Ever since his arrival at Craven Cottage in February, it appears that Fulham Football Club are on a rapid downward spiral under the stewardship of Felix Magath.
The former Bayern Munich and Schalke 04 boss finds himself in serious bother even this early in the season following Fulham’s relegation from the Barclays Pemier League last term. Magath came in during the middle of the season last time out after the west London side sacked René Meulensteen not long after he replaced Martin Jol, the first casualty of new owner Shahid Khan’s tenure.
This is the first time Fulham have found themselves in England’s second division since 1999/2000 campaign, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be getting out of it any time soon. Tipped for promotion by many during pre-season, the Cottagers are staring the barrel of consecutive relegations having lost all four of their championship outings thus far. It has happened before, Wolves come to mind as of late and League One football could prove fatal for Fulham following some reckless transfer dealings last season, including splashing out on £12M flop Konstantinos Mitroglou. This Summer they’ve spent a huge £11M on ex Leeds United front-man Ross McCormack alone, the latter yet to score his first league goal for Fulham. The signs are ominous for the German unless Fulham miraculously recover from their abysmal start to the season and soon.
Several players, past and present have launched scathing attacks towards Magath and his ruthless training regime, including Matthew Briggs who’s now at Millwall and long serving captain Brede Hangeland who is now plying his trade at London rivals Crystal Palace. Both publicly suggested that Magath was ‘partly to blame’ for Fulham’s relegation to the Sky Bet Championship citing fatigue as a major issue when it ‘came to a Saturday’. The latest to have a pop at Magath is John Arne Riise.
The former Fulham left-back had this to say,
“With his arrival, they’ve flushed everything [that club stands for] down the toilet. His methods are ancient,” said the 33-year-old Norwegian.
“He spoke to a few players after the Derby match. Once they returned to London, Magath ordered a team meeting at 10.30pm.
“Then the next morning [normally a day off], players were ordered to run for one hour, then another training session at 2.30pm. It’s not the way to get the boys going. And training methods are terrible.”
Riise added: “All football sessions are 11 v 11, working on tactics. Interrupted every five minutes. It’s a shame, but I fear for Fulham. Responsibility lies with Magath and the guys upstairs [directors]. They knew exactly what they were getting with this guy.”
With Fulham in the mist of a crisis, could someone of the pedigree of a Tony Pulis come in and steer them back to the promised land? The Welshman who famously left Crystal Palace two days before the start of this season’s Premier League campaign, has a more-than proven track record in stabilising something from nothing during his time at Stoke City and Crystal Palace respectively. Pulis would be the at the top of every chairman’s list of managerial candidates, but whether the proposition of working with a club in so much turmoil appeals to him, well that’s for another day. Will Pulis put his well-built reputation on the line for a second tier team? It’s a long shot, but Pulis would no doubt be Khan’s best bet if he wants to reap the rewards from his investments into the Craven Cottage outfit.
Felix Magath may soon leave his post as Fulham manager with Tony Pulis being rumoured as coming in to replace him at the Championship club. Would this be a good choice by the Fulham board? Let us know in the comments or on twitter @TBRFootball .