Tottenham Hotspur have sacked manager Mauricio Pochettino, after more than five years in charge. The North London club currently sits in 14th place in the table, after a disappointing start to the season.

Pochettino’s assistant Jesus Perez, and coaches Miguel d’Agostino and Antoni Jimenez have also left the club.

Five months ago, the 47-year-old Argentine led Tottenham to their first-ever Champions League final, and a fourth-place finish in the Premier League. This was the fourth time in Pochettino’s five seasons at the helm, in which they finished in the top four. Before his arrival from Southampton in May 2014, Spurs had finished in the top four just twice in 22 seasons.

In a statement released by the club, chairman Daniel Levy said “We were extremely reluctant to make this change.

“It is not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste. Regrettably, domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing.

“It falls on the board to make the difficult decisions – this one made more so given the many memorable moments we have had with Mauricio and his coaching staff – but we do so in the club’s best interests.”

While many are shocked at the club’s decision, perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised. Spurs are winless in their last five Premier League games.

While the season started positively with a win over Aston Villa, and a draw away to champions Manchester City, it was a 1-0 home defeat to Newcastle where cracks first started to show for the Argentine.

Since August, their league form and performances have been disappointing. The 3-0 loss away to Brighton started a winless run, which has included a loss at Anfield, and disappointing draws with Sheffield United, Everton and Watford.

Tottenham’s woes haven’t just been limited to the Premier League. A much-changed Spurs side were humbled by League Two Colchester in the EFL Cup, and in the Champions League, Spurs suffered their biggest defeat in their new stadium – a 2-7 loss to the German champions Bayern Munich.

However, Pochettino had won 159 of his 293 matches in charge of the Lily Whites – his win percentage of 54.3% is the fourth highest of any manager in Spurs history.

Big names like Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelloti and Julian Nagelsman are amongst bookmaker favourites to take over at Tottenham. Mourinho is currently the strong favourite at 4/6, but odds are dropping quickly on the Spurs hierarchy tempting Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe away from the south coast club.

As for Pochettino, Manchester United have been long term admirers of the Argentine, and European giants like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain are all said to be interested in his signature.

Pic by Дмитрий Голубович (Creative Commons License)