Pochettino hit by ‘curse’ with every club Ajax faced in the Champions League last season firing their manager since – The Sun
AJAX'S run to the Champions League semi-finals last year was so devastating EVERY manager they faced has since lost his job.
Mauricio Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham on Tuesday night to round off the six coaches who couldn't survive taking on the Dutch overachievers.
Of course, Spurs beat Ajax with a dramatic semi-final comeback in May but the fact they couldn't maintain their form into the new season has led to the demise of Pochettino.
Jose Mourinho was quickly called in to replace the Argentine with the club lodged in 14th place in the Premier League table.
And Tottenham are not alone in feeling the heat having faced Ajax.
A pair of wins over AEK Athens in the group stage helped consign the Greeks to the bottom of the table, where they finished without a point.
Marinos Ouzounidis was in the dugout for both games but resigned in February with his side 14 points off the pace domestically.
Benfica were also disappointed to fall out of the Champions League early and it was Rui Vitoria who paid the price, earning the sack in January after three-and-a-half years in charge.
Ajax's other opponents in Group E, Bayern Munich, actually finished top.
Two draws with the Amsterdam side were enough to seemingly secure a plum tie for Niko Kovac and yet they took on eventual champions – Liverpool consigning them to their first last-16 exit in eight years.
And last month Kovac bit the bullet having struggled to meet Bayern's imperious expectations.
THE MANAGERS STRUCK BY THE AJAX 'CURSE'
AEK Athens – group stage – Marinos Ouzounidis – resigned in February
Benfica – group stage – Rui Vitoria – fired in January
Bayern Munich – group stage – Niko Kovac – fired in October
Real Madrid – round of 16 – Santiago Solari – fired in March
Juventus – quarter-final – Max Allegri – quit in May
Tottenham – semi-final – Mauricio Pochettino – fired in November
Most famous of all of Ajax's wins last season came in the first knockout round against Real Madrid.
Santiago Solari had only been installed four months before claiming a first-leg win in the Netherlands to ease growing concerns of a flop season.
However Erik ten Hag led his men to a stunning 4-1 victory at the Bernabeu and Solari lasted just six more days in the job.
Most expected Ajax's noble run to the quarter-finals to end when facing Serie A's top club, Juventus, and yet they weren't done yet.
Once again, a 1-1 draw at Johan Cruyff Arena set the favourites up well before goals from Donny van de Beek and Matthijs de Ligt snatched a comeback win in Turin.
Massimiliano Allegri decided his time was up at the end of the season and the Italian left having never won the Champions League.
The Ajax curse then took its toll on Pochettino, who may have even walked anyway if Lucas Moura's magical hat-trick late on in the semi-final had propelled them to winning the competition overall.
But his departure completes the set – and might just leave this year's opponents Frank Lampard, Christophe Galtier and Albert Celades looking over their shoulder.
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