Paulo Fonseca: Genius or overhyped journeyman?


West Ham have done an awful lot of fawning over Portuguese coach Paulo Fonseca during the past few years.

The Lille manager was first linked with the Hammers whilst head coach at Shakhtar Donetsk at a time when the Hammers board were getting concerned about Manuel Pellegrini.

We’ve been linked with Fonseca numerous times since, but most recently yesterday when the mainstream media caught wind of him flirting with West Ham and letting it be known that he was ‘available‘.

I’ll not pretend to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Fonseca, but I do have Google on my laptop so it’s easy enough to follow his career from beginning to current day. The first thing the internet will tell you about the former Roma boss is that he is a serial winner which sounds highly impressive at first glance.

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However, scratch below the surface and all is not as it seems because Paulo Fonseca may well have won 9 trophies in his career but not a single honour was achieved in one of Europe’s big leagues. He’s won trophies in Portugal and Ukraine but that’s it. Far be it for me to demean those leagues and his achievements but that hardly warrants the moniker ‘one of Europe’s best coaches’.

I’m not suggesting for a moment that he’s a bad coach, he’s clearly done well in some of Europe’s less prestigious leagues but he is something of a journeyman.

Fonseca is currently manging in France with Lille and he’s doing adequately, his team currently occupy the Conference League slot but they’re miles away from the Champions League positions. He’s also managed in Serie A, however he didn’t overly impress at Roma at his contact wasn’t renewed.

One of Europe’s best coaches? I’m certainly not seeing it.

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Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose