Paulo Fonseca is the quintessential embodiment of a journeyman, begging the question how he is expected to be responsible for a long-term rebuild at Tottenham Hotspur.
The Portuguese managed 10 senior clubs since taking his first role at S.U. 1º Dezembro in 2007. That equates to a new club every 1.43 years. How is someone that has only ever eclipsed the two-year mark at any club expected to lead a crucially important long-term rebuild?
Having never stayed at a club for longer than three years, Tottenham’s top brass are expecting miracles from the 48-year-old manager, whose managerial career has seen him make fleeting pitstops in more places than a lorry driver on a long-haul route.
It almost leads one to believe that Daniel Levy and Fabio Paratici are using Fonseca as a stopgap manager, a de facto leader to temporarily — for up to two years — fill the position until they secure a primary, elite target for the long term.
That might be a pessimistic way of looking at the current situation, but it would be remiss not to question the Board’s intentions after the mess they’ve recently created.
And when you dive into Fonseca’s history — in which he has only eclipsed the 100-game mark in charge of two clubs (Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk) — it only exacerbates the unnerving suspicion that Fonseca isn’t expected to be the man in charge of a long-term rebuild.
Let’s for now disregard that cynical viewpoint and take Tottenham’s manager appointment at face value. Fonseca, after eight consecutive coaching jobs in which he failed to reach the 60-game plateau in charge, exceeded 100 matches at the helm of both his previous clubs.
In charge of Shakhtar Donetsk for 139 matches and Roma for 101 encounters hopefully marks a change in Foseca’s narrative. Maybe he will prove the naysayers wrong and enjoy a long, fruitful career as Spurs’ gaffer.
Although he wouldn’t just be proving naysayers wrong, he’d be completely altering a past that has seen him change jobs more often than a seasonal worker at a holiday resort.
For everyone’s sake, let’s hope Levy and Paratici actually believe in Fonseca’s ability to change his journeyman ways and prosper at Spurs for the long term.