Back in the summer of 2021, Paulo Fonseca was tipped to become the next Tottenham Hotspur manager after Jose Mourinho had been relieved of his duties, but that didn’t come to fruition. Now, Fonseca has touched on the matter again and explained what happened.
Mourinho was dismissed towards the end of the 2020/21 campaign, just days before the Carabao Cup final, with Ryan Mason taking over as caretaker manager until the end of that season.
What transpired over the summer that year was an embarrassing merry-go-round of different managers being linked to the vacancy at Tottenham and either pulling out of the race, or being turned down by the club.
Eventually, Spurs went with Nuno Espirito Santo, and that did not prove to be a successful appointment. The Portuguese coach was sacked in November and replaced by Antonio Conte.
Paulo Fonseca needed a year away from football
Speaking to O Jogo (via Sport Witness) about the opportunity he was offered and why it didn’t work out, Fonseca explained changes at the top at Spurs hindered the deal, and he decided to take a break from football instead.
He said: “When I left Roma, it’s no secret that everything was agreed with Tottenham, but things didn’t materialise. There were invitations but I decided it was a year that I should take.”
Apparently, Fabio Paratici’s appointment “completely changed the outcome” of negotiations. Missing out on the chance to manage in England is clearly something Fonseca rues, however.
He added: “It has always fascinated me and I would love to have this experience. But I say it without obsession because I’m in a high-quality championship. Continuing in France makes me feel fulfilled but England is England, all coaches would love to have that experience.
“I regretted this outcome, things were all right but the arrival of a certain person changed everything. I was a little frustrated that I didn’t have the chance to coach this big club and get into the Premier League. But I look little at the past, I look at the present and the future. I’m very happy where I am.”
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Who knows where Fonseca and Spurs would be if he had taken the job at the time, but thankfully, after a rough couple of years, things are seemingly better than ever at Tottenham. Here’s hoping the reign of Ange Postecoglou continues for many years.
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