Monday, June 25, 2018

Fulham now look destine for the Championship

Veteran German boss has failed to lift spirits at Fulham and the Cottagers look to be heading for the Championship

Veteran German boss has failed to lift spirits at Fulham and the Cottagers look to be heading for the Championship

Fulham suffered a 3-1 defeat at relegation rivals Cardiff yesterday.

The defeat leaves the Cottagers four points from safety and rivals West Brom and Sunderland have games in hand on Felix Magath’s side.


The Cottagers face a home game with Newcastle next weekend, before games against Manchester City and Everton.

It is difficult to see where the Cottagers are going to pick up the much needed wins to escape the drop.


Fulham have changed manager three times this season. The Cottagers started the season with veteran Dutchman Martin Jol in charge.

A poor start to the season lead to the former-Tottenham boss being replaced by rookie compatriot Rene Meulensteen.

The move was always a gamble to place in charge a rookie boss with hardly any managerial experience. Meulensteen had already endured an ill-fated spell in charge of Russian Premier League club Anzhi and the gamble definitely failed to pay off.

Results failed to materialise for the Dutchman, despite some encouraging displays against Manchester United and Liverpool. Fulham dispensed with the services of the former-Manchester United coach last month and brought in German veteran Felix Magath.

The German boss is a renowned in his home country for helping teams to avoid relegation, especially in short-time frames. The former-Wolfsburg boss will now have his work cut-out saving the Cottagers from the drop.

He has yet to gain a victory and his arrival does not seem to have resulted in an upturn in the Cottagers fortunes or form. Magath has never managed outside his homeland, maybe like big money signing Kostas Mitroglou he is experiencing a slight culture shock.

The number of changes in management is never going to be good for a club’s continuity. A new manager just brings upheaval. The changes in manager have not helped the Cottagers plight this season that is for sure.


In truth Fulham have a host of mediocre players occupying first team places. Key first team players are aging and have not been replaced in recent years. The likes of Brede Hangeland, Scott Parker and John Arne Riise were all good players in their prime.

However all three are now into their thirties and starting to display signs of their age. A lot of the Fulham squad do not look good enough to perform at the highest level. That soon may not be a problem for the Cottagers.


I have to admit I thought that Fulham were quite canny in the January transfer window bringing in the likes of Lewis Holtby, Johnny Heitinga and Kostas Mitroglou. Heitinga and Holtby have proved to be decent buys so far.

However, club record-signing Kostas Mitroglou only made his full debut in yesterday’s defeat at Cardiff. According to Magath the striker is still becoming accustomed to life in England and the Premier League.

The Cottagers spent £11million on the Greece international and I think a lot of people thought he would be a solution to the lack of goals in the team. Unfortunately he has struggled to get on the pitch, never mind the scoresheet since his arrival from Olympiakos.


Fulham’s owner Shahid Khan is reported to be worth around $3.8billion (£2.2million), but like so many foreign owners seems to know very little about the sport he has so heavily invested in. It seems strange to me that so many foreign investors put their money into things they have very little knowledge of.

Mr Khan must be a smart businessman though to have been so successful in business. His investment will be greatly needed if Fulham do indeed end up in the Championship.


Fulham are now favourites to be relegated at odds of 1/7 and after recent results it is hard to argue with the bookies on this one. The Cottagers are bottom of the table at the moment and it looks tough for them to get out of their current predicament.


This may sound strange, but maybe relegation would not be the worst thing in the world for the Cottagers. If Fulham do go down and Mr Khan is prepared to continue to invest money in the team then they will not be in a terrible position.

Relegation would surely see a massive clear-out of the playing squad and maybe that is what is needed at Craven Cottage to re-vitalise the team, because at the moment the Cottagers are going in one direction and that is down.

Are Fulham heading for the Championship?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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