madrid and Manchester United boss Mourinho moved quickly to arrange his backroom team at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos and Joao Sacramento both appointed from Lille.

There has also been speculation that Mourinho wants sporting director Luis Campos to join him in north London to take up a similar role.

Galtier does not blame his coaching staff for taking up a new position, but he made it clear he was none too pleased with the way in which Mourinho has gone about things.

"Everyone has their own way of doing things. It's very classy, anyway, very classy to act like that," Galtier said in ironic tones ahead of Lille's Ligue 1 clash with Paris Saint-Germain on Friday.

"I was angry; the timing isn't good. There are ways to do things. Regardless, what matters is that I agree with the decision of the president [Gerard Lopez].

"I have also been in a deputy role. They were asked, they believe in this project, they want to go. That's football today.

"My president and Luis Campos could not do anything to keep two people who couldn't stay in this project. We're not in the world of the Care Bears.

"I learned it by phone from my president on Tuesday night. He told me about the situation. I didn't see anything coming. We were preparing normally for the match in Paris.

"He explained it to me, and I understood. I would have done the same thing. If staff want to go to another project, it takes so much investment that if your head is 10 per cent elsewhere, you're doomed to failure."

Galtier certainly does not expect Campos to follow his former coaching staff to Spurs, though.

"Luis is 200 per cent invested in the project [at Lille] and I don't see a 1000th of a wish to look elsewhere," he said. "We're close and looking forward."

Mauricio Pochettino will get the chance to take charge of one of the best teams in the world due to his efforts at Tottenham, Marcelo Bielsa says.

Spurs sacked Pochettino this week after just five wins in 17 matches in all competitions this season and replaced him with former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

The 47-year-old's departure came less than six months after he led Spurs to their first Champions League final, where they were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool.

Bielsa, who coached Pochettino as a young player at Newell's Old Boys and has been credited with influencing his post-playing career, says reaching that final showed just how well the Spurs side had been constructed even in a season in which no players were signed.

Bielsa now expects Pochettino to be given a chance by one of the world's top clubs.

"I'm going to talk, not about the relationship I have with Pochettino, but for what I have observed in English football," the Leeds United boss said on Thursday.

"The work Pochettino has done is brilliant. In the last year, he put Tottenham in a high level in the world. For any coach, it's a very important achievement. For Pochettino, I think it's even more important because the team that played in the Champions League last year was a team he built very carefully.

"The performance of this team was more linked by collective play rather than top players being bought for them. They didn't buy big players to achieve this. This reality makes Pochettino's work even more important.

"People who work professionally like that earn absolutely deserved credit. Maybe he couldn't enjoy this credit at Tottenham. But he will take this credit and big teams in the world will look to capitalise on it.

"For sure, he is a manager who will lead one of the best teams in the world. He made Tottenham one of the most important teams in the world.

"I have a lot of affection and respect for Mauricio. When something that is not good happens to him, I can't ignore it. If we look at the close effect of the situation, we can be sad. I feel sad.

"But in 15 days, he'll be at the top again, because when you see things from a distance, without looking at recent facts, then you can realise what you've really achieved.

"Now, he leaves a team that is attractive to Mourinho – that has a lot of value. The next team who take him will express again the respect Pochettino has created."

Jose Mourinho believes Tottenham can target the Premier League title next season after he sought to strike a humble tone at his maiden news conference.

The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss was installed as Spurs' head coach this week in the aftermath of Mauricio Pochettino's shock sacking.

Dismal domestic form that leaves Tottenham languishing in 14th going into Saturday's London derby at West Ham ultimately brought the end of Pochettino's five-and-a-half-year reign.

The yawning gap to leaders Liverpool stands at 20 points after 12 games, but Mourinho lavished praise on his new squad and claimed a first league title for Spurs since 1960-61 in 2020-21 is possible.

"We can't win the Premier League this season," he told reporters.

"Next season, I'm not saying we will win it, but we can win it."

Mourinho has spent 11 months out of football since his sacking at Manchester United and the appointment of new faces to his backroom staff – coaches Joao Sacramento and Nuno Santos joining from Lille – add to a sense of him turning over a new leaf.

"I am humble enough to try and analyse my career, not just the last year but my career- the evolution, the problems," he said.

"The principle of the analysis was not to blame anyone else. When I had meetings with my assistants and the people I wanted to bring with me in this chapter it was on the principle that there was no one else to blame.

