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Has Jokanovic done a Karanka and signed too many players?

(Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)

Fulham

Has Jokanovic done a Karanka and signed too many players?

Like Middlesbrough in 2016/17, Fulham were promoted to the Premier League with a clear sense of identity but a squad that, on paper, was not Premier League standard.

The style of football was markedly different; Aitor Karanka assembled a watertight side that struggled to score while Slavisa Jokanovic’s side play a passing style but lack defensive quality.

Both managers’ responses were the same; an all-out assault on the transfer market, aimed at accumulating quality and depth which would equip them for Premier League survival.

The logic is clear and the flurry of activity excites the fans; but the downsides can eventually lead to relegation.

(Photo by John Patrick Fletcher/Action Plus via Getty Images)

At the Riverside, Karanka’s transfer strategy was a complete failure. The raft of new arrivals created a divide in the dressing room; between those who sweated blood to take the club back to the big-time and those who arrived after to scoop the big wages.

 

The team spirit and playing style became fractured; were Boro still playing conservatively or trying to open up with their added quality?

Fulham have the same issue; their back four has improved quality but are all unfamiliar with each other. The new forwards do not have the same understanding as the front three did last season.

Jokanovic, like Karanka, had a good thing going at the Cottage. By being unable to resist the temptation to spend, he may have butchered it. Time will tell.

mm

NCTJ trained journalist, focusing mainly on a digital football audience.

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