Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking by Tottenham looks even more bizarre when his numbers are compared to other managers in the Premier League over the last two decades.
Mauricio Pochettino has spent the last five years of his life quietly going about his business transforming Tottenham Hotspurs.
In the 2018-19 season, he guided them all the way to the Champion’s League final. Under his tutelage, Spurs racked up some impressive credentials – all while playing “away from home” while their new stadium was under construction.
Spurs haven’t quite managed to replicate that form so far this season. Just three wins from 12 games is under par by their recent lofty heights.
And yet, even in the era of coaching merry-go-rounds, the news of Pochettino’s sacking on Tuesday came as somewhat of a surprise. Jose Mourinho will return to the Premier League for a combination of special performances and pitch-side theatrics.
While Pochettino’s Spurs has had a dismal run in the first few months of the 2019-20 season, he has every reason to feel aggrieved. By football’s standards, five years is a long time for a manager at a single club – one of the reasons the decision seems so utterly befuddling.
When he took over, he became Tottenham’s sixth manager in ten years. He was tasked with turning the club around and he has. To pull the plug on continuity and consistency on the back of his efforts is odd.
In fact, out of all manager who parted ways with clubs during a season since 2001-02, Pochettino has the third-highest win percentage (54.61%) of all managers.
Roberto Mancini (59.16%) when he left Manchester City is second while Mourinho (67.39%) walking away from Chelsea is first.
Mourinho “left by mutual consent” rather than being fired outright, but all reports from the incident at the time suggests that it was a “quit or else” situation.
Brendan Rogers (51.20%) parting ways with Liverpool is the only other instance of a manager with a win percentage of more than 50 to leave a club during a season since 2001-02.
Win percentage of mid-season departing Premier League managers since 2001-02
About these data sets [applicable to both graphics]: Only managers who had more than 1000 days in charge of a club and only those who parted ways with clubs during the season were considered. As a result, you might notice the omission of some high-profile departures like Rafa Benitez and Manuel Pelligrini. All data has been sourced from Transfermarkt and include matches across all competitions.
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Since the 2001-02 season, Pochettino’s 293 games in charge of Spurs, is the highest for any manager leaving a club mid-season. Mick McCarthy (Wolves, 269), Sam Allerdyce (Bolton, 267), Steve Bruce (Birmingham, 239), Bobby Robson (Newcastle, 239) and Mark Hughes (Stoke City, 200) are the only other managers who parted ways with their clubs mid-season after 200 games or more in charge.
Mid-season departing Premier League managers with 200 or more games in charge
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Who’d be a coach, eh?