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Jose Fonte Set To Leave West Ham !
Thursday, 22nd Feb 2018 21:31

Very much in the category of "Should Never have left Southampton" a club that grows bigger by the year, Jose Fonte is set to leave West Ham after barely a year with the London club.

At the start of last season Jose Fonte looked set to have a fine end to a long career at Saints, but after returning to St Mary's with A European Championship winners medal with Portugal, it seemed his head had been turned and there seemed to be a big money deal in the offing with his agent Jose Mendes trying to crowbar him into his other client's squad at Manchester United.

But Saints held firm and Fonte went from Saints Captain to disruptive influence and still forced a move even though Saints were in A League Cup semi final and he could have been in the team.

There was something strange about why West Ham were willing to pay £8 million for his services and that was confirmed when West Ham co owner David Sullivan criticised both Fonte and then West Ham manager Slavan Bilic.

That signalled the end for Bilic and now it looks likely Fonte himself will leave the Hammers after only 24 Premier League appearances many of them criticised by West Ham fans who have remained completely underwhelmed by his performances in the claret and blue.

But at 34 Fonte may have thrown away the chance of a glittering end to a career in England, he is about to improve his bank balance with West Ham recouping around £4.5 million in transfer fees and the former Saints getting a big pay day with a move to Chinese club Dalian Jifang.

That means that each of Fonte's Premier League appearances for the Hammers cost them £333,333 plus plus his not inconsideable wages although that first amount will reduce depending on how much of the transfer fee West Ham get.

For Saints fans it is a sorry end and the tale of what drives modern players, these days too many chase money and that is why so many players have left St Mary's, Fonte is an example of why perhaps Saints have had no choice in many of the departures, it is not about loyalty or even the chance of glory, it is about money.

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A1079 added 21:39 - Feb 22
How do we know it was about money? It may have been, but I am not sure how we know and I am not so sure it was. I gained the impression he fell out with Puel. I always had the impression he loved Saints and I think he had the potential to move into coaching with us.

ThereIn76 added 21:44 - Feb 22
Whatever the reasons, I bet he regrets leaving Saints now.

amsterdamsaint added 21:46 - Feb 22
He went for the cash. Shame. How will West Ham fans remember him? A pub quizz question in a few years. Sad.

AirFlorida added 21:59 - Feb 22
Even Richard Hall lasted longer there!

SaintNick added 22:52 - Feb 22
He came back from the Euros demanding a move before he had even met Puel, yes I think he fell out with him later, but that was after the club turned down his move to Manchester United and asked him to honour a lucrative contract he had signed only months earlier, history repeated itself a year later

Bison added 23:47 - Feb 22
I think this news shows it all about the man. He could of multi-millionaired his remaining football years with Saints and become a legend or moved his family for a sack of cash to WH. Then he downs tools again and gets another move to China ! Yeah that's for his family or trophies. Tosser.

theholsaints added 00:00 - Feb 23
Jo-Se Fon-Te Baby...could of been a Leg-End!
Jo-Se Fon-Te Baby...chose to be a Be*l- End!

TimSaint added 00:49 - Feb 23
He said at the time that he was leaving to win trophies - despite the fact we were one round from Wembley - so it was for cash, as the Hammers haven't looked like winning anything.

I personally believe he came back from the Euros, a changed man - but his agent (perhaps instructed) played the pivotal role in orchestrating his move.

Sad he has ultimately limped out of English football, but he was good for us and didn't know a good thing when he had one.

Big_T added 00:52 - Feb 23
I think it proves Saints got it right, his legs had gone as well as his head.
Pub football in China is about right for him, just a shame he will get paid far too much !

BoondockSaint added 02:35 - Feb 23
Again with the "disruptive influence" fake news! It's the same Les Reed PR crap that was put around about VVD. And as we have seen, after VVD was sold, the team was still crap and from the smiling, hugging and hand shaking after the Scouse game, VVD's team mates liked him and had no problem with him at all..

It seemed to me, yes Fonte's head was turned when he got back from the Euros-just as others heads were turned when they got back from the previous World Cup. He saw that the club had absolutely no ambition-no highly regarded manager would even consider taking over after Koeman. So he decided (probably listening to his agent) that he didn't want to spend the last few years of his career in a relegation fight and would look for a big payday like his former team mates.

Oddly, while Les was more than happy to sell those other players who's heads had been turned as soon as they got back the World Cup, he won't sell Fonte to ManU.(If it had been the Scouse, Les would have helped carry his bags out the door and we would hear how it was "a good piece of business" for the Saints.)

But Les would listen to West Ham's offer-because he knew it was a career graveyard run by a manager who keeps getting hired no matter how bad he does. Of course we got the big press interview with Les detailing what a horrible player and person Fonte was, etc. It was all about Les pretending that the club wouldn't give in to players wanting to move and it was easier to do this to a older player who wouldn't go to the press.

