Reasons to worry about Fonseca’s appointment
Forget the substitution issue, although making six substitutes is a pretty obvious and glaring one. The thing that concerns me more about Fonseca is that he does not seem to instil a defensive mentality whatsoever.
Despite Roma improving their goal difference by 8 in his first season, they actually conceded more goals. Roma gave up 1.39 goals per game over his two seasons, which is a higher total than Tottenham conceded this past season.
Tottenham sounds a lot like Roma
The excuses for this past season in Roma were an aging squad, poor transfers and injury problems. That sounds a lot like Tottenham Hotspur. Individual errors in defense and an inability to handle bigger, stronger teams were just a fact of life at Roma, highlighted by the 6-2 drubbing at the hands of Manchester United.
You would think, given the falling out Fonseca and Edin Edin Džeko had, that the Tottenham and Roma scripts were written by the same author.
Tottenham is actually an older team than Roma. Spurs had an average age of 27.2 years this past season compared to Roma’s 26.6. If he struggled in Italy with injuries, aging, and bad transfers it sounds like Fonseca is about to encounter similar circumstances at Tottenham.
Questions about Fonseca’s defensive approach
Fonseca’s teams tend to try and intercept the ball more than dispossess through tackling. When you like to play out of the back and have a team that struggles on the ball – the way most of the Tottenham defenders do – his formula can be a recipe for disaster.
And while Fonseca has a full trophy cabinet from his time in Ukraine, they came in a league with a much lower level of competition.
At 48 he is 10 years younger than Mourinho. But compared to Julien Nagelsmann – Tottenham’s reported #1 target, who is only 33 – Fonseca is an elder statesman. Scott Parker is only 40 and Graham Potter is just 46, while Antonio Conte is 51. .
Ultimately Fonseca may be a great hire, expressing an offensive system that was lacking under Jose. However, his lack of defensive commitment and insistence on playing out of the back could be a problem if Spurs don’t have the right personnel. Paratici and Spurs’ brass have the summer to bring in the personnel they need to fit his expansive system.
If the Spurs were going to fix the team in a coach’s image, I would just as soon that coach be Antonio Conte. But let’s remain optimistic and see what Fonseca is made of in north London.