Time for change at Fulham

Monday 11th November 2013 21:51

Martin Jol: Struggling at the Fulham helm

Martin Jol: Struggling at the Fulham helm

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Fulham FanZoner Andy Lye thinks the time is right for Fulham to axe Martin Jol and bring in someone with "new ideas" before it's too late.

As is customary for Remembrance weekend, our team along with Liverpool's held a period of silence before Saturday's game for military personnel killed in action. Less customary, but entirely befitting of us at present, our period of silence lasted 93 minutes longer than theirs did.

To be honest, that wasn't the biggest problem I had with Saturday. Offering nothing in attack but a single shot on target and defensive errors are right now exactly what I expect from our team. Instead, the most worrying thing, and actually something which points to the very core of our problems as a team right now, was how readily the team were prepared to trudge off the field as soon as the final whistle sounded.

As many will have seen and read, it was down to assistant manager Bill McKinley to stop the players entering the tunnel and send them back out to acknowledge our travelling supporters, with Martin Jol already half-way down the M6. This one incident is indicative of the mood and spirit of the team under Jol and I believe it's the real cause of our current application on the field, over and above the detrimental effect some of Jol's other decisions and comments may be having.

Even Jol couldn't hide behind excuses after Liverpool cruised past us, and his thin wall of vague responses have now been found out by journalists. He tried though, bless him. His excuse for Dimitar Berbatov's total lack of contribution was "he was isolated". Well, if he's no good when he's isolated, stop playing him on his own. Play Darren Bent, push Kasami up, use a teenager, do something different instead of trying the same old thing and expecting a different result (something many will tell you is the definition of insanity).

He's now saying we should be targeting results against the 'lesser' teams of the league. Which is fine, but this is coming from a position where we expected to get results against those teams, and were targeting results against bigger ones. He seems oblivious to this decline, and everyone else in our position is still playing like that. Look what Newcastle and Sunderland achieved by applying themselves with a bit of enthusiasm.

Now we're back in the bottom three because other teams pulled out results when they needed them and we don't seem to be capable of raising our game. Which comes back to the team spirit, which Jol maintains is good, but clearly isn't.

This is a crucial run of games for everyone in the bottom half because lots of the teams involved are playing each other. In the next batch, Stoke and Sunderland play each other, which could have big repercussions around the bottom half. Similarly Newcastle v Norwich and Hull v Palace. Our game away at Swansea is another of those, but Swansea will feel nailed on for a home win. The following week sees Villa v Sunderland and Norwich v Palace, with us at West Ham, with potentially a similar outcome.

Regardless of who wins those other games, if we come away from ours with nothing, other teams will have picked up points, and we'll be adrift.

This forthcoming international break (yawn) is the perfect opportunity to make the change a large majority now realise we need. It gives Kahn and Alistair Mackintosh (who is basically running the club by proxy with Kahn out of the country, and must therefore take a good proportion of the blame for not advising him properly over Jol's position and the team's performances) two weeks to find a new manager before the next league game. Someone who can raise our team spirit and get the squad playing together again. Granted Bill Mac is perfectly capable of taking charge for a game or two, after all he's usually the only one in our technical area getting involved in the games anyway, but with these matches being so important, we could really do with them being the beginning of some stability, and the first step towards that is some fresh blood and new ideas. We should do it now while it still has time to count.

By Andy Lye, FanZone's Fulham blogger. Follow him on Twitter at @jukeboxmetal - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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