Dilly Ding Dilly Gone

What now for Fulham? Claudio Ranieri has become the second managerial dismissal of the season at Craven Cottage after only three months in charge, following the departure of his predecessor Slavisa Jokanovic in November. The Italian did seem to give the players a lift however the game against fellow strugglers Southampton yesterday seemed to be a make or break for his job. Had they won, they would have been four points off the Saints who sit 17th, one place above the drop zone. Therefore the term ‘six pointer’ really did prove costly for Ranieri as his side were defeated 2-0 at St Mary’s, meaning the former Premier League champion leaves a side now sitting ten points from safety with only ten games remaining. 

Fulham’s Fatality

Out of ten games remaining for Fulham, Craven Cottage is still yet to welcome title challengers Liverpool and Manchester City as well as hosting a London derby this weekend against Chelsea, a team they haven’t beaten since 2006. Given the way they have performed this season, it would be somewhat special if they were to come out with anything from these fixtures, meaning they realistically have seven games from which they must get as many points from as they can. To make matters worse, only three of these seven games are at home and maximum points from these matches would not save them even now – but Fulham have not won away from home all season.

Parker’s chance?

Scott Parker does seem to be favoured by Chairman Shahid Khan for the near future. Included in a statement regarding Ranieri’s dismissal, Khan said “If Scott can answer that challenge, and our players respond to the opportunity, perhaps victories will follow in the months ahead”. 

Given the position Fulham are in and the matches they have left Parker does seem like a sensible choice. Despite only having managerial experience with Tottenham Hotspur’s U18’s, the former midfielder has worked Fulham’s as first team coach all season meaning he knows the players better than anyone. Therefore his relationship with the players may just be the thing that the Fulham faithful can believe will give his players some momentum to at least go down fighting. 

Save Our Season

Bringing in a new manager at this stage is potentially more risky than sticking with Parker, given the limited time they would have to influence the players with their own strategy and style of play. 

Sam Allardyce is probably the most successful SOS manager, having transformed his past teams, guiding the likes of West Ham, Sunderland and Everton to safety. However, ‘Big Sam’ is unlikely to take a job where Fulham are so deep in trouble with so little time to save them.  In reality any permanent manager is going to have to be up for rebuilding this side in the Championship. 

Carlos Carvalhal is another name that has been suggested, either this season or in the summer given his history in both leagues. Although brief, Carvalhal almost saved Swansea having taken charge with the Swans bottom of the league on Boxing Day 2017. This suggests he could have an impact now but given Shahid Khan’s words about Parker’s role, it does seem the ex England international is going to be given the opportunity for the time being. Carvalhal does have experience in the championship with Sheffield Wednesday and so it could be a good chance for him in in the summer, if Parker does not rejuvenate the atmosphere around the club in the next few months.

Great Escape or Condemned to relegation?

The Ranieri revival came to no avail and Fulham chairman Shahid Khan seems to be backing Scott Parker rather than rushing into a permanent replacement. Does this suggest Khan believes the caretaker boss can guide them to an incredible escape? Conversely maybe he has accepted his sides fate, now focusing on the future with the aim to return to the top flight immediately next season with a permanent appointment in the summer… One thing is for sure, they are going to need more than a Danny Murphy winner like in 2008 to keep them up.

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One thought on “Dilly Ding Dilly Gone”

  1. Interesting post this one, given Ranieris track record, of stability rather than trophies and Khans apparent impatience for success. 90 days is hardly a time to be given to turn around a team, who had major surgery in the pre~season, in a similar vein to Wolves, yet possibly of a lower calibre of player personality wise.
    Khans introcution gambit of Ranieri, hardly inspired confidence, “A multi rolling contract, with a no lose situation” what ever happens said Khan, if he gets just a win then I’ll be happy
    The Fulham chairman epitomises the perception of Football chairman, in not being realistic in the aims of what he wants
    Yes Football is a results business, but results come in 2 positive forms, a win, and a draw, so with the track record that Ranieri had, he was surely a safebet, until Mr Khan made his decision
    Will Scott Parker, make the difference, time will tell, but its going to be a hard job, with 10 games or so remaining and fulham in serious trouble, the players will be short on confidence, that happens, but ideally when the inevitable happens and as long as the turn over in the summer is not too great, then they are a good bet to bounce back

    Like

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