Tottenham have sacked their head coaches, Karen Hills and Juan Amoros, and replaced them with Rehanne Skinner on a hectic day of Women’s Super League changes. The move was announced hours after West Ham confirmed the departure of their manager, Matt Beard.
Hills and Amoros leave with Spurs second from bottom having not won a league game. Hills has been in charge since 2009 and Amoros was appointed to work alongside her in 2011. They have overseen the club’s steady rise, culminating in promotion to the top division in 2018-19, and Tottenham were comfortably mid-table when last season was halted.
Skinner leaves her role as England Women assistant coach to take up her new job at Tottenham. She said: “I am really excited to be joining Tottenham and cannot wait to get started in the WSL after the international break. The club’s philosophy and future plans are something I was really keen to be a part of. They have shown a real commitment to the women’s team and have come a long way in a short period of time which is a credit to all the players and staff involved.”
The club had said earlier about the departure of Hills and Amoros: “This decision has not been taken lightly and has been made in the best interests of the team, with the belief that a fresh approach will offer renewed impetus as we seek to continue our upward trajectory and positive growth.”
Expectations of improvement had been high this season, especially after the arrival of the USA forward Alex Morgan on loan. Morgan has made only one appearance after needing time to reach match readiness. Wednesday’s Continental League Cup defeat on penalties at Arsenal proved the final game for Hills and Amoros.
Beard’s departure comes after pressure had been building on the 42-year-old because of West Ham’s erratic and inconsistent form. The team have one win from seven Women’s Super League games this season and were without consecutive wins between February 2019 and the start of this month in all competitions.
A 4-0 defeat of Championship side Charlton to all but confirm their place in the Continental League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday was clearly deemed not enough to save Beard. The goalkeeping coach, Billy Stewart, and the first-team coach, Paul McHugh, will take temporary charge while the club begins its search for a new manager.
Beard, who won the WSL in 2013 and 2014 with Liverpool, joined the Hammers in June 2018 as the club prepared for a first season in the newly professionalised top flight. That season Beard guided them to a first Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley, where they lost to Manchester City.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time with West Ham United and, while I am sad to depart, I am proud of the work we have done to grow and develop this team,” he said. “Although I am leaving, I do so with some wonderful memories that I will for ever treasure, and I would like to thank Jack Sullivan and everyone at the club for the opportunity to work at West Ham.”
Sullivan, the managing director of the women’s team, said: “On behalf of everyone at West Ham, I would like to say thank you to Matt for his hard work and dedication during his time with the club. Our growth, from a newly formed professional team taking our first steps into the Women’s Super League to an established side in the top-flight, has been colossal and Matt has been one of the leading figures in that effort.
“It has been a pleasure working closely with Matt and, although we are parting ways, we do so amicably and with plenty of unforgettable memories shared. I genuinely wish Matt all the best for the future.”