Who is Paulo Fonseca? Could ex Roma boss be next Newcastle United manager - record, tactics and teams coached

Portuguese manager Paulo Fonseca, who was linked to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, is the new favourite to replace sacked Steve Bruce at NUFC

After over two years in charge of Newcastle United have stated that Steve Bruce left his position as head coach by “mutual consent”.

Bruce led Newcastle to 13th and 12th place finishes in the Premier League while also reaching the quarter-final stages in both the Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup during his stint at the northern club.

Newcastle are now looking for a new manager, and while Unai Emery had seemed to be the favourite the Spaniard looks keen to say at Villarreal.

Paulo Fonseca, the former Roma manager, has been another of the bookies’ favourite to take on the Magpies and has recently announced that he has pulled out of a planned speaking event in Lisbon tomorrow as the Newcastle owners are set to make a big call.

As Fonseca is currently out of work, an interested club would not need to pay compensation in order to name him as their new manager.

Fonseca is however reported to have been in discussions with Aston Villa as well. Following Villa’s 4-1 home defeat to West Ham United, it was reported in the Daily Mail that the club had made informal contact with the former Shakhtah Donetsk manager.

Here is all you need to know about the Portuguese manager in contention for two Premier League roles.

Newcastle United recently sacked Steve Bruce after an exceptionally poor start to the 2021/22 season

Who is Paulo Fonseca?

Born in 1973, Fonseca is a former professional footballer from Portugal who played central defence. Fonseca was born in Nampula, Portuguese Mozambique but a year later relocated to Barreiro following the Carnation Revolution.

The 48-year-old played for 14 years as a senior professional player and turned to coaching immediately after his retirement from the pitch.

Who did Paulo Fonseca play for?

Starting his senior career in 1991, Fonseca played for his adopted hometown FC Barreirense for four years. In 1995, Fonseca left the third division Barreirense and was on loan to the Primeira Liga team Leca FC. In the following two years, he was loaned to Belenenses and Maritimo before joining Vitoria SC in 1998.

In 2000, Fonseca signed with Estrela Amadora for four campaigns, three of which were in the Segunda Liga. In the 2003-04 season, he participated in 15 games as the Lisbon side ranked last in the top tier, with a subsequent relegation.

In 2005, Fonseca retired at the age of 32.

For all the latest on who will succeed Steve Bruce as NUFC manager, head over to our sister title NewcastleWorld.com and follow Liam Kennedy’s coverage on Twitter at @newcastle_world and @LiamJKennedy23

What teams has Paulo Fonseca coached?

In 2005, Fonseca stayed with his former club, Estrela da Amadora, to coach their youth team and between 2007 and 2011 was in charge of several modest portuguese teams, including CD Pinhalnovense who he led to the quarter-finals of the Taça de Portugal in the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons.

The former defender’s first job in the professionals was for CD Aves in division two and led the team to third position - just two points off promotion.

In 2012, the Portuguese then moved to FC Paços de Ferreira, where he finished third again but got the team into their maiden campaign in the UEFA Champions League.

Moving on in 2013, Fonseca signed with national champions FC Porto on a two year contract but was relieved of his duties after just one year. Despite starting strongly, a string of poor results towards the end of the season left the club in third position in the league.

In 2014, Fonseca managed Pacos Ferreira for a second stint before moving to Braga for the 2015/2016 season.

Odds on who is set to takeover Newcastle United courtesy of William Hill

Has Paulo Fonseca worked outside of Portugal?

For the first time in his career, both as a footballer and manager, Paulo Fonesca left his country to manage FC Shakhtar Donetsk on a two year contract.

He won both the league and the country’s primary cup competition earning him the distinction as the Ukrainian league’s best coach in 2016-2017. Shakhtar Donetsk also reached the round 16 of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League under Fonesca’s command.

Fonseca’s most successful win rate of his managerial career was with the Ukrainian side, where he had an overall win percentage of 74.10%.

After three years in the Ukraine, Fonseca was appointed the manager of AS Roma in 2019 and led his side to the fifth place in the Serie A during his first season, as well as the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League.

Fonseca was particularly successful at Shakhtar Donetsk between 2016-2019

Has Paulo Fonseca ever signed with Tottenham Hotspur?

Fonseca had been Fabio Paratici’s top choice for the manager role at Tottenham Hotspur in 2021, however the advanced negotiations were scrapped on 17 June 2021 due to tax issues.

Nuno Espirito Santo took over the role at Spurs but was sacked on Monday 1 November following their 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United. Antonio Conte was announced as the new man for Spurs on an 18-month contract worth £15million a year with the option to extend the contract.

What are Paulo Fonseca’s tactics?

Typically, the former Roma manager has used a 4-2-3-1 formation or a hybrid 4-4-2 formation which he used on most occasions at Shakhtar.

His previous role as a central defender has meant that his teams are often known for dropping depper or moving into central areas to create overloads and exploit space.

Fonseca’s managing is often associated with advanced full backs who provide the width allowing his wingers to move into the centre and half spaces.

Fonseca has often preferred a more patient approach, focused on shorter passes and a controlled build up through the thirds.

The former Shakhtar manager’s sides have often shown great versatility in their ball progression and construction of play in midfield which is mainly thanks to their fluid style and unorthodox movement patterns of the midfield three behind the striker.

Fonseca has the potential to excite the currently solemn Newcastle fans with his attacking approach to the game as they await their first win of the season.

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