With a two week gap between Premier League matches, courtesy of the third international break of the season, there was always the chance that this would be the time that the Fulham hierarchy would take a serious look at the clubs status.
Languishing at the foot of the Premier League table, with just 5 points from a possible 36 and with just one Premier League win to savour, it didn’t take a genius to acknowledge that Slavisa Jokanovic’s position might be in danger.
Today, news broke, courtesy of the BBC, that Fulham had indeed decided that now was the time for a change in the managerial hot-seat axing Jokanovic and appointing a replacement in the shape of the former Chelsea and Leicester City (amongst others) manager Claudio Ranieri.
Although Shahid Khan had expressed a deep loyalty to Jokanovic, it appears our owner felt that he had no choice but to make the change, is quoted as saying:
“Making a change without having the right answer or succession plan was not an option.
“So having someone of Claudio’s calibre ready to accept our challenge was comforting but, most of all, essential.
“Claudio is risk-free and ready-made for the Premier League, and particularly so for what we need at this moment at Fulham.”
It also appears that Fulham are so sure the likeable 67-year-old is the right man for the job by awarding the Italian a multi-year contract.
But, is Ranieri the right man for the job in hand?
You could look at it in one of two ways.
Firstly, his Premier League record is impeccable, after taking Chelsea to a second-place finish (before being axed to make way for Jose Mourinho), he then turned up at Leicester City and took the Foxes on the greatest season-long ride they’ve ever experienced.
But, secondly, his reign at the King Power Stadium came to an abrupt end and at his age you have to ask whether he still has what it takes, amongst the glittering success achieved at Leicester and to a certain extent at Chelsea, are failures that make you question whether Fulham Football Club have just made a huge mistake.
I guess only time will tell but I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Claudio and wish him all the best in his new role.