Tottenham Hotspur coach Andre Villas-Boas left the Premier League soccer club a day after a 5-0 home loss to Liverpool, its worst home defeat this century.
Villas-Boas, 36, was halfway through his three-year contract but yesterday’s result, which follows a 6-0 defeat by Manchester City last month, prompted Tottenham’s board to call an emergency meeting. The team is seventh in the Premier League, five points adrift of a Champions League qualification spot and eight behind leader Arsenal.
“The club can announce that agreement has been reached with Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas for the termination of his services,” Tottenham said today in a statement on its website. “The decision was by mutual consent and in the interests of all parties.”
Spurs are to play West Ham in the League Cup in two days before traveling to Southampton on Dec. 22 for the next Premier League fixture.
Tim Sherwood, Chris Ramsey and Les Ferdinand have been given first-team coaching responsibilities while the club searches for a new manager, the team said on its Twitter social-networking account. Jose Mario Rocha, Luis Martins and Daniel Sousa are leaving the coaching staff, while Steffen Freund and Tony Parks will remain at White Hart Lane, the club said via the club said on Twitter.
Villas-Boas took over in north London in July 2012 after being fired by Chelsea. Last season the Portuguese coach led Tottenham to its highest-ever points total in the Premier League, finishing in fifth place with 72 points, missing out on a berth in this season’s Champions League by one spot. It exited both domestic cup competitions in early rounds but made it to the quarterfinals of the second-tier Europa League, defeating Inter Milan on the way.
The off-season was dominated by the sale of Gareth Bale to Spain’s Real Madrid for a reported world-record fee of about 80 million pounds ($131 million) last month.
In his place, Villas-Boas brought in players including Roberto Soldado from Valencia and Erik Lamela from Roma, for 26 million pounds each according to Soccerbase.com. In total Villas-Boas spent 148 million pounds during his 17 months at Tottenham, according to the website.
During Villas-Boas’s time in charge the club won 44 matches, drew 20 and lost 16. He is the fifth Premier League head coach to lose his job this season, after Steve Clarke at West Brom, Martin Jol at Fulham, Ian Holloway at Crystal Palace and Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland.
When he was hired by Tottenham, The Sun newspaper reported that Villas-Boas would earn about 4 million pounds per season. The club didn’t announce details of any severance package nor reveal anything potential replacements.
Former England coach Fabio Capello is the 6-4 favorite to take over at White Hart Lane, British bookmaker William Hill Plc said in an e-mailed statement. That means a successful $4 bet would bring in $6 plus the original wager. The Italian is due to lead Russia’s campaign at next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Tottenham won its group in the Europa League with victories in all six matches and faces Ukrainian side Dnipro in the first knockout stage in February, a team led by Juande Ramos, a former Spurs coach.
Tottenham is the second London side to fire Villas-Boas. Chelsea sacked him in March 2012 after only eight months in charge. He joined Chelsea after winning the Europa League in 2011 in his first season at Porto, along with Portugal’s domestic league and cup.
Villas-Boas never played soccer professionally, and got coaching qualifications when he was 17. Former England national coach Bobby Robson picked him to work with Porto’s youth-team coaches, and then Villas-Boas joined the staff of Jose Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.