Jonathan Pearce: If Liverpool’s contentious Champions League final penalty hadn’t been given last season, might Mauricio Pochettino still be in a job?

It’s not the most drastic downfall of a manager from Europe’s peak. Bayern’s Jupp Heynckes won the 2013 trophy yet was immediately replaced by Pep Guardiola. But Heynckes knew that was coming. Pochettino didn’t. This was brutal. The club’s failure to clear out disgruntled wantaways undermined him.

Tottenham fans hated Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. He’ll have to hit the ground running. Jimmy Greaves knew that when he made the same trip, via Italy. He hit a hat-trick on his debut.

If Mourinho has the same impact, pressure will mount for Manuel Pellegrini. He badly needs a win. This will be as fierce as they come.


West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini: “[Mauricio] Pochettino was a manager who did a lot of good work for a lot of years for Tottenham. Now they have another experienced manager, Jose Mourinho.

“He’s not my friend, but he’s not my enemy. We have different ways of thinking about football. I think he only took charge yesterday, so probably we will see Tottenham playing in a similar way.”

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho: “I told the players that one of the reasons I decided to come was them. I tried to buy some of them for different clubs and couldn’t, some of them I didn’t even try because it was impossible. I am not just saying that now, I have said it for years.

“I want to respect the base of work that they have done for five years, it is an update not a change. I am here to try and understand why the results in the last year in the Premier League were not good.

“I am not here to make dramatic changes and create confusion in their brains. I am going to be very careful.”


Whatever happens long term, Jose Mourinho will give Spurs a lift straight away – he is a different voice, and gives them a fresh approach.

It is going to be interesting to see the way Spurs play, and I don’t mean just in terms of their performance against West Ham. I mean in the subtle changes that he might make, if any, to their shape and their playing style.

Prediction: 1-1

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  • West Ham could secure consecutive league wins over Tottenham for the first time since 2013-14.
  • The away side has won five of the last six meetings in all competitions, including both league games last season.
  • West Ham have scored 53 Premier League goals against Spurs, more than versus any other team.

West Ham United

  • West Ham have gone six league matches without a win, losing four and drawing two.
  • The Hammers have managed only three victories in their past 26 league matches played in November (D10, L13).
  • No club has conceded more second-half home goals than West Ham’s eight, level with Norwich.
  • Goalkeeper Roberto has conceded 12 goals in 507 Premier League minutes – one every 42 minutes.
  • Robert Snodgrass could become the second player to score in three consecutive league matches at the London Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur

  • Tottenham are winless in five league matches, their worst spell since a run of six between December 2008 and January 2009.
  • Spurs are without a victory in 12 away league games dating back to January, and have equalled the club Premier League record of 13 away matches without a clean sheet.
  • They begin the weekend in 14th place, their lowest position after 12 matches since March 2009.
  • Tottenham have kept one league clean sheet this season, a joint-low with Norwich.
  • They have conceded at least once in their last seven matches.
  • Spurs have dropped a league-high 12 points from winning positions – just two fewer than in the whole of last season.
  • Son Heung-min has scored five goals in his last five games for Tottenham in all competitions.
  • Jose Mourinho has lost his last two matches versus Manuel Pellegrini, with his sides conceding six goals.

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