Harry Redknapp believes Tottenham’s players are to blame for Mauricio Pochettino being sacked as manager.
The Argentinian and his backroom staff were relieved of their duties on Tuesday evening, with chairman Daniel Levy labelling recent domestic results as “extremely disappointing”.
Pochettino leaves Spurs just six months after taking the club to the Champions League final, which they lost 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.
Pochettino joined from Southampton in 2014 and delivered four top-four finishes across his five full seasons in charge.
But he loses his job with Tottenham 14th in the Premier League and having won only three of their opening league games – with former Spurs boss Redknapp laying the blame at the feet of the players Pochettino leaves behind.
“When people talk about the players there all loving him – if they love him that much, maybe they should have started playing a bit better,” he told Sky Sports News.
“At the end of the day, they’ve got him the sack, the results have not been good enough.
“They’ve not performed well enough, that’s why he’s lost his job. That’s what gets you sacked as a football manager.
“They’ve had one Champions League final, and if you look back at the run, really, everything went their way a little bit.
“But they’ve not won a trophy in five or six years with an incredible squad of players, full of internationals.”
One of those players, Dele Alli, was quick to praise the work of Pochettino following his exit.
“I can’t thank this man enough. He’s taught me so much and I’m so grateful for everything he’s done for me. Good luck and hope to see you again my friend,” he wrote on Twitter.
The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust issued a statement following the 47-year-old’s sacking, suggesting they felt he deserved more time to address the recent slide.
“We’re shocked and saddened to hear our club has sacked Mauricio Pochettino and his coaching staff,” their statement read.
“During his time at Spurs, Poch gave us many of our best moments as supporters, made Tottenham Hotspur a force to be reckoned with again, and forged a strong link with the fans. We will never forget the joy he brought us.
“Of course, results in the league have been disappointing for some time. But many fans thought Poch had earned the right to turn it around in the first sustained period of poor form we’ve had during his time at the club. We now have to look forward and take stock. But there are questions that must be asked of the board of THFC.”
Tottenham defender Ben Davies paid tribute to Pochettino and predicted the Argentinian would “go onto bigger and better things” after leaving Spurs.
“I didn’t know until after the game,” Davies said following Wales’ 2-0 win over Hungary which clinched their qualification for Euro 2020.
“I was very shocked. But I’d like to put on record, it’s been amazing to work with him for the last five years and I’m sure he will go onto bigger and better things.”
Former Tottenham striker Gary Lineker was left questioning the decision and whether the club can now land a more capable replacement, with Jose Mourinho strongly linked with the job.
“Mauricio Pochettino has been sacked by @SpursOfficial. He helped the club to punch massively above their weight for years. Good luck with finding a better replacement….ain’t gonna happen,” Lineker.
Meanwhile, former England international Trevor Sinclair echoed Redknapp’s opinion, tweeting: “Tottenham players need to have a look at themselves in the mirror tonight after what Poch has done for them #Pochettino.”
Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher also weighed in on Twitter and backed Pochettino to be back managing in the Premier League soon: “I said a few weeks ago I felt this project had ran its course, I thought there would be a change at the end of the season with either the manager or players changing.
“Pochettino has been a brilliant manager for Spurs & will be back in the PL sooner rather than later!”
Pochettino’s assistant coach Jesus Perez later tweeted a picture of the departed backroom staff with the message: “Thank you from our heart to our players, staff and special thanks to you all, lovely Spurs Fans.”