Saturday, March 23, 2019

Claudio Ranieri set for the sack at Fulham

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 28 Feb 2019

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Fulham suffered a 2-0 defeat at Southampton on Wednesday night. The defeat leaves the Cottagers ten points from safety and it moves them one game closer to a return to the Championship. The team from south west London have now lost their last four Premier League games and have struggled to pick up points all season in the English top-flight.

The Daily Mail are now reporting that the Cottagers are set to sack Italian boss Claudio Ranieri. The former Leicester boss would be the second Fulham boss dismissed this season after the Cottagers dispensed with the services of Sinisa Jokanovic in November.

Ranieri’s presence has not changed the team’s fortunes

The arrival of Premier League-winning boss Claudio Ranieri in November on a two-half year deal was designed to lift spirits at the club and move the team out of the relegation zone. However, Ranieri has won just three of his 17 games in charge of the Cottagers, while suffering 11 defeats.

It has been a disastrous spell for the Italian, whose appointment was described as ‘risk-free’ by Cottagers owner Tony Khan. Maybe Khan meant that the Cottagers were so bad that they were heading for relegation anyway, so the appointment of Ranieri was their last throw of the dice.

The squad was always going to struggle in the top-flight

The truth is that Fulham’s squad was never likely to survive in the Premier League. The Cottagers simply do not have enough quality, despite bringing in a hoard of new players in the summer.

It seems the recruitment team went for the scattergun approach to signing players, where quantity is more important than quality. Their summer transfer approach was all wrong.

They did spent big money on the likes Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jean Michael Seri amongst a few others. However, the squad that won promotion vastly overachieved, so it was always going to be an uphill struggle to bring in enough quality to survive the drop.

Very few of the summer signings have proven a success, and at times, they have looked like a team of strangers. For me, Ranieri is a decent head coach. He is not world class, but winning the Premier League with Leicester at least showed he has some managerial acumen.

However, it could be argued that not even the best bosses in the Premier League could get results with the current ragtag group of players in the Fulham squad. I doubt Pep Guardiola would have relished the task of attempting to keep the Cottagers up this season.

Fulham look to be dead and buried

The Cottagers now look certain to suffer relegation. In fact, Ranieri’s team are odds of 1/50 to suffer relegation from the top-flight.

Those odds say it all really. Sacking Ranieri at this stage of the campaign seems like a pointless act. Fulham needs a miracle worker not a head coach. No matter who they appoint as their boss, the Cottagers are destined for a return to the Championship.

Some teams and clubs have the structure to win promotion and stay in the Premier League. However, Fulham like many teams promoted through the play-offs, where simply not expecting to win promotion, so they were ill prepared for life in the top-flight.

Poor recruitment in the summer did not help their cause. Ranieri has not got great results with the Cottagers, but to lay the blame of relegation at the Italian’s door would be unfair. They were in a poor way when he arrived and they will be in a poor way if as expected he leaves the club in the near future.

Does Claudio Ranieri deserve to be sacked by Fulham?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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