It is now presumed that Paulo Fonseca, Roma’s former manager, is set to take the reigns as Tottenham’s new manager, a wildly surprising development nobody saw coming.
That is primarily because Fabio Paratici, who has purportedly been working behind the scenes prior to his confirmation as sports director, has taken the lead on the Portguese gaffer’s recruitment. Paratici is obviously a huge proponent of Fonseca’s, backing him categorically to be the man that takes Spurs into the next era.
It is reported that Fonseca is being offered a three-year contract, the same length as Paratici’s obligation at Spurs. Fonseca has been managing at a senior level since 2007. The first decade of his management career was focussed entirely on Portuguese soil, with the 48-year-old in charge of seven different clubs in that span, the most prominent of which saw him fleetingly manage Porto for just over a year.
Shakhtar Donetsk provided Fonseca his first kick of the management can outside of Portugal. He took control of the Ukrainian club in 2016, where he enjoyed his greatest success. He led Shakhtar to three successive league and cup doubles.
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Those accolades, however, don’t exactly send awe-inspiring shivers up one’s neck. So he won trophies galore in the Ukraine, a first division with less competition for silverware than in The Scottish Premiership. You’ve got Shakhtar Donetsk, Dynamo Kyiv and, well, that’s it. FC Zorya Luhansk, whoever that is, finished in third place of last season’s Ukrainian Premier League.
You get no points for guessing which clubs finished first and second.
So Fonseca found success in the Ukraine before landing the Roma job, his most prominent role as a manager. His first year in the Italian capital saw Roma finish in fifth place. He followed that up with a seventh place finish and a run to the semifinal in the Europa League.
Fonseca’s dream of European glory was obliterated when Roma were dismantled 9-4 on aggregate by a rampant Manchester United side.
Paratici must see something in Fonseca that most clearly don’t. Many hadn’t heard Fonseca’s name before news broke of his “imminent” appointment in north London. He’s not exactly a household name in England, nor has he seen much success — aside from a bundle of trophies in a place where competition is as stiff as cooked linguine — in his 17 years as a manager.
Hopefully this is one of Paratici’s diamond-in-the-rough finds. Though after only 12 hours to digest the latest happenings, I feel his appointment as manager, if it comes to fruition, would be as underwhelming as his splintered, lacklustre CV.
Hopefully it’s fake news, as the alternative is an unnerving prospect.