Analysis

Crystal Palace looking beyond Roy Hodgson: Paulo Fonseca approached

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Image Credit: Daily Mail

Crystal Palace have had a decent season this term and given the financial restraints at the start of the season, they have fared well, specifically in steering clear of the relegation zone. 

However, with Roy Hodgson’s tenure up this summer, Palace are already looking to appoint a new manager and they are thinking of appointing a young coach this time around who can match the enthusiasm and work with the same energy as the players. 

With all due respect, managers like Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce, and Steve Bruce do not necessarily facilitate excitement at a club anymore because you know what to expect of them. However, with the last decade showing the advantages of appointing young intelligent managers, Palace are looking to steer their ship in a similar direction. While Palace have already tried this before with Frank De Boer, who was a disaster at the club and was sacked only 2 months into the job, what Palace did not do is their research before they appointed the Dutchman. 

Crystal Palace have, however, done their research this time courtesy of which they have already approach A.S Roma manager, Paulo Fonseca.

FONSECA THE RIGHT HEIR TO HODGSON? 

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Paulo Fonseca, albeit only 48-years-old, has already managed 10 clubs, with his record at Shaktar Donetsk one of the most impressive stats in the Ukrainian league at the club. The Portuguese managed 103 wins out of 139 games at the club and turned heads in Europe after which, Roma appointed him in the summer of 2019.

Fonseca, like many aspiring managers in Portugal, was inspired by Jose Mourinho and like the Tottenham manager, prefers playing a 4-2-3-1, a formation Mourinho has adopted everywhere he has gone and so has Fonseca. 

However, the way they approach a game couldn’t be more different. Paulo Fonseca has adapted quickly to modern-day football and prefers his teams by playing with the ball on the ground than in the air. This is, however, easier said than done but Fonseca made his players imbibe this methodology in totality before he began with any kind of tactics. 

While Fonseca has fared worse this season than the last one, it is the style of play that the Portuguese demands from his players which is attractive to a footballing eye. Crystal Palace are aware of clubs around them who have appointed foreign managers like Nuno Espirito at Wolves and Bielsa at Leeds and have brought about philosophy at the club which has worked them wonders. 

Crystal Palace are also going to go through an overhaul next season as senior players like James McCarthy and Mamadou Sakho will be leaving the club while Michy Batshuayi will also depart after his loan spell is over at the end of the season. 

In such a situation, it will be a huge test for Fonseca to rebuild this team should he choose to join the club. Fonseca’s needs are similar to many of the current Premier League managers- the Portuguese needs a ball progressor in the center of the midfield while two intelligent ball-playing center-backs are also essential for his team to function the way he wants it to. A ball-playing goal-keeper is also a necessity as Fonseca prefers his team playing out from the back. 

Fonseca’s ideology circles around fluid play from the back to front and while Palace are currently targeting the same profile of players eg. Ozan Tufan at Fenerbahce, it will be up to Fonseca to mold them into a fluid team. 

With Palace also looking at Sean Dyche and Frank Lampard, the offer may not stand long and Fonseca might have to make up his mind soon and while it could go either way under the Portuguese, the fact that his record is impressive and his approach is modern might certainly make a positive impact on the club. 

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