"I'm not going to make the same mistakes. I'm going to make new mistakes. I'm going to be stronger.

"From an emotional point of view I'm relaxed, motivated and ready and I think the players felt that these two days. I'm ready and I'm here to support them.

"In life you go through periods like this, where it's not about myself, it's about my players and my club."

Nevertheless, Mourinho also insisted the playing style and principles that have yielded league titles in four countries will remain, as will his requirement for his players to always put the demands of the collective before themselves.

"[My style will be] very similar to before. On top of that I will try to add the details and sometimes the details can make the difference," he explained.

"The style of play has to be always adapted, not just to the club culture but to the playing squad. These are the players, they have their qualities.

"I read a quote from Kobe Bryant and, if you have to speak about some example of professionalism and a serial winner, Kobe is a great example in the world of sport. He said: 'People say that I am difficult but I am only difficult for the ones who do not share my principles.'

"All the colleagues who share his principles love him. The ones who don't like him are the ones who don't share the principles. With me it is basically the same.

"For me everything is about the team, it is not about selfish people. It is about the group, professionalism, commitment, respect for the club, respect for the team-mates.

"I cannot run away from this. If there is somebody that doesn't share these principles with me then they have a problem and we will always have a problem.

"This is the way I think football has to be. The players are only big when they make the others better. You cannot be a big player if you only think about yourself. That is another principle."

Unai Emery admits he was surprised by Tottenham's decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino and appoint Jose Mourinho as head coach.

The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss was appointed on a three-and-a-half-year deal on Wednesday just hours after Pochettino's dismissal was confirmed.

Arsenal head coach Emery was shocked by the decision as he considered Spurs' methods under Pochettino to be "perfect", while he is uncertain what Mourinho will do to change their fortunes.

"Yes, it was a surprise," he told reporters on Thursday.

"I think it's a surprise how the relationship with Mauricio Pochettino finished but I don't know exactly why or how he [Mourinho] is going to change their performance.

"He is a very good coach. His career is very strong with the titles and experience. I think also Pochettino's work in Tottenham was amazing.

"In football, things happen very quickly. The last result may be more important than results in the long term because I think Tottenham were doing very good work with Pochettino.

"Maybe [in] the last matches they didn't achieve good results, but I think, overall, their way under Pochettino was perfect. Now they decided to change, I don't know exactly the reason for that, but they have their way and we have our way.

"At the moment we have some distance in the table from them and we want to keep that distance for the next matches."

Pochettino's exit came during a year in which Spurs have managed just 11 wins in the Premier League, only three of which have come this season.

Emery has also been under pressure of late given Arsenal's run of one win in their past seven games in all competitions, with Mourinho linked with the Gunners' job in recent weeks.

Emery now wants to draw a line under the scrutiny of his own position and get the fans back onside as they try to improve results.

"I am optimistic and also, I know we need to improve our performance with the team individually and collectively. I also know how to achieve that," he said.

"First, it is about connecting with our supporters at the Emirates. Above all, it's not only about thinking about the results but about playing better, controlling the game for 90 minutes.

"We are winning and drawing - not losing at home - but not really convincing the supporters and this is our first objective.

"Our success is going to start by being comfortable, strong and confident at home and really deserving to win each match."

The future of Granit Xhaka has dominated talk of Arsenal lately, the midfielder having not played since he was stripped of the captaincy in the wake of his explosive outburst towards fans during the home draw with Crystal Palace in October.

Emery says the player's mindset has improved and suggested he could recall the Switzerland international to the playing squad, although it seems unlikely he will return against Southampton on Saturday.

"He's coming back better in his mind," said Emery. "His mindset is better to help us and closer to play when we need him.

"This morning I had a very good conversation with him. He was training very well before the international break, he trained very well this morning and also my objective hasn't changed.

"My objective is for him to come back helping us and convincing everyone that his commitment with us is going to be better and we are going to be proud of him in the short or long future with us.

"He's feeling better and his team is Arsenal now. He wants to come back with the confidence of the supporters. Little by little, we can help him come back and connect with us and our supporters."

Jose Mourinho insists he is completely happy with his Tottenham squad and does not feel the need to delve into the transfer market.

Mourinho signed a three-and-a-half-year contract as Spurs' new head coach on Wednesday as last season's Champions League finalists moved quickly following the shock sacking of Mauricio Pochettino.

