The last 24 hours at Tottenham: all that’s wrong with modern football

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy looks on at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium London, England. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy looks on at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium London, England. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images) /

Before Mauricio Pochettino had time to pack his bags, Jose Mourinho was already poised to redecorate the Argentinian’s office at Tottenham, summing up perfectly all that’s wrong with football in the modern era. 

Nobody wanted Pochettino’s tenure at Tottenham to end the way it did, ruthlessly and unceremoniously. Building steadfast relationships that will last a lifetime and showing an emotional investment rarely seen, the Argentinian gave everything during his time at Spurs.

Daniel Levy’s plea for Pochettino to quit didn’t work, forcing the shrewd businessman’s hand. Within 24 hours Pochettino was gone and Jose Mourinho confirmed as the new gaffer.

Turns out Mourinho and Levy have been discussing this eventuality for the better part of a month. Because Levy, like all astute, calculating businessmen, knew a contingency plan must be in place before giving Pochettino the boot.

That contingency plan, Mourinho and his new coaching team, was in place even before Pochettino joined gridlock on the M25 after leaving Spurs Enfield training ground. Like it or not, modern football is, first and foremost, a business. And Levy runs his club precisely that way. Allegiances and loyalty be damned. This is the modern era of football.

Pochettino lost his job when he lost his locker room, a room full of players that, not too long ago, would have gone to war for him. A few months later and some of those players turned their back on Pochetttino, leading to the Argentinian’s eventual demise.

Inflated salaries and egos are a byproduct of modern football. Business before everything else. Employees, the players, hold all the power now and are easily able to banish even the most highly acclaimed managers. Just leak a story to the press, plot with other disgruntled teammates, plant a seed out doubt, connive and watch it spread like wildfire.

While Tottenham’s clubhouse hadn’t conspired to form a full-blown mutiny, waves of unrest reverberated far and wide. And that unrest led to capitulation on the pitch, eventually costing Pochettino his job. Scapegoats, another byproduct of the modern era.

Less than 12 hours later a new era dawns on Hotspur Way. Some of the players got what they want. But be careful what you wish for, as Jose Mourinho knows the game just as well, and is no stranger to employing modern tactics, particularly by using the media as an effective conduit.

Mourinho will earn double that of Pochettino. The self-proclaimed Special One will earn £15 million compared to Pochettino’s £8.5 million. Surely there’s something wrong with that picture. I understand Spurs are paying for Mourinho’s experience and extensive winning record, but Pochettino was the man who brought our beloved club back to prominence.

We must move on and think positively about the next chapter at Tottenham. Such is life in the modern era. Sadly, whether we like to admit it or not, there is a crisp, fresh new buzz oscillating around North London today.

Next. How Mourinho's Tottenham might line up against West Ham. dark

But how long will that feeling last? Hopefully a lot longer than we were given to mourn the loss of our greatest manager.