Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

European manager close to Tottenham job, would still ‘love to have’ Premier League experience

Paulo Fonseca, Luciano Spalletti, Lille v Napoli, December 2022

Paulo Fonseca and Luciano Spalletti in friendly conversation ahead of Lille v Napoli

Paulo Fonseca has revealed “everything was agreed” for him to become the Tottenham manager in 2021, and he would still “love to have” the experience in England.

Six managers have taken charge of Spurs in the last four years. That highlights how the north London outfit have largely been poor during that period.

In the last four seasons, they’ve finished in the Premier League’s top four on one occasion, finishing sixth, seventh and eighth in the other three campaigns.

This season, Tottenham are going very well under Ange Postecoglou – they currently sit second in the league, having won four of their five games.

The managers to have taken charge in the four-year period before the Australian began to turn things around were Jose Mourinho, Ryan Mason, Nuno Espirito Santo, Cristian Stellini and Antonio Conte.

While there were years of mediocrity, if Tottenham continue to fly high throughout this season, they’ll likely not mind all too much that they had to endure those before Postecoglou came along.

However, things could have all been very different had a managerial appointment been made in 2021.

Mourinho was sacked by Spurs in April of that year, and they were in talks with Fonseca – who managed Roma at the time – to take over from him.

Fonseca could have landed Tottenham job

The manager announced that he was leaving his post at the end of that season, amid talks. He’s explained that everything was in place for him to take the job, but things fell through.

“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,” he told O Jogo.

Fonseca detailed his regret that he didn’t get the chance to take Tottenham forwards. Had he been successful, Postecoglou would surely have never got his chance, and things might have worked out differently even if he wasn’t a success.

“I regretted this outcome, things were all right but the arrival of a certain person changed everything,” Fonseca added.

“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.”

Fonseca wants Premier League chance

While Fonseca suggests he’s content with his current situation at Lille, he admits he would still like to have the chance to manage in the Premier League.

“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,” he said.

“Continuing in France makes me feel fulfilled but England is England, all coaches would love to have that experience.”

If a Premier League job was to crop up, it would be interesting to see if he’d take it, despite being happy with Lille.

READ MORE: Chelsea fighting losing battle with top Tottenham target ready to quit after Pochettino decision