On the eve of the biggest soccer match of his coaching career, Tottenham Hotspur’s manager dropped a bombshell. It was May 7, 2019, the night before Mauricio Pochettino’s team played against Ajax Amsterdam in the UEFA Champions League semifinal; the coach declared that if Tottenham won the trophy, he would leave the London club. “It should be fantastic, no?” Pochettino said. “Close the five-year chapter and go home.” Reporters asked him if he was joking (he wasn’t), and fans were stunned.
Tottenham won the semifinal but lost the final, and Pochettino stayed. In the matches after the final, the team’s performance level dropped, leading many to wonder: What if Pochettino had left? In the end, he had the decision taken out of his hands, and was sacked six months later.
Can you ever know with certainty when it’s the right time to change jobs? The world of soccer is