Not a surprise to hear on Sunday that Fulham had sacked manager Martin Jol. In his press conference after Saturday’s defeat at West Ham United, their sixth consecutive defeat in all games, Jol had the body language of someone who was expecting to be fired shortly.
Fulham replaced Jol with former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen, who joined Jol’s staff only last month.
Fulham chairman Shahid Khan said in a statement on the club’s official website:
“Today I spoke with Martin to thank him for his efforts on behalf of Fulham Football Club over the past three seasons and, in particular, since my becoming chairman earlier this year.
“Martin was very gracious and I appreciate his understanding of the situation. There is no question Martin is an excellent football man and he has my utmost respect for the commitment he made to our club. However, our poor form and results this season are undeniable, and Fulham supporters deserve better. With more than half the season still ahead, an immediate change was necessary.”
After 13 games Fulham are in 18th, just inside the relegation zone. Jol was unable to get the best out of a Fulham side that on paper looks good, but probably lacks the grit needed to survive a relegation battle. It will be interesting to see how Meulensteen does in the manager role as his background is almost completely that as a coach.