'Special One' done as Tottenham Hotspur fire Mourinho ahead of League Cup final

·2-min read

Tottenham Hotspur on Monday announced the dismissal of coach Jose Mourinho after 18 months in charge.

The 58-year-old Portuguese took over from Mauricio Pochettino in November 2019 and guided the club to sixth in the Premier League in 2020.

Despite his trophy-laden association with London rivals Chelsea - where he styled himself as the 'Special One' - his reputation as a serial winner muted the scepticism of Spurs fans who feared his fabled pragmatism would dampen the club's tradition for flair.

Under his guidance, Spurs enjoyed an impressive start to the 2020/21 season, including a 6-1 win against Mourinho's former club Manchester United at Old Trafford.

A 2-0 home victory over north London rivals Arsenal in early December allowed Spurs to go top of the Premier League.

But since then, Spurs have won seven of 19 league games, losing eight of them.

In February, they were knocked out of the FA Cup in a 5-4 quarter-final defeat to Everton and on 18 March they squandered a 2-0 first-leg lead to lose 3-2 on aggregate to Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League last-16.

Mourinho's departure was announced a day after it emerged that Spurs were among six English Premier League outfits who want to play in a 20-team European Super League from August.

The plan for a breakaway tournament has been greeted with fury over the self-appointed elite.

Spurs, who play in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday against Manchester City, have not won any silverware since 2008.

In the statement announcing Mourinho's exit, Spurs' supremo, Daniel Levy, added: “On a personal level I have enjoyed working with Jose and regret that things have not worked out as we both had envisaged.

"He will always be welcome here and we should like to thank him and his coaching staff for their contribution.”

Ryan Mason, the assistant coach, will assume first-team duties. The former Spurs midfielder is likely to remain as boss until the end of the season.