Before Nantes Lille: Paolo Fonseca, Two Tortured Years in Rome

There is an unstoppable metric to gauge the popularity of a former Roma coach. Two or three phone calls to measure the pulse of the Eternal City, turn on one or two Romanian radios and (and above all) find out how Francesco Totti feels. On many occasions, the person whose opinion probably matters more than that of the Pope has been very flattering towards Paolo Fonseca, who has been on the seat of the Giallorosso for two years (between 2019 and 2021). “For me, he is a very great coach who understands Italian football and especially the city of Rome. Everyone talks to me about it, players first place”, admit the previous number 10 in April 2020.

If his Roman adventure has seen many upheavals, both on and off the field, Fonseca has always managed to stay the course in one form or another. In secret, the latter likes to list the best periods, including in particular the European League semi-final he lost to Manchester United, despite the context.Complex“All around him. A kind, gentle expression. Nor does he hide the perks of living in such a city, that staying there would not have upset him.”Between me and the club and typhus, there is a very strong bond that will remain‘, will tell the Portuguese media Commonwealth of Independent States Shortly after his departure. Replaced by Jose Mourinho, who was already sent to the Pantheon after winning the Europa League conference last season, the current Lusk coach seems just a distant memory. But it has the advantage of being good.

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Attractive and strong personality

If he hasn’t had any trophies on the clock, but only fifth and seventh place in two seasons, with this great course in C3 as a bonus, then Paulo Fonseca’s character would have pleased much. “He never complained about anything despite a thousand difficultiesRemembers Augusto Ciardi, a Romanian journalist for the Teleradiostereo radio station and a fan of the club for more than twenty years. Barely arrived, he found himself without a sporting director, as Gianluca Petracci closed the door very quickly. His second season began with more distrust inside the club than outside, and the players were always on his side. Then there was also the interruption associated with the epidemic, the sale of the club behind the scenes … And despite this, Fonseca has always been a gentleman. Typhus appreciated it so much. “

After the first season was cut in half due to the pandemic, the Portuguese coach starts the second season without making any impact at a club that was barely sold to the Friedkin family. “He didn’t even know who to turn toconfirms to the journalist via the Alps. The leader to talk to was Guido Fienga, who was more than management and was very impressed with the agents. Friedkins arrives on August 20th and they do their best in the transfer window. After building something interesting in the first few months, Fonseca finds himself caught in the whirl of a historical moment. There are even rumors of a dismissal at the start of his second season, which begins at the end of the decade. Perhaps he should have raised his voice a little more and made himself heard…” But if he has to, he’s not necessarily in front of the microphones. Fonseca is always dressed up, his back hair perfectly styled, and he also knows how to piss off. Edin Dzeko remembers her well.

January 2021. Roma lost 4-2 at home to La Spezia in the Italian Cup at home, and Roma suffered a defeat on the green carpet for making six changes. But on the same evening, the Portuguese got confused with his captain Edin Dzeko, who then wanted to leave. “He takes his armband and gives it to (Lorenzo) Pellegrini, then decides to remove Dzeko from his team for two or three matches. Fonseca generally has a good relationship with his players, but he’s also strong when needed. Demotion of his captain and the best player on his team in front of others, not everyone will do itAugusto Ciardi warns.

Paulo Fonseca and Edin Dzeko – 2020-21

Credit: Getty Images

A few months later, the Portuguese technician attacked the Italian press. “I accept criticism, not lies (…) What is written is unfair and dishonest“, He lost after beating Ajax Amsterdam in the quarter-finals of the European League. The question: An alleged face-to-face between him and his team a few days ago after their draw with Sassuolo (2-2) in Trigoria.

A coach knows how to adapt…

Once in Rome, Fonseca said he wanted to put a new game in its place. 4-2-3-1 depend on possession, offensive and amazing. The ball is in the foot, his team is positioned at 1-3-3-3 or 3-1-3-3. And without, usually at 5-4-1. But if the Portuguese coach has ideas, principles and dogmas, he is not stubborn. After a mixed first part of the season, and recognizing the difficulties his team is facing, a transition is made to a three-man defense. A tactical revolution is paying off, thus limiting “Dzeko adoption”, leaving room for more creativity and more offensive solutions. His team switches to a steam game at the end of the season. The problem is, the accumulated delay is very important. And Rome fails to qualify for the Champions League.

Fonseca and Mancini (Rome Ajax)

Credit: Getty Images

the following ? Lots of torment, with a team still inconsistent on the pitch and often unbalanced (58 goals conceded to 51 in the first season), frequent injuries, a sword of Damocles over the head, and a beautiful run in the European League ending. In humiliation in the semi-finals (2-6 in the first leg against United, 3-2 in the second leg).

It has been a season marked above all by injuriesSorry, Augusto Ciardi. Obviously there was a problem with the preparation. At the end of March, the goal for fourth place had already been met. If we go back to Fonseca, we feel a little sorry for feeling that the work is unfinished. For me, he is a very good coach, maybe not a great coach but a very good coach. But due to context and perhaps also some personal limitations, he was unable to show it in full here. I would even say that it is difficult to judge everything that happened here during his stay. Today, the club has new ambitions, with a high transfer window and an internationally renowned coach. “

… with mixed results

In Rome, Paolo Fonseca’s two-year record was mixed. The man, always faithful and upright, remains appreciated by the entire Roman environment. But the coach leaves a lot of regret. A sneak peek into his principles of play has been gleaned, especially during the early part of the 2019-20 financial year. The Portuguese have the advantage that they have tried and tried to cope with a difficult context and a workforce with clear boundaries. But he also made some mistakes, with choices that were sometimes called into question. His training methods were also debated. A few months before he left, he did Corriere dello Sport revealed that some players,”hesitant“, she decided”Add work in special form“.

It is completely wrong, Tell us a high-ranking employee of the club. It wasn’t always all smooth sailing, but we’ve never heard of these facts. The players appreciated Paulo Fonseca, with whom the breakup was amicable. We have good memories of him and wish him well with Lille.. ”

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