After five full seasons of Mauricio Pochettino, Totteham Hotspur have dismissed the Argentinian less than six months on from reaching the final of the Champions League.
Jose Mourinho has been named as the front-runner in the race to take over the hot seat at Spurs.
To find out how he could get on in the real world, football.london booted up a copy of Football Manager 2020 to see how his digital avatar might fare.
In order to assess his chances if we were to take charge at this point in the season, Tottenham’s initial transfer business was limited to whoever they signed, sold and loaned in the summer of 2019.
January was free for Mourinho and Daniel Levy to use as they saw fit.
Without further ado, here is how the Portuguese got on in his third job in the English game after two title-winning spells with Chelsea and a short stint at Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho to Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League: sixth
Champions League: quarterfinals
FA Cup: fourth round
Carabao Cup: third round
Did Jose Mourinho bring his famous knack for winning trophies to bear at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium?
Pochettino’s successor failed to lift Spurs into the Champions League places, finished sixth in the Premier League and crashed out of the FA Cup early on.
The Champions League offered some hope of silverware. Mourinho somehow guided Tottenham out a stuttering start to their group stage campaign to go on lose to Juventus in the quarters.
Maurizio Sarri’s side went on to win the competition, beating Porto – another former Mourinho side – in the final, leaving the Spurs boss short of achievements come the end of the season.
It is said that at Cheslea, Manchester United and Real Madrid the Portuguese fell foul of a three year rule. While he did last four years in his first spell with the Blues, there appeared to be some sort of pathology to how his tenures lost steam and then fell apart.
At Tottenham, he didn’t even make it through a full year before those problems surfaced.
By the end of the season Daniel Levy had seen enough. His new manager had lost the fans, lost the dressing room and fallen out with the board.
Tottenham Hotspur sacked Jose Mourinho – but what happened?
Tottenham Hotspur under Jose Mourinho
Top performer: Harry Kane
Top scorer: Harry Kane – 26 goals (21 in the league)
Most assists: Son Heung-min – 12 assists (12 in the league)
Rather than move on from the Pochettino era, Mourinho instead seemed to want to dwell upon it.
He eschewed the club’s summer signings in favour of doubling down on team selections that made the most of the long-serving senior players who had faltered in the final days of the man who came before him.
Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld all remained key figures in the team. Serge Aurier was a regular starter.
A target for the Portuguese during his time as Manchester United manager, Eric Dier was redeployed as the team’s defensive midfielder, with Harry Winks alongside Eriksen in midfield.
Once fit to play, Dele Alli returned to the side, playing a new role on the right wing opposite Son on the left, with Kane up front, as expected.
This was bad news for Giovani Lo Celso, Ryan Sessegnon and Tanguy Ndombele. All three were left out on the fringes of the squad.
In other ways, Mourinho was ruthless in how he tried to remove Pochettino’s influence whether he could find it.
He immediately pushed out the sons of his predeccesor – sports scientist Sebastiano Pochettino and young goalkeeper Maurizio Pochettino.
The latter was hurriedly sold off to Barnet for just £850.
Erik Lamela, a player who in many ways epitomised the intense pressing from the front that was such a hallmark of the Argentinian’s style of play, made only two appearances.
Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth were also frozen out. Lucas Moura, Moussa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama were Mourinho’s go to substitutes.
Youngsters such as Kyle Walker-Peters, Oliver Skipp and Troy Parrott were relegated to the Under-23 squad.
With Levy and the board unwilling to sanction the signings their manager wanted in the January transfer window their relationship with Mourinho became fraught.
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It was a situation that soon unravelled.
The three-time Premier League champion was not prepared to go quietly either and hit out at the fans he blamed for failing to back him after Pochettino’s departure.
He was less open to dissecting what had gone wrong for him at Tottenham, however.
And what of Mauricio Pochettino and his staff?
By the time that the season had come to an end, and Mourinho’s time at Tottenham was over, they were still enjoying some much needed time off from the game.