Intrigue over how Mourinho's relationship with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy might play out has dominated the initial analysis of the appointment.

Throughout his decorated career, the former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss has frequently clashed with his boards over transfer policy.

Levy has a reputation for dealing cautiously in the market and, although Spurs broke their transfer record to bring in Tanguy Ndombele during the close season, they went through the two windows in 2018-19 without making a single first-team addition.

Nevertheless, Mourinho was keen to focus on what he judges to be a fine inheritance at his first news conference in charge of Spurs – noting he was previously linked to a number of his new squad.

"The best gift are the players who are here. I don’t need new players. I just need to get to know these ones better," he said.

"I know them well but you never know them well enough until you meet them.

"I told the players I came here because of them. I tried to buy some for different clubs and some I didn't even try [to buy] because you know how difficult it was."

Spurs head into Saturday's Premier League game at West Ham, where Mourinho will renew acquaintances with old adversary Manuel Pellegrini, languishing in 14th in the Premier League.

Reports of growing unrest within the squad dominated Pochettino's final weeks in charge, while uncertainty over the future of a number of star names is underlined by Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen all being out of contract at the end of this season.

Nevertheless, Mourinho has no doubt he is in the right place to revive a celebrated career after his sapping tenure at Manchester United.

"Happiness-wise, I am convinced my choice was a great one. [On a scale of one to 10], 10," he said.

"When a club changes mid-season, it is because things are not good. Sometimes results make these decisions. I wouldn't say it's a [big] job. The potential of the club is huge, the potential of the players is great.

"One of the reasons I came was the vision Mr Levy put in front of me about this club. I know that I have potentially a great job in my hands."

Mauricio Pochettino will always be welcome at Tottenham, according to his successor Jose Mourinho.

Pochettino was sacked after five-and-a-half years at the helm on Tuesday, with last season's Champions League finalists moving quickly to appoint former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss Mourinho as head coach.

The 56-year-old faced his first news conference in charge of Spurs on Thursday and began by speaking warmly of Pochettino, who remains widely revered by the club's fanbase despite a dismal start to the current campaign that leaves them languishing 14th in the Premier League.

"I’ve been smiling for two days [but] first of all I do it with a bit of sadness [because] I have to speak about Mauricio," Mourinho said.

"I have to congratulate him on the incredible job he did. I share with you what we shared inside.

"This club will always be his home; this training ground is his training ground. He is always welcome here.

"Tomorrow is another day. He will find happiness soon. He will give everything like he did at this club. He will leave with sadness, with the feeling that he did great work. It is what everyone at the club felt."

A turbulent week has meant a quick turnaround for Mourinho, who will lead Spurs for the first time at West Ham on Saturday.

He has been out of management for almost a year after being sacked by Manchester United last December but insists he is ready for the challenge.

"I had a feeling I was going to get a club mid-season," he said. "I knew I would be in a situation where I would get only one or two days before my first game.

"I cannot come here and think it is about myself. It is about the players and going from a base of stability.

"I thought about it during these months because I thought I might get a job mid-season and I might have a game two days later.

"We have our own ways but they were in the hands of a good manager and coaching staff here."

Club record signing Tanguy Ndombele and centre-back Jan Vertonghen face fitness tests on respective groin and hamstring complaints, while Mourinho will be without winger Erik Lamela (hamstring) and goalkeeping duo Michel Vorm (calf) and Hugo Lloris (elbow) at London Stadium.

Manuel Pellegrini would not deem Jose Mourinho his enemy or his friend as the long-time rivals prepare for a Premier League reunion on Saturday.

Pellegrini's struggling West Ham welcome Tottenham and their freshly installed head coach Mourinho to London Stadium this weekend, reprising a rivalry that has simmered for a decade.

Mourinho was publicly courted by Real Madrid before being appointed at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2010, replacing Pellegrini despite the sacked Chilean having led Los Blancos to a then club-record haul of 96 points as they finished runners up to Barcelona in LaLiga.

Pellegrini resumed his career at Malaga, with Mourinho pointedly observing, "If [Madrid] get rid of me, I will go to a big club in the Premier League or Serie A."

Indeed, both ended up at big Premier League clubs, with Pellegrini winning the title in 2013-14 at Manchester City before Mourinho's Chelsea succeeded them as champions the following season.

