Interim manager Cristian Stellini has been sacked by Tottenham Hotspur after four matches in charge. Stellini, 48, was appointed on 26 March after Antonio Conte’s 16-month spell as Spurs boss came to an end. Ryan Mason, who worked under Stellini and took charge when Jose Mourinho was sacked in 2021, succeeds him. Sunday’s defeat at Newcastle, where they trailed 5-0 after 21 minutes, was a significant blow to Spurs’ hopes of securing Champions League qualification. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said, “It was devastating to see. We can look at many reasons why it happened and while myself, the board, the coaches and players must all take collective responsibility, ultimately the responsibility is mine.”
Tottenham are fifth in the Premier League table, six points behind both Newcastle in third and Manchester United in fourth. Both teams have played fewer games than Spurs, who host Erik ten Hag’s side on Thursday. Spurs won one, drew one and lost two games after appointing Stellini, who acted as Conte’s assistant during his time as manager. Stellini also led the side when Conte was missing from the touchline after a gall bladder operation in February, with Spurs winning three of their four Premier League games in Conte’s absence, but also losing to Championship side Sheffield United in the FA Cup.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy thanked Stellini for his professionalism and appointed former Spurs and England midfielder Mason, 31, as his successor for the final six games of the season. Stellini apologised for the defeat at Newcastle, saying the performance was “unexpected”. He changed the system to a back four for the first time this season but returned to three centre-backs after 23 minutes when he substituted midfielder Pape Sarr with Davinson Sanchez. The thrashing was Spurs’ heaviest Premier League defeat since December 2013, when they lost 5-0 to Liverpool at White Hart Lane.
Former Spurs defender Ramon Vega said on BBC Radio 5 Live that issues had been accumulating for weeks, months and years and that it summed up the club for the past 10 years. He said that recruitment was a shambles and that the players were not playing like they were supposed to play. He also said that Levy needs to take accountability for what happens within the club and that he made mistakes by not leaving enough decisions to the football people and not recruiting the right people. Vega added that the fans were fed up and not seeing any excitement or winning anything for a long time.