It's really a shame it ended the way it did, but no use crying over "what might have been"

Ironically, Fonte's career is a microcosm of the Saints:
Climbing up from League One with a hard work and grit to the Premier League, standing toe-to-toe with the rich clubs, then all that work undone by Les undermining it at every turn by crap player and manager moves, and finally, floundering around under a Chinese owner.

mgprobert added 04:18 - Feb 23
I'm surprised no-one has blamed MoPo

Sad that we should remember Jose like this and not for all the great things he did for Saints - but money talks and most people are trying to further their careers / income when they get the chance - he won't retire poor will he?!

Norm added 05:10 - Feb 23
Seemed to me that Fonte fell out of the club because after all he’d done for us he was inexplicably mistreated and benched for our big European games (I.e. in Milan). Completely unwarranted on form and also helped to ensure we crashed out of Europe. Just because someone’s not signing a new contract doesn’t mean he’s ungrateful, some fans need to stop swallowing Les Reed’s propaganda and show some respect for one of the clubs best servants in recent history.

saintpp added 07:11 - Feb 23
Well summed up Nick and thats exactly how it happened who can forget his thanks for 7 great years tweet directly after the euros.
Id like to answer Boondocks conjecture of a post he must be full card carrying member of the whatever Reed does is wrong club.
"Reed is more than happy to sell players'
Really is he suggesting he is getting bonuses which is actually more likely to happen if Saints actually win something and finish high up the league.
'He wouldnt sell to Man utd'
Apart from the fact Man Utd never wanted him that was just agent talk.
Anyway at that point Fonte wasnt for sale to anybody and seemed Reed tried to get him to knuckle down.but as with VVd is wasnt possible.
As for VVd not being a disruptive influence since he left we have lost one in eight so results say otherwise.
So what if old team mates were hugging each other IT cant be good Saints having a player who clearly wanted to leave asap and as Pell said 'he wanted players who were giving 100% for the team'.
An as for 'standing toe to toe with the rich clubs' yes for few months Saints were there but it was partly due to Liverpool and Chelsea and to a lesser extent the others,all having poor seasons and our players hitting form together.
Such as Leicesters freak season,I wonder if their fans are complaining that they are not top 4 this year or are more realistic than some of our fans.
The rich clubs and rich is the key word here
They have spent multi millions to ensure they dont lose their top 6 place and whatever Saints can spend they will out spend us.
And that is more of a reason we arent toe to toe with them and neither are the other 14 clubs in the PL.
Hardly a crime of Reeds to keep us in the top 8 and money in the bank.
How is 4 successive top 8 finishes and our 4th major final in living memory 'undermining' the club?
IF Saints can finish in the top ten again and another wembley final or even win it .it would be the most successfull era of the club.
Thats a big if with Pell in charge but a lot of the flak aimed at Reed will look rather silly.then.
Back to Fonte well maybe he wasnt picked because he wasnt good enough at that time,the Eurios may have taken something out of him.
He certainley was awfull at West ham and his later games for saints he was making errors shirt tugging and giving away penalties just like he did at St marys for west ham.
Sold for 8 million you gotta say well played to get that much.

BaselSaint added 07:27 - Feb 23
I guess it was all about money. At the late end of his playing career he wanted to cash in on his raised profile after the world cup. Would me or you turn down a big pay day?

pintsizedsaint added 08:08 - Feb 23
I get to post this again!

Has anybody seen the news that West Ham are about to ship out Fonte? He’s not started once under Moyes and he’s been told he’s surplus. Apparently he’s off to China for a reputed £4.8m fee.

Just worth reminding ourselves of this, given the numerous posts I see about the Board not knowing what they’re doing etc. I recall posts about that it was scandalous to see Fonte leave: he’s our captain, leader, huge gap in defence will be left etc.

Just worth pointing out that Saints signed Fonte for £1.3m in 2010. Sold him for £8.3m last year. That’s £7m profit in 7 years (£1 million annual yield).

He’s played 24 for times for West Ham. If he’s sold for £4.8m, that’s a loss of £3.5m in the space of 13 months.

That’s a smart bit of business! Similar story I reckon to the likes of Lovern and Shaw too. I wonder if VVD will also go the same way?

redwight added 09:48 - Feb 23
Finished reading Boondocks post with smoke coming out of my ears. Luckily Pintsize had the time to demolish it. Reed is damned if he sells a player and damned if he doesn't. I'm not suggesting we haven't made the odd bad buy, but over the last 10 years we have been the smartest operators in the Prem - a fact acknowledged and admired by everyone in the football world, with the exception of a number of posters on this site.

SaintBrock added 11:11 - Feb 23
We'll never know what went on up at Sratford but it does underline the all important matter of context and individuals being part of a whole as even Pellegrino accepts. Fonte & Cedric were a nice partnership and pretty solid but Cedric with Stephens has never worked as well.

