EPL

Tottenham move collapsed because Paratici wanted defensive football, claims Fonseca

By Sports Desk September 23, 2021

Paulo Fonseca claims his move to Tottenham collapsed because incoming director Fabio Paratici preferred a coach with a more defensive style.

The 48-year-old former Roma boss had looked primed to take over from Jose Mourinho until the deal fell through, with some reports initially blaming problems with Italian and United Kingdom tax laws.

Spurs went through a host of prospective candidates, including Gennaro Gattuso and Antonio Conte, before Nuno Espirito Santo was appointed in June.

Nuno has endured a mixed start to life in north London, winning his first three Premier League games before suffering comprehensive defeats to Crystal Palace and Chelsea.

Spurs have only scored once from open play in their five league games in 2021-22 from 2.5 expected goals, the lowest such figure aside from Burnley, Norwich City and Aston Villa. Ignoring set-pieces, they have created 27 chances in those five matches, the worst return in the league.

They have averaged only 44 per cent of the possession, the sixth-lowest in the division, while they have registered just eight build-up attacks – open-play sequences of 10 or more passes that end with a shot or a touch in the box – which is a figure less than half that posted by Nuno's former side Wolves (18).

Still, Fonseca claims this more safety-first approach was favoured by Paratici when he arrived at the club as managing director of football in July.

"The agreement was done," he told the Telegraph when asked about his own talks with Spurs.

"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.

"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.

"I cannot be a different way. All my teams will have these intentions. In Rome or Shakhtar [Donetsk] in the Champions League against the biggest teams, I'm not sending out my teams to defend near their own box.

"We have an obligation with supporters to create a spectacle, a good show. That is the obligation of the coach. I want to win every game but just winning is not enough for me. I have to be offensive and dominate the games and have an offensive midfield and show courage in the game. These are things which will die with me.

"It happened so many times when I got home after winning a game and my wife asked 'why are you unhappy?' And it is because I didn't win the way I wanted to. It is not enough. I have to create a good show for the people who pay the tickets and love football. At least I try. I cannot be a coach in another way."

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