Mourinho repeated a wilful mispronunciation of "Mr Pellegrino" when referring to his opposite number, who claimed Chelsea played "like a small team, like Stoke" during a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium in September 2014.

Pellegrini has won four and drawn three of the pair's 14 meetings, prevailing in their most recent encounter when West Ham beat an embattled version of Mourinho's Manchester United 3-1.

"Maybe I can think a different way, but he is not my enemy," Pellegrini told a pre-match news conference on Thursday.

"Everyone has their options to play football in the way they want and say what they want to say. You cannot always be criticising.

"That's why he is not my friend, but he is not my enemy. We have different ways of thinking about [everything], that's the only difference that we have.

"Maybe [I will have a drink with him]. We have been together a lot of times out of football together. I repeat, he is not my enemy."

Pellegrini expressed sympathy for Mauricio Pochettino, whose sacking kicked off a whirlwind 11 hours at Tottenham that concluded with Mourinho's appointment.

"Tottenham have a very good team with important players. Being outside of Tottenham, you cannot know what has happened there, but the results were not what Tottenham are used to having," he said.

"Now they have a new manager, unfortunately for Pochettino, because I think he was a manager who did very good work in a lot of years in Tottenham.

"I do not know the reason why he was sacked but now they have another experienced manager in Jose Mourinho, who will always give important things to his teams.

"[Mourinho] is just in charge of the team for two days so I don't think he can change too much. They will play in a similar way.

"That is not an important problem for us to solve, we must give a good performance as a team."

Of more pressing concern to Pellegrini is a run of two points from West Ham's past six Premier League matches since beating Mourinho's former employers from Old Trafford in September.

It leaves the Hammers languishing in 16th, a point and two places below Tottenham.

"I have had 33 years in this profession, I know football," Pellegrini added. "As I have said, my pressure I put on myself is bigger than any other pressure."

West Ham's midfield could be bolstered by Jack Wilshere and club captain Mark Noble, who trained untroubled this week following respective groin and ankle complaints.

Forward Michail Antonio might also be in contention after almost three months out with a hamstring injury.

Gareth Bale's well-publicised celebration of Wales' Euro 2020 qualification will inflame his relationship with Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, according to Los Blancos' former president Ramon Calderon.

In the aftermath of his country's 2-0 win over Hungary on Tuesday, Bale was pictured behind a banner that read: "WALES. GOLF. MADRID... IN THAT ORDER".

The slogan stems from a chant sung by Wales fans that pokes fun at the Spanish media's portrayal of Bale, who has been accused of placing Madrid low down his list of priorities and spending too much time playing golf.

The 30-year-old almost left for China during the close season and recently admitted he gets more enjoyment from playing for the national team than Madrid.

Calderon, Madrid's president from July 2006 to January 2009, believes the events of Tuesday could cost Bale a place in Zidane's matchday squad, with Los Blancos set to host high-flying Real Sociedad in LaLiga on Saturday.

"It's going to be difficult for Bale now because it was very childish of him to pose behind that banner," Calderon told The Athletic.

"Fans are very angry because of course they didn't like that, bearing in mind he has hardly played for the team this season then he goes off on international duty with Wales and plays in two matches.

"It's a difficult situation for Zidane and he won't be happy with Bale for posing with that banner.

"Bale hasn't done himself any favours with this. He's adding fuel to the fire and it's going to be difficult for Zidane to include him in the starting line-up and also the bench."

Bale was reportedly on the cusp of joining Jiangsu Suning in July, only for the deal to fall through at the last minute.

Calderon advised the four-time Champions League winner to pursue a return to Tottenham, where Jose Mourinho is now charge.

"He was linked with going to China but that is only for players who are at the end of their careers or who go for money," he said.

"Bale has at least three or four more years at the top level. Could he join Jose Mourinho at Tottenham? Why not? It depends on what Mourinho thinks of him but I'm sure the fans at Tottenham have very good memories of him there.

"For Bale to go back to where he really belongs would be ideal for everyone, because going to China would be a pity."

Jose Mourinho seemingly has Gareth Bale in his Tottenham plans, but he will have to wait until before the start of next season.

Mourinho was named Spurs head coach on Wednesday, a day after the Premier League club sacked Mauricio Pochettino.

Unsurprisingly, there is plenty of talk around his potential movements in the transfer market – including a Tottenham return for Bale.

