Why Fulham fans calling for the dismissal of Martin Jol should get real:

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martin jolWhen a new chairman or chairwoman comes into a club they often have their own ideas on how things should be run on and off the pitch, which means whoever is the manager at that point is in danger of losing their job. In the case of Fulham under the new ownership of Shad Khan, it appears to be a minority of fans rather than a know-it-all businessman or woman that would do way with the current boss, Martin Jol.

This was exemplified plainly at their home game against West Bromwich Albion, which left them in their usual area of 13th place. It’s usually the opposite although I wouldn’t be surprised if Khan was or will eventually be on their side going by the past actions of owners. The members of the Craven Cottage faithful that want Jol out of the club for not getting them to where they ‘rightly deserve’ are forgetting a few things.

Although The Whites have been established in the top tier for 12 straight years now, and reached the Europa League final three years ago after a remarkable spate of victories against much bigger clubs such as Juventus and Hamburg on route to it, Fulham’s highest top-flight finishes are 7th and 8th.

They have never won a major honour throughout their entire history as London’s oldest club and have spent the majority of their lifespan in the lower leagues, so we are not talking crème de la crème here. But that is not what some impatient and narrow minded ‘supporters’ would have you believe going by some of their behaviour.

In terms of size, it’s arguable whether the club that are currently residing in 13th place in the Premiership (them) are even Premier League standard when you think of the likes of Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers plying their trades in the divisions below. Whether fans thought that Fulham should have built on the dizzy heights of 7th, 8th and a European final then challenge for the Champions League I don’t know.

But those calling for Jol’s head should remember that there’s stiff competition out there. You never know, with Khan’s backing they could do a ‘Manchester City’, but it’s highly unlikely.

Jol has done well in his managerial career including his spell at Tottenham Hotspur. It was him who got the ball rolling for the The Lilywhites, transforming them from the average mid-table side that they had been for the best part of a decade to coming within a whisker (and a rumoured dodgy lasagne) away from qualifying for the Champions League in 2005-06.

He guided them to another fifth place finish the following season. Despite being sacked in October of the 2007-08 campaign, his fate was virtually sealed after two games when his chairman Daniel Levy was spotted in a Spanish hotel with Jol’s eventual successor, Juande Ramos.

It proved to be a knee-jerk reaction on Tottenham’s part as they, despite winning the League Cup, ended up in 11th place, while then only gaining two points from their first eight games the following campaign, which ultimately led to the dismissal of Ramos.

The club only picked themselves up again under his successor Harry Redknapp who actually got them into Europe’s premier competition, with a little help from Gareth Bale of back-of-the-newspaper fame whom Jol signed in his time at the club.

This praising up of Jol is not to say that someone else couldn’t come in at Fulham and achieve a similar degree success with the club i.e. getting them to 12th place like the man who looks a cross between Humpty Dumpty and a Mafia boss did with them last season. But what do those dissenting voices in the Fulham crowd expect from their club?

Saying ‘‘you could do a lot of worse than Jol’’ is a compliment, but I would rather say ‘‘you won’t get many better than Jol,’’ because, disgruntled Cottage supporters, you won’t. A club of Tottenham’s size (much bigger than yours) were bottom a year after Jol was gone – what makes you think the same wouldn’t happen to you should you treat him the same way?

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  • SirCraven says:

    The reason Jol should go is we’ve only taken 1 point from our last 6 home games.
    Since Jol became manager we have also developed this uncanny knack of conceding late goals.
    Fulham fans had the pleasure of watching Roy Hodgson turn a Sow’s Ear into a Silk Purse but Jol has the opposite effect.
    Too many showboaters and not enough players getting the basics right.
    Ray Lewington is good enough to coach England but not good enough to coach Fulham?
    Or is it just that he’s not a relative of Jol’s?

  • twang says:

    This is a truly awful piece. You make Fulham fans sound like some spoilt brat that wants to get rid of the manager because we’re not challenging for titles. If you had some kind of knowledge about this case you’d know that’s obviously not the case. Those who wants to see the back of Jol do so because he’s not taken us forward even one inch despite being here for 2 years.

    In fact, if you go by the last 6 months Fulham have become a far worse team than before Jol took over, constantly playing a boring walking-paced style of football and dropping points at Craven Cottage like never before.

    • Ricky Murray says:

      Something’s always awful if one doesn’t agree with it. I think oysters taste awful, but then loads of people love them.

      Obviously, it’s frustrating not going forward (I should know as an Oldham fan who also has a huge soft spot for West Ham), but what DO you expect from Fulham? You’ve come 7th and 8th, but apart from the managers who achieved that (arguably achieving more than what was required) and the ones who just scraped relegation (achieving LESS than what’s required), the others including Jol have done what’s expected. He got you 9th in 2011-12 then 12th last season, so yes, the club went backwards in terms of their league position, but this is Fulham’s area (their average league position is 11.8 if I’ve got my calculations correct). Might sound crazy, but sacking managers just because they came slightly lower in the table isn’t the way forward. It can be in some cases, depends who’s involved, but I feel that with Jol. Alex Ferguson fell well below expectations in getting a club the size of Man United 11th and 13th having already been there a few years, but they did all right out of it. We disagree on opinion, but that’s football.

      • twang says:

        Again, you are only talking about league positions. For a person that doesn’t follow Fulham week in and week out then that might look good on paper, but the issue we have with Jol is what he has done to the teams performances. 12th last season was in reality only a few points away from relegation, so the league table can be deceiving.

        We’re a worse team now than when he took over, and that isn’t based on some league position, it’s based on what the team shows on the pitch match after match.

  • RubIt says:

    The issue isnt about our position in the league, its about our team’s performance – what Jol appears to have done, is turn our team’s performances from what were (perhaps overachieving) solid, fighting ones, into pondering, unspirited, & devoid of ideas ones!
    Entering his 3rd season with us, he must take the blame as this is now ‘his’ team, built up mainly of ‘end of career’ names, & a few scattered youngsters with ‘promise.’
    Unless you’ve watched the team, week in, week out, & witnessed the everdecreasing spirit within the squad, you cant understand why a growing number of FFC fans want Jol out.

  • Mike says:

    Not much of a fan of you rubbishing my club but I do agree with the premise of your article. I think you will find that the vast majority of Fulham supporters don’t want Job out and are much more realistic in their expectations. The boo boys are the same everywhere you go, football fans are as fickle as you can get.

    If we went on a run of good form now and finished say 8th or 9th any money says the boo boys wouldn’t admit they ever had a problem with jol.. There were a lot of people who didn’t like Roy and now we all nostalgia about the good ol days.

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