You can't turn the clock back especially in football where it's all over very quickly so this whole episode ends up with regrets on all sides, At least we are not having to deal with Cedric being lured away to WHU by Fonte.

Sanguin added 14:36 - Feb 23
I don’t think this is about money as much as what that money represents. Despite being offered a new contract, I think he wanted more from Southampton to recognise his contribution and importance to the team. At his age the club weren’t willing to give him more and so he left acrimoniously.

BoondockSaint added 15:23 - Feb 23
Greetings Saintpp!

Yes, I am a card carrying member of the Whatever Les Reed Does Is Wrong Club. It is a fine organisation that doesn't make you pay dues and you don't have to go to meetings. I joined up because as soon as Paul Mitchell and then Koeman left, Les has been in complete charge of the comings and goings of players and managers, and we all know how that has worked out:

Not getting the 2 CBs we have needed for the past two seasons.
Not getting in forwards to score the 23 goals in a season that left with Pelle and Mane.
Dithering until the last days of any window to sign any players and then only signs one! Yet we are told the "Southhampton Way" always has replacements lined up.
Not getting in a top manager who would attract top talent.
Bringing in not one, but two managers who not only play negative football, bench players who score goals, and actually sub forwards off for defenders when we desperately need a goal!
And finally, Saints are in the relegation zone. Les is in charge, it's on him.

Now I have posted previously that maybe all these moves are not Les, but him taking orders from Kat and Gao, which is possible. But then I would have to join that other club, you know, the Kat & Gao Are Just Lining Their Pockets Club? I keep getting membership forms in the post, but not sure I want to sign up just yet. But they are offering a free T shirt...

All the best.


BoondockSaint added 15:51 - Feb 23
Hi redwight-

I know what you mean: I had smoke coming out of my ears when I read this article. To me it is petty to follow Fonte's career after he has left the Saints just to get some more kicks in-just as it was low class for Les to do his only interview of the year to slag Fonte who had been a great part of our climb out of the lower leagues and not answer the many concerns of the supporters. Add Kruger's statement that we are a "small club" and the reason we are in the relegation zone is not him and Les, but the fans for not cheering loud enough...(which is a load of cr@p he would never, ever, try on NHL fans!) well, maybe you can see my frustration.

I would however, differ with your last statement:
Since we have been in the Prem ( which is only 5 years) I agree we were admired for the first couple of years-but then Paul Mitchell and Koeman left and since that time we are in fact looked at by the footballing world as a joke-the Scouse feeder club. No a week goes by that you don't hear that either from someone in the media or your mates who follow other clubs.

All the best!
(Which is what we all want for the Saints, no matter what our views).

Hope your ears are clear of the smoke...I'm using alcohol for mine, take enough internally, and it either clears your ears out...or you don't care!

redwight added 18:16 - Feb 23
Boondock - you make some fair points, not the least of which is that I should have said 5 years, not 10.
Although ears now much better, I'm off to the pub to put your theory properly to the test!

SanMarco added 19:00 - Feb 23
What this proves to me is that Fonte was in his last year as a first team regular with us and decided to move. If he had stayed he (and we) might have won the League Cup. As it is he is going to China at the same time he would have if he'd stayed with us. Can't say I wish him luck but I certainly don't have strong enough feelings to wish him ill. I don't really care.

pintsizedsaint added 19:01 - Feb 23
Sorry BoondockSaint, perhaps you can explain why it is “petty” to comment on Fonte’s post-Saints career? I think you’ll find I was quoting financial facts. You talk about “fake news” and the proceed to make your own suppositions (without any facts) on what has happened at the club/why Fonte left and how Les Reed has “supposedly” done to destroy this club.


BoondockSaint added 19:50 - Feb 23
Hey pintsizedsaint-

I guess by "petty" I meant let's stop watching players that have left and wishing them ill.
What's done is done.

You are quite right on your financial facts as regards Fonte. I was just using the shortcut of amount of money that has come in the last two years and the team's performance.

As for Les' failings, please see my list in my response to redwight. Those i think are not just suppositions but the reasons we are where we are. When we see teams like Brighton and Bournemouth performing much better with far less cash, it's very disheartening.

Anyway a win tomorrow and things will look brighter.

All the best, I've got to get down the pub quick as redwight has a head start on me!

KriSaint added 22:16 - Feb 27
After the Euros Jose probably panicked becaused he hadn´t realized sooner how good he was and suddenly felt very old.... ;) :o)
Therefore he suddenly wanted a transfer.
(I seriously doubt that Man. U. were tempted to ask Saints about permission to buy him).
Staying, but then not being used in the Europe League games was the straw that broke the camel´s back.
If Puel had used Jose in those games, I seriously think that he would have stayed. Puels rotational team selection was sickening - also for Jose.
He was good for Saints and Saints were good for him.
He was a great player in his Saints days, let´s remember that.
Great injury time winner/header vs Brighton back in 2011 :-) <3
So long Jose. Off to China.

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