Jol's commitment to Cottagers questioned

Wednesday 8th May 2013 14:35

Martin Jol: Not had the best of seasons as Fulham boss

Martin Jol: Not had the best of seasons as Fulham boss

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Fulham FanZoner Henry Walmsley wants a massive overhaul of the Cottagers squad and even casts doubt over the future of manager Martin Jol.

I'd like to start by offering my thanks to Swansea City on behalf of everyone between 11th and 17th in the Premier League table, because if Wigan had won on Tuesday night then I would have been extremely nervous going into the final two games of the season.

As it is, I think we are now safe. Unless my calculations are incorrect if either Aston Villa or Wigan fail to beat Chelsea or Arsenal respectively, we are mathematically safe. But I shouldn't even be discussing this! A few weeks ago I was discussing our plans for next season, saying that only something disastrous would pull us into the relegation scrap.

Well, this is our record since beating QPR on the 1st of April: Loss, draw, loss, loss, loss, loss, including a humiliating defeat to already relegated Reading on our own patch at the weekend. As if this defeat wasn't bad enough, what really irritated me and I imagine a lot of other Fulham fans, was Jol's post match comments. Speaking to Sky Sports, the Dutchmen said "In hindsight, if we hadn't [reached the 40 point mark so soon], then maybe we would be playing with a little more determination than we are at the moment".

How could he possibly say that?! If we were on 45 points or so then I still wouldn't be pleased but I could perhaps understand it, but getting to 40 points doesn't mean you're safe! West Ham went down several years ago with more. It left me questioning whether Jol is the right man for the job. Hughes got absolutely slated by fans for leaving when he questioned our ambition, well what does giving up at 40 points say about our ambition right now?

I also said a couple of weeks ago that we could try and get within 10 points of the top four battle next year, well we can forget that. This team lacks any identity at the moment, the season has been awful and the last month has been nothing short of disgraceful. A massive overhaul is needed in the summer of the team, we need a new midfield, a new centre back a new left back and several other players, as for the manager, I'm not sure.

I don't question Jol's ability, he has proven that he is a fantastic manager, what I question is his attitude and desire. Win, lose or draw his attitude after matches is always the same, pretty light hearted with the same line "we were very bad in the first half but better in the second half" used. The last few years has seen an influx of younger managers enter the premier league, and on the whole they've been pretty successful.

After a tricky start at Chelsea, AVB is now doing well at Spurs, Brendan Rogers' Liverpool are starting to look very good, Michael Laudrup has done fantastically at Swansea this season and Mauricio Pochettino has done well at Southampton in the time he's been there.

Pochettino said in a recent interview that he lives Southampton and has no life outside of it. He spends all day at the training ground, goes back to his hotel, eats and goes to bed. He has something to prove, any success or failure that Southampton have is translated directly to him (excuse the pun), because he is being judged by teams based on his performance at Southampton, the same can be said for managers like Rodgers, Villas-Boas and Laudrup.

When asked whether he will be at Fulham next season, Jol has always said "the club have the option to extend my contract" or something along the lines of that. Could he not say "Yes! I love working here and am excited about next season"? He just doesn't seem committed to the club.

I want a manager who has a vision for the club and for whom the club is their life, I'm just not sure that's the case with Jol. I'm all for stability, and perhaps Jol deserves one more summer to rebuild the team following the untimely departures of Mousa Dembele and Clint Dempsey last summer which left our team in a bit of a state.

I'm sure the club will keep Jol on, because I get the impression the board really like him and see him as a coup, but if the right manager came available then a change of direction would certainly excite me. However, the board have kept Fulham in the premier league for 12 seasons now, so I whole-heartedly trust their decisions.

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