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Fonseca: Spurs' desire for defensive football saw him lose manager's job

Paulo Fonseca says Tottenham's desire to play defensive football cost him the manager's job at th...
Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

17.17 23 Sep 2021


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Fonseca: Spurs' desire for def...

Fonseca: Spurs' desire for defensive football saw him lose manager's job

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

17.17 23 Sep 2021


Share this article


Paulo Fonseca says Tottenham's desire to play defensive football cost him the manager's job at the Premier League club. 

The former Roma boss was all set to be appointed Jose Mourinho's successor at Spurs back in June.

Fonseca had reportedly agreed a two-year deal, with the option of a third, only to find himself suddenly out of the running.

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Three weeks' later, Nuno Espirito Santo signed a two-year contract at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Fonseca claims recently-appointed managing director Fabio Paratici was the reason he fell out of favour.

At the end of last season, and after the temporary stewardship of Ryan Mason, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said they were focused on appointing a manager who plays "free-flowing" football, returning to "some key priorities and what's truly in our DNA".

Nuno's appointment - and the candidacy of Antonio Conte and Gennaro Gattuso - suggested Levy's promise had been cast aside.

And Fonseca says Paratici was the man behind the change of course.

"The agreement was done," the 48-year old said, "We were planning the pre-season and Tottenham wanted an offensive coach.

"It wasn’t announced but we planned pre-season players. But things changed when the new managing director arrived and we didn’t agree with some ideas and he preferred another coach."

Fonseca added, "“I have some principles. I wanted to be coach of the great teams but I want the right project and a club where the people believe in my ideas, my way to play, and this didn’t happen with the managing director.

“It’s what the chairman and the sporting director [Steve Hitchen] asked for. To build a team who can play attractive and offensive football and I was ready for that.

"I cannot be a different way. All my teams will have these intentions.

"In Rome or Shakhtar in the Champions League against the biggest teams, I’m not sending out my teams to defend near their own box.”

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