Judging the candidates to replace Martin Jol at Fulham 0

Ben Weeks discusses the candidates to take over the inevitable upcoming vacancy at Fulham…


It seems inevitable now, really, that Fulham will be under a new manager at some point in the new future. The trickle of doubters that has been growing slowly since last summer has broken the dam and become a full on torrent of vocal advocates for the removal of Martin Jol. Judging by the crowd at games, fan forums and twitter, it is the overwhelming majority of Whites fans that now hold this viewpoint. There is surely only so long the club can remain as silent and inactive as they have done on the issue.

It isn’t just the results that has broken the bond, but a combination of that along with entirely abject performances and horrific press conferences - recent embarrassments have included “We don’t concede from free kicks and corners during training” and “Have no fear, Martin is here”. Yep.

Regardless, what will be will be - hopefully sooner rather than later. With that in mind, here is a brief overview of the candidates that have been touted as most likely/favourable to take on the role…and a little bit of opinion.

Bob Bradley - As owner of an NFL team, and for someone with as keen an eye for marketing opportunities as Shahid Khan evidently is, the American would be my projected favourite for the job. Previously manager of the US national team and currently in charge of Egypt, there is little doubting that Bradley knows all about trying to raise the status of relatively mid-level teams. Perhaps there would also be some room for his son Michael (Currently at AS Roma) to shore up Fulham’s central midfield deficiencies too…

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer
- Despite his relative success with Molde FK thus far, Solksjaer remains unexperienced as a manager. He could be a tough sell to the Fulham faithful at first, but this is potentially the sort of bold move that, if successful, could well define Shahid Khan’s tenure at the club.

Marcelo Bielsa - I will admit I know little of Bielsa, other than that he turned a struggling Chilean national team into an extremely promising outfit, and masterminded the Athletico Bilbao defeat of Manchester United in the Europa League that you will probably remember watching with admiration. He was also called “the best manager in the world” by Pep Guardiola, which isn’t an awful reference for your CV.

Roberto Di Matteo - The bookies favourite, and a manager with reasonable Premier League experience at both the top level with Chelsea and, at a level closer to Fulham’s own with West Bromwich Albion. It appears that most Cottagers fans would be fairly satisfied with this appointment…but no more than that. Probably, they are quite rightly remembering that despite gaining promotion with WBA, his record with them in the PL was hardly inspiring. He might not be quite the man to turn around a team threatened by relegation.

Tony Pulis - The infamous ex-Stoke boss would be an incredibly unpopular choice at Craven Cottage. Despite possibly being seen as one of the least risky candidates, his unsavoury style of play would be at odds with the nature of Fulham as a club. More to the point, he has history with the clubs fans regarding the murder of a Fulham fan when Pulis was boss at Gillingham. Steer well clear, please.

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