I must admit, in hindsight, I was one of those that felt it was the right decision when Mr Khan the club’s owner sacked Jokanovic and replaced him with Ranieri in November.
Fulham had just been beaten by Liverpool at the Cottage 2-0 which was the 7th consecutive defeat. His team had only one victory in the Premier League over his total 12 games in charge. It was the constant changing of his defence and tactics with Fulham that seemed to be the reason for the club to be shipping goals by the bucket load.
During his last game however against Liverpool, although suffering another loss, it did seem that he may have last found his chosen players and tactical strategy as it looked a much improved performance.
Should Fulham have stuck with him until at least Christmas?
All Fulham fans know he had a poor first half of the season during the previous two campaigns in the Championship. The second, helping the club to promotion following a Play-Off Final victory against Aston Villa at Wembley. Would he have turned it around with a win against Southampton (as Ranieri managed in his first match as manager?).
With the appointment of Ranieri, an Italian with a reputation of firm defensive tactics, it seemed like the right decision at the right time. It proved that whichever players he selected, and whatever tactical formation he set out, there was no easy solution to strengthen this weak defence. On ‘Match of the Day’ recently, it was stated by one of the pundits that even Pep Guardiola wouldn’t be able to turn this team around.
So with relegation now almost a certainty, poor Scott Parker has been given the unenviable task in his first managerial role, of manning a sinking ship. Whatever choices he makes will not bring the points needed to stay up, or the pride back into this great football club, as demonstrated against a rather poor Leicester City team last weekend.
Jokanovic had little chance of Fulham avoiding relegation due to the terrible signings last Summer. Ranieri too with the feeble signings so desperately needed in January.
What way does the club turn now?
Give Scott Parker and his coaching team a chance to prove themselves next season in the Championship?
Try to lure Jokanovic away from West Brom with a big offer, an apology and a say in which players come and go? (It has just happened with Zidane at Real Madrid).
Go for a tried and tested manager who has Championship and Premier League managerial experience? (Yes, a fourth change in a year).
It is a hard decision to make. Whoever is chosen will be expected to bring the Cottagers straight back to the Premier League, or at least a top six
So, not too much to ask is it?
What do you think?
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