The soccer news starts with that established Premier League truism that a big name club requires an equally big name manager. That only partly explains Spurs deciding to put their future in the hands of Jose Mourinho. It's easy to point at 14th-place after a dozen games for Spurs calling time on Mauricio Pochettino, but only three points separates 14th from 5th. It wasn't lost on anybody that we're talking about a manager who guided Spurs to the Champions League final last season. No pressure on the special one then.
"I am excited to be joining a Club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters," Mourinho said. "The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me."
Pochettino exits and Mourinho arrives in time to not disrupt the practice schedule, suggesting the move was planned earlier than yesterday. Pochettino's last game with Spurs was a 1-1 draw with Sheffield United, the team currently in 5th-place and ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United. Realistic expectations may not matter when it comes to a big manager keeping his job, but this is an interesting season so far in the Premier League. It's fair to think a shakeout is coming, with Spurs one of the club likely to find themselves on the right side of midtable.
Now, it's going to be Mourinho in position to get that boost up the table. Whether or not Spurs fans buy into the idea that he will be the difference is a good question. Mourinho has been around long enough to know how to play this game. He's been out of a manager's job since Manchester United fired him last December, something that still hangs over current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It's not much of a surprise that some outlets are already linking Pochettino with the Manchester United job.
As for Spurs, anything is better than their current position. With the expectation that the crowded holiday turn into New Years will see separation in the Premier League table and with Spurs all but in the knockout round of the Champions League, this is as good as a scenario gets for Mourinho.
The NY Times' Rory Smith explains what Pochettino ran into at Spurs. The Telegraph's Matt Law with what happened at Spurs to lead to Pochettino's firing. The Independent's Miguel Delaney tries to answer why Spurs made the change now. The Guardian's Barney Ronay paints the situation as Pochettino raising expectations and eventually paying for that. BBC Sport's Guillem Balague asks if Pochettino is better off somewhere else. The Ringer's Michael Baumann on Spurs choosing Mourinho over Pochettino.
MLSsoccer's Brian Warshaw has his tactical look at the USMNT. American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta on the USMNT's win over Cuba. SI.com's Grant Wahl with his takeaways from the last game of the Nations League group stage. ESPN's Jeff Carlisle asks about the USMNT's progress.
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