Following a run of bad results and even worse performances, Fulham have decided to part company with manager Martin Jol, it was revealed three weeks ago today.
Jol’s replacement is René Meulensteen, who is already at Craven Cottage having been brought in three weeks ago to take charge of coaching duties, player recruitment, team selection, tactics, and the day-to-day running of the club.
“We didn’t want to make a change at the top until the time was right, and unfortunately for Martin, that time was immediately following the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool on 9 November,” said Fulham chief executive Alistair Mackintosh.
“René needs no introduction, of course, not least because he met everybody when he took over last month.”
Jol, looking ever like an anglerfish with a grudge, was philosophical when asked for his reaction after getting his P45.
“I’m disappointed to be sacked, but it’s important to recognise when things haven’t worked out, to move on and look to the future,” he told reporters three weeks ago. “Which is why I’m planning to spend the next three weeks hanging around Craven Cottage like a belligerent but ultimately likeable smell. Like your favourite uncle’s sweat.”
Meulensteen faces a fight to drag Fulham out of trouble, with the team having taken just 10 points from their opening 13 games. Many observers have pinned the blame on Jol’s summer signings, with none of his new recruits having proved capable of making Dimitar Berbatov smile again.
“Making Berba smile again will be my first priority as the new boss, as it was last week, and the two weeks before that,” Meulensteen told reporters. “I know an excellent joke about Jean-Paul Sartre and cream which I think he’ll like, which ought to prove even funnier than Kieran Richardson’s top-flight career, or the time-lapse tragicomedy of Martin’s inevitable demise.”
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