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO EYES BALE, BUT CAN'T SPEND IN JANUARY

Mourinho's arrival at Tottenham offers Bale the perfect escape route from Real Madrid, according to AS.

The star attacker left Spurs for Madrid in 2013, but is set to leave the LaLiga giants at season's end, the report says.

Marca reports Madrid have ruled out a January exit for Bale. That would suit Mourinho, who has been told there is no money to spend in the January window, according to The Guardian.

ROUND-UP

- Mourinho has more pressing matters at Spurs. The Mirror reports Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, who are out of contract at season's end, are intrigued by the prospect of working under Mourinho and are open minded about their futures.

- It could have been different for Spurs. According to the Daily Mail, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers was Tottenham's first choice before they turned to Mourinho.

- Meanwhile, the sacked Pochettino may not be out of management for too long. Barcelona and Bayern Munich are ready to pounce for the former Spurs manager, according to The Sun. Ernesto Valverde is under pressure at Camp Nou, while interim boss Hansi Flick will coach Bayern until at least the end of the year.

- Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be getting closer to sorting out his future. Sky Sport reports AC Milan spoke to the departing LA Galaxy striker's agent Mino Raiola on Wednesday about the possibility of a return to San Siro.

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in no rush to renew his Arsenal contract and with good reason. Sport reports the forward is waiting to find out how serious Barcelona's interest in him is before extending a deal that runs until 2021.

- Needing a striker, Manchester United are considering a January move for Roma's Edin Dzeko, according to ESPN FC. Dzeko has scored five goals in 12 Serie A games this season, and United are looking to finally bolster their attack after losing Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez in the close season.

- Olivier Giroud has made just one Premier League start for Chelsea this season and the striker could be set for a January exit. La Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter are considering a move for Giroud in January as they look for a back-up for Lukaku.

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta wished former manager Jose Mourinho all the best as Tottenham head coach.

Mourinho was appointed by Spurs on Wednesday, a day after the Premier League club – who are 14th in the table – sacked Mauricio Pochettino.

The Portuguese tactician led Chelsea to three league titles across two spells at the helm, but will now look to salvage their rivals' season.

Mourinho may have joined Chelsea's rivals, but Azpilicueta – who won one of his two Premier League titles under the 56-year-old – sent well wishes.

"I can talk only when Jose was here at Chelsea with us," he told Sky Sports News.

"We won trophies, and now football moves on. I wish him all the best even though he goes to a rival.

"I have good memories with him and I have played many times under him and against him.

"Obviously when we play against each other we both want to win for our teams, but this is football. I wish him well."

Mourinho's first game in charge of Spurs will come against another London club, West Ham, on Saturday.

Arsenal should weigh up an audacious move for former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, according to ex-Gunners defender Martin Keown.

Spurs acted swiftly to replace Pochettino, sacking their manager after five years at the helm on Tuesday before appointing Jose Mourinho.

While Mourinho's previous spells in charge of Chelsea look likely to make him a divisive figure among the Tottenham faithful during the early stages of his reign, Pochettino opting to switch allegiance in north London would cause a whole other kind of ructions.

Gunners head coach Unai Emery has come under increasing scrutiny amid a mixed start to the season and, although Keown does not want any rash decisions on the former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain tactician's future, he feels the Arsenal board should be duly aware of unexpectedly changing circumstances.

"There's no need to panic at Arsenal, we are getting close to panic by the way, because we're not having the best of seasons," he told the Daily Mail.

"But the powers that be at the top of the club should be seriously considering Pochettino. 

"I have a lot of admiration for what he did at Tottenham, the way he nurtured those young players and he didn't spend a great deal of money."

He added: "I would have stayed with Pochettino. I think he deserved that. I think it's a hugely significant sacking. You're going to have managers now looking over their shoulders.

"I know the poor record he has recently, but I still would have given him another chance. I don't like the way Tottenham have done it. 

"There will be a lot of chairmen looking at him now. Manchester United wanted him this time last year. I think Arsenal would have to be interested if they want to take a step forward."

Mourinho cut a contented figure on his first day as Spurs head coach on Wednesday and Keown believes the embattled figure from his final days in charge of Manchester United must be consigned to the past.

"He lost the dressing room and fell out of love with the game of football in his quest to be successful," the former England international said. "He has to jettison that part